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Can I change the guarantor agreement?
Louise Hemmings
Posted: 04 June 2018 18:20:27(UTC)

Joined: 04/06/2018(UTC)
Posts: 1

I am hoping someone can give me some much needed advice. I agreed to be guarantor for a rented house for a woman I felt sorry for because her partner was cheating on her. I met her through work and she assured me she would pay every month. Almost 2 years later I chat with her again, shes still living there but shes been on the sick with depression for a few month and staying at her sisters, I mentioned that I cant be her gaurantor anymore due to losing my job and my partner being mentally unstable. She shrugged it off saying she would look into it, but after this time all my attempts at contacting her failed and she eventually blocked me on social media and telephone.

We still have mutual friends online so Ive asked them to keep tabs on her. Basically my question is, my father has offered to take my place and take the worry off me as the agreement states my liability is not affected by any new agreement or the length that shes there.. She could be there for years and I don't need the stress. Legal advice have said for me to ask the landlord to let me amend the agreement so that my father can take my place but the estate agents are advising she has to be aware of whats going on but how do I do this if shes being completely ignorant towards me? Its making me ill and I cant sleep at night. Has anyone any suggestions of how I go about this and does anyone know ways of getting out of it legally? Yes I know I was an idiot for agreeing to this but I was niiave and I am too kind for my own good. She is now using me as I no longer consider her as a friend after the way she has treated me.
Lynn Dobson
Posted: 06 June 2018 11:30:31(UTC)

Joined: 12/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1

Louise, you need proper expert advice about this, not random thoughts from (probably ill-informed) strangers on websites. In your place I would get further legal advice from someone who can walk you through the steps you need to take. Your estate agent may be wrong about needing to contact the woman whose payments you've guaranteed, which a lawyer could tell you, but even if it turns out s/he is correct, you could get legal advice about how to try to contact her - it might be that you've just got to do certain things and if she doesn't respond to them then you can move to change the guarantor without her agreement. But you won't know any of this without getting expert advice.

There are lawyers who work pro-bono (free!) so you could google 'pro-bono law' + your town and see if you can find any that way; alternatively try the citizen's advice bureau; if you are a student the student's union might be able to offer free legal advice; if you aren't a student but live near a university where law is taught, you might find the university offers free legal advice (given by students under the supervision of highly-trained lawyers). Or you might find that your house insurance or your parents' house insurance includes free legal advice (though whether this would be covered is doubtful perhaps).

Another thing I would do in your place - actually, the first thing - is to get out the guarantee you signed and read it carefully (and make sure you take it along to your lawyer) to check what you have actually signed up to. Perhaps you only agreed to guarantee the rent for a certain length of time, and that time has now passed or will come to an end soon?

Also, I would be extremely reluctant to have my father take over the guarantee, and especially for a woman who is clearly a bad risk (not to mention undeserving). You could try just telling the landlord in writing that you are no longer in a position to guarantee the rent and will not do so (and then let him or her know that your Dad won't be taking it on either). Of course the landlord might still have a right against you for the rent if it isn't paid, but if you are badly off yourself and have no assets, and can make this clear to the landlord, then the landlord might just think there is no point in having all the hassle and cost of trying to take you to court and it would be preferable to ease the tenant out instead. Until recently I was a landlord, and that's the view I would probably take in a situation like this.
Posted: 06 June 2018 16:21:41(UTC)

Joined: 28/07/2016(UTC)
Posts: 25

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Agree with Lynn's comments.

Do not get your father to take over as guarantor!

Get professional legal advice (or try citizen advice)

Found this on the internet which might help:

How does a Guarantor stop being a Guarantor?

If the tenancy is for a fixed term (e.g 14th May 2007 !!!8211; 14th May 2008), then the guarantee applies for the whole of the term and is not revocable during that term. If the Tenancy Agreement becomes periodic, then the guarantor will STILL be the guarantor. However, when the fixed term is over and becomes periodic, the guarantor can opt out of the deal by writing to the landlord to terminate the agreement. This is perfectly legal and has been tested in court. The guarantor should give !!!8220;reasonable!!!8221; written notice that he/she no longer wishes to be bound by the terms of the deed of guarantee (beyond the fixed term).
A fixed term contract is when two dates are specific in the Tenancy Agreement, in which the tenant has rights to live in the property. The agreement becomes periodic when the agreement expires, but tenant and landlord have agreed to continue the tenancy without signing new contracts. In that case, the previous contract rolls over and becomes periodic.
Note, the guarantee will be automatically canceled if the tenant signs a new tenancy agreement with the tenant, or if the terms of the existing tenancy agreement are changed E.g. if the rent is increased. In this case the landlord will need the guarantor to sign a new guarantee form. The Guarantor can only be held responsible for the tenants liability under the terms of the tenancy agreement the tenant has seen and agreed to. If these terms are changed, they have to approve this before they can be held liable under it.
If the a Guarantor requests to terminate the Guarantor agreement and the landlord agrees, then that can be taken as a valid termination. If this happens, get this from the landlord in writing for clarity.
A Guarantor agreement is also terminated in the sad incidence of a death, either of the tenant or the guarantor.
Posted: 06 June 2018 16:35:28(UTC)

Joined: 09/03/2011(UTC)
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Agree with Lynn. Get proper advice. My first port of call would be Citizens Advice Bureau - they were certainly very helpful to me when my daughter had trouble recovering her deposit from a 'rogue' landlord.

Although this falls within Lynn's definition of "probably ill-informed advice from a stranger" -
a) check the paperwork of what you actually signed up to. What sort of tenancy was it? What was the length of the term? What does the Guarantee actually say? Most tenancies these days are AST's ("shortholds") and are usually for a limited period (6 months? 1 year?) following which the tenancy can continue until terminated by either party on notice. It seems unlikely that after the initial term has expired you can be held to account indefinitely.
b) you can google something along the lines of 'limits of guarantor of residential tenancy' and see what comes up -
e.g. http://www.landlordlawbl...rantee-deeds-tenancies/

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