guaruntor of contract for friend who's died

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    guaruntor of contract for friend who's died

    My friend is in a very difficult situation-I dont know if relevant to landlordzone or not...if not my apologies, feel free to ignore...

    She signed as guaruntor on a rental contract for her trusted best friend and his partner who has mild learning difficulties. (a private flat let through an agency...they were both on housing benefit at the time). Unfortunately, a few months in, her best friend died very young and unexpectedly, leaving his partner who is unable to manage his finances or to run a home by himself. Social services were involved and it was arranged for the partner to stay on as a single tenant, recieving housing benefit. About 3 years on, the partner is being evicted for not paying his rent, and the flat is in a dreadful state from neglect and 'friends' taking advantage of his learning difficulties. My friend had assumed her role as guaruntor had finished on her best friends death (she believed another single occupancy contract had been drawn up which she never signed)and that social services were supporting his partner and had arranged for rent to be paid directly to the landlord (not the case as it turns out). Now the landlord is chasing her for the debt and to clean up. Could this be the case or is the landlord trying his luck?

    Would be so grateful for any thoughts or advice
    Thanks

    #2
    Your friend should ask the landlord for a copy of the deed of guarantee for the partner's solo tenancy agreement.
    Your friend's executor should be able to tell you what happened to any tenancy agreement that was in place when your friend died (death doesn't end a tenancy).
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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      #3
      Originally posted by Nazmy View Post
      My friend is in a very difficult situation-I dont know if relevant to landlordzone or not...if not my apologies, feel free to ignore...
      Don't worry, you're in the right place!

      Now the landlord is chasing her for the debt and to clean up. Could this be the case or is the landlord trying his luck?
      It's impossible to advise without knowing the exact wording of the tenancy and the guarantor agreement; and it may well not be valid. But if you're asking does the death of the tenant simply cancel out the guarantor agreement as your friend assumed, then I would say the answer is no, I'm afraid.

      Have a read of this, written by a well-respected property lawyer
      http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/201...e-tenant-dies/

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        #4
        Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
        It's impossible to advise without knowing the exact wording of the tenancy and the guarantor agreement; and it may well not be valid.
        Agreed. We also need to know if circumstances are such that the partner took on a new tenancy.

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          #5
          Many thanks to you all-I have passed on your advice to my friend to insist they give her a copy of the latest tenancy agreement (or original if no second)to check the wording, signatures etc..she had asked before and the agency seemed to be trying to avoid doing so. I'm a landlord myself and have let to tenants on housing benefit-I'm pretty certain that for the Housing Benefit office to give the partner the extra housing benefit he needed to cover his deceased partner's share, they would have requested a new contract with him as the sole occupant. Will let you know how it goes. Just to confirm...if a new tenancy agreement is signed, does that always make the previous one invalid?

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            #6
            If a new tenancy agreement is signed it supersedes any prior tenancy agreements.
            Whether a deed of guarantee is superseded depends on what it says - a new tenancy agreement would not automatically invalidate a parallel agreement.

            Joint tenancies can pass to the remaining tenants when one joint tenant dies, it's called survivorship.
            It would be helpful if a new agreement was created, but it wouldn't have been essential.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment

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