Guarantor Advice

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    Guarantor Advice

    Hi Guys,

    Was hoping to get a bit of advice,

    I recently signed as a Guarantor for my girlfriend and being completely honest didn't understand the gravity of what I was getting myself into, I didn't research or consult anyone beforehand (my fault) and just thought that i was liable for the initial rental period ie 12 months.

    I signed the Deed (attached) at the yourmove offices with the agent and the tenant, I wasn't shown or signed a copy of the AST (I didn't ask).

    As you can probably now tell iv looked into what actually being a Guarantor involves and I am mortified at the long term risk I have entered myself into (who would have thought it can extend indefinitely without any input from myself).

    I read from these forums that signing a Deed requires a witness and also that I was shown the AST before hand and that if this isn't the case then its possibility unenforceable? Is there truth to this considering the Deed attached?

    I have zero issue being liable for a set period what really worries me that its indefinitely and I am in effect powerless to remove myself from responsibility.

    Any advice would be great,

    Thanks

    deed1.jpg

    #2
    Was the Tenancy Contract not 'annexed to this Deed' as it says it is?

    If you were not given sight of it and the chance to seek independent legal advice before signing, I cannot think the Guarantor Deed would hold much water in court, especially after the expiry of the fixed term. You should, nonetheless, have found out what you were letting yourself in for.

    Why did you agree to be a Guarantor for your girlfriend?
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

    Comment


      #3
      Hello MTG,

      Thanks for replying,

      I wasn't shown or advised that I needed to read the AST beforehand, and being totally honest wasn't 100% sure what annexed meant (surly attached would do?), when signing everything was passed of as routine and just something that needed a signature. (I know this is ridiculously naive, lesson learnt).

      Its worth pointing out there are currently zero issues and none that I can expect, however who knows what will happen in 1,2,3 years... I thought I would only be liable for the initial rental period not until the end of time and beyond me going for the long sleep!!

      I agreed to be the guarantor simply because without it she would have been unable to get this property, shes currently on HB and has a disabled daughter whilst taking night classes & work placement, this property is right next to her daughters school and entertained the idea of a DSS applicant with a Guarantor.

      She rented for 6 years previously without issue and left her previous LL on good terms,

      I am just shocked that it appears I can be liable indefinitely, can I give any notice to the LL after the year to remove myself of being the guarantor?

      If she was to stop paying am I just expected to pick up the bill indefinitely, does the LL have a duty of care to evict? Or are they just happy as they are getting rent anyway?

      Just to be clear... I don't expect a landlord to lose out, I expect to cover the rent.... just not forever

      Thanks

      Comment


        #4
        For as long as your girlfriend has a tenancy at this property.
        Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

        Comment


          #5
          From my general understanding, I don't see how that guarantee will be upheld if it ever goes to court.

          First there are the issue regarding sight of the AST and time to consider what it is the OP was signing.

          Then there's the whole bit about the guarantee continuing on any extension, continuation, or SPT. And also death or bankruptcy? Imagine the guarantor dies, how on earth is the executor or administrator going to disposed of the estate if there are some potential liability that may be 10, 20, or even 50 years down the line?

          A LL may be okay with a guarantee that continues after the end of the fixed term IF the guarantee can be ended by notice (after the fixed term), but here it says the guarantee is irrevocable as well.

          All in all, a very badly worded and one-sided agreement that will probably not hold up in court, but it will take a court to lay down judgment to be sure.
          I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

          I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

          Comment


            #6
            marry her and move in !

            Comment


              #7
              If the document is a deed, it has to be witnessed.
              If it isn't, it doesn't invalidate the document entirely, it just probably isn't a deed.

              But, if it isn't a deed, simply a contract, given that there's probably no consideration (payment of any kind) it's probably not enforcable on that basis alone.

              There are lots of other issues with guarantee agreements, and, should a claim be made against you, come back and we'll walk you through them.
              When agents try and be clever, they make the guarantor agreements last forever and cover all kinds of things - which feels as though they make the agreement more binding, but actually, make it much harder to enforce.

              Don't do anything about it now, as the guarantee is what enabled the tenant to obtain the property.
              After a while, hopefully, it will be less important after the rent's been paid on time for a while.
              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


                #8
                The form of guarantee fails to comply with most, if not all, the recommendations I make in this thread: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ncy-Guarantees

                To list those that leap out at a first glance:

                · There is no warning to take legal advice.

                · It purports to guarantee something which does not exist at the time the guarantee is made.

                · The tenancy agreement was not attached nor was a copy supplied.

                · Insufficient time was given to consider the guarantee.

                · The guarantee was signed in the agent's office.

                · If it is not a deed the consideration expressed is probably insufficient.

                · The terms of the guarantee are too onerous.

                As jpk says, best to do nothing at present as the terms of the guarantee will only be an issue if a claim is made.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Lawcruncher - what is it that you think is too onerous in the terms?
                  Assume I know nothing.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Brixtonia View Post
                    Lawcruncher - what is it that you think is too onerous in the terms?
                    Because it is unlimited as to both time and amount and allows the landlord to raise the rent.

                    Just to be clear, "onerous" does not necessarily mean unfair. It is a question of whether the guarantor understands what he is taking on. As Lady Hale said in the bank charges case, the law allows unwise choices but not uninformed ones. The more you pile on the guarantor the more likely it is that a court will take the view that the guarantor was uninformed.

                    The terms of the guarantee are of course only one aspect. A landlord who wants to rely on a guarantee (rather than have it lurking in the background as an incentive for the tenant to pay the rent) needs to get all his ducks in a row - as to which see the sticky.

                    Comment

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