Guarantor questions

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    Guarantor questions

    Sorry that my first post is a question,but I really need some informed advice.
    I signed as tenancy guarantor for my sister on a 12month AST in September 2014,she has been a good tenant and has not defaulted on her rent payments,she has since signed (digitally) 2 more AST renewals each for 12 months in September 2015 and september 2016.
    I am planning to retire in the not too distant future and as a consequence I will no longer be able to continue in the role of guarantor,i signed the guarantor agreement as a witnessed deed, and after re reading it recently it appears to say that I will be liable for any extension or continuation of the tenancy after the initial 12 month AST and for any increase in rent and it will not be revoked even in the event of my death!.
    This seems a bit harsh to say the least,my question is am I still liable as guarantor even though my sister has signed 2 AST renewals since the initial AST expired in 2015,i have received no correspondence from the Landlord or his letting agency since signing the deed in September 2014.

    Many thanks for any advice.

    #2
    Hi
    Nice to see a guarantor taking the position seriously.

    Provided your sister continues to pay the rent etc, the guarantor agreement is really a bit academic - like an insurance policy that isn't claimed against.

    Whether the original agreement could be enforced depends on the precise wording of the agreement.
    As an example, tenancies don't "extend" or "continue" - so that wording seems a little odd.
    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


      #3
      It is generally frowned upon to have guarantors "on the hook" indefinitely, and I would say that judges would look very carefully at the wording of any agreement to this effect to see if it will stand up legally.

      However, if as you say the landlord has failed to keep you informed - formally - of the changes, on renewals etc., then I would say it's almost certain he cannot enforce the agreement.

      Also, as the previous poster says, it seems there is very little risk of a claim against you in any case.

      Comment


        #4
        No one can answer definitively because it would depends on the exact wordings, what evidence and how it is argued in court, and the judge on the day (if it ever comes to that).

        In theory could you still be liable, yes. But.... how clear was it that you'll be liable for renewals, rent raise etc., were you given reasonable time to seek legal advice on what you were agreeing to, can you provide notice to revoke the guarantee for future renewals for example, have any significant tenancy terms changed with the renewals that hasn't been communicated with you etc. etc. etc.
        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


          #5
          I wouldn't have thought the guarantee would stand for subsequent agreements. They should have got you to sign as well, surely, if they wanted them to?

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for the advice,
            The relevant wording of the Guarantee that is causing me concern is as follows;

            ''This guarantee shall apply for the whole period of the tenancy agreement and any continuation, extension, renewal or re-grant of a tenancy agreement and to any increased rental as if this indemnity were incorporated in full in such continued extended renewed or re-granted tenancy agreement.''

            ''This guarantee shall not be revocable or discharged by my death or by the death or bankruptcy of the tenant.''

            I was not advised to seek legal advice before I signed it.My sister has subsequently signed 2 renewal tenancy agreements since the initial start of the 12 month AST in sept 2014,without my being contacted by the landlord/agent in any way.

            Comment


              #7
              That wording isn't particularly helpful for the guarantor, as it clearly states that future agreements are being guaranteed.

              However, it is also difficult for anyone to enter into an agreement for something that is unknown - the re-grant of a tenancy agreement could be on a completely different basis than the agreement seen by the guarantor and to which they are prepared to guarantee.
              If the later agreements are substantially the same as the first agreement, it won't be simple to argue that the guarantor agreement shouldn't continue - the possible change in circumstances of the guarantor is something the guarantor should have been able to foresee.

              That said, the whole arrangement is completely academic as long as the tenant does what they are meant to.
              If they don't, and the landlord makes a claim against the guarantor, I would imagine that the best thing for the guarantor to do would be to decline to pay anything unless forced to by a court - these arrangements seem very difficult to enforce against a guarantor determined not to be bound by the agreement.
              Moreover, the agreement in future against which the tenant defaults might be substantially different to the original - which would (in my view) weaken the agreement substantially.

              If the guarantor had sight of the original agreement and had the opportunity to take legal advice (whether or not they chose to) the agreement would be fairly robust.
              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
                Thanks for that, i am fully aware of my obligations as a guarantor and I went into it with my eyes open,i agreed to act for my sister because she had just started a low paid job and her earnings were deemed low enough to require a guarantor for her tenancy, but to be honest I didn't envisage having to act in the role indefinitely, and for example if she stays in her flat for the next 20 years I would think it unreasonable that I still be liable as guarantor into my retirement, i don't believe she will default on the tenancy.

                I would have imagined that the landlord would be obliged to inform me of any tenancy renewals signed by my sister whether they are substantially different to the original or not, and gain my continuing signed guarantorship even though the agreement states that I am liable for any renewals , surely this would be a different tenancy to the one I originally signed to guarantee?...but as has rightly been said its all academic at the moment ,my sister is adhering to her tenancy agreement, but at some stage in the future I will be looking at withdrawing from my role.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Until and unless this gets to court (landlord suing you for unpaid rent) nobody can say for sure if you are or are not still guarantor.

                  But as she's signed several renewals, none of which you knew about, and you weren't advised to get legal advice I reckon you aren't liable.

                  You could ask landlord to release you but frankly he'd be made to agree (but he just might agree..). In your shoes I'd do nothing, not ask landlord, not respond to any requests, see if he ever sues.

                  Sorry but, it's uncertain....

                  See
                  http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/201...he-fixed-term/

                  Best wishes, very noble of you to help sister.
                  I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You signed a binding Agreement (Deed) with specific terms. IMO it is not for LL/Agent to advise you to seek Ind legal advice, but allow a few days for you to do so before signing.

                    IMO you can write to LL, giving 6 month Notice that you no longer wish to be sister's G.
                    He can then either require sister to pay a Deposit/provide new G/both.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Not according to the agreement itself:

                      ''This guarantee shall not be revocable"
                      Which probably tilt the agreement towards non-enforceable, esepecially given renewals. But like said before, no one can say for definite unless a court decides.
                      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


                        #12
                        Just to update...

                        I wrote to the LL in July by registered mail and received a reply a week later,I basically advised him that I am planning to retire in the not too distant future and as such I will no longer be in a position to act as guarantor for my sister,and respectfully requested that he release me from my role.

                        His reply was that as far as he is concerned my sister no longer requires a guarantor as she has been a responsible tenant over the past 3 years,however he told me he was going to run it past his agents first,the agents being those with a colour in their name.

                        I received this reply in early July and have heard absolutely nothing since.

                        My sister has since signed for another 12 month extension of her tenancy in September,again without me being informed,her rent has also been increased again without any notification to me.

                        My understanding of the situation after the reply from the LL is that I am no longer liable even though I have not been contacted further either by him or his agents...sorry if this all seems rather academic but it is important for me to know where I stand.

                        Thoughts welcomed...and thanks.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Oh, well keep the written reply in case he changes his mind. Sounds like you are sorted though.

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