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Guarantor - A Guide for Students

At Keylet Sales and Lettings, it is important that we can verify tenant applications for properties when securing a tenancy for a landlord. We use an external referencing agency so that the necessary checks can be made. At Keylet Sales and Lettings we use a guarantor form for all our student tenancies, and any professional tenancies where the tenant doesn't meet our referencing criteria.


What is a Guarantor?

A guarantor, is a ‘financial backer’, a third party, usually a parent or relative, whereby they sign a contract agreeing to cover the named tenant's rent payments if that tenant is unable to, and agrees to cover costs to repair any tenant damage. The guarantor must be a UK homeowner over the age of 25, and the signature must be witnessed by someone who is not related, either by birth or by marriage, to the guarantor or the named tenant.


What does being a guarantor involve?

As a guarantor you would be financially responsible for the tenant during the duration of the tenancy. Should the rent be unpaid, the guarantor is liable to pay the outstanding amount owed. Similarly if the property is damaged beyond fair wear and tear and the deposit held isn’t enough to cover the cost of the damage, then the guarantor would be expected to pay the difference if the tenants fail to do so.


Who can be a guarantor?

To qualify to be a guarantor you must be a resident of the UK, own a property within the UK and be over 25 years. If you do not meet this criteria, you cannot become a financial guarantor.


What paperwork comes with being a guarantor?

It is important that the guarantor form is filled out correctly as this could hinder the tenants signing the tenancy agreement and moving into a property. The form can be posted to you to be completed, it must be signed by the guarantor then appropriately witnessed at the same time. We must receive back the original form, we do not accept photocopied versions.


What happens if you live in shared accommodation?

If you share accommodation with other tenants under one tenancy agreement (Joint tenancy) it’s common that the guarantor will be liable to cover all of the rent and not just your share. If you are in shared accommodation but have individual tenancies then the guarantor would only be liable for the sole tenant. As soon as the agreement is signed the guarantor is bound to its terms and conditions.


When does a guarantor’s liability end?

This depends on what the guarantee agreement says and/or what is agreed verbally. The guarantor’s liability may continue for as long as the tenancy exists and will only end if the tenancy is legally ended by:

  • service of a valid notice to quit by the tenant, or
  • by mutual surrender of the tenancy between the landlord and tenant, or
  • a possession order from the court.