What Questions Should You Ask A Guarantor?

Landlords Guide: What Questions Should You Ask A Guarantor?

If your tenant doesn't pass their financial or credit check, or you’re concerned about their ability to pay the rent and bills, you may need to ask them to provide a guarantor before they rent a property in Brixton.

What is a Guarantor?

A guarantor is someone who agrees to take responsibility for the rent if the tenant is unable to pay. This person acts as a safety net for landlords, ensuring that they will still receive payment even if the tenant runs into financial difficulties.

Guarantors are often required for students, young professionals without a rental history, or anyone with a less stable income.

The guarantor needs to have a good credit history and usually must be based in the UK. They might also be asked to cover other costs outlined in the tenancy agreement, like damages. This setup helps landlords feel secure in their agreements and gives tenants with limited credit history a chance to rent a property.

When landlords are considering prospective guarantors, it's important to ask clear and direct questions to ensure they understand and can meet the responsibilities involved to avoid late rent. Our quick guide for landlords will give you valuable insights into some of the questions you should ask a guarantor who has put themselves forward for a tenant.

1. Are You a UK Homeowner?

A guarantor should be someone that owns and lives in their own property in the UK.

If they live abroad, chasing payments can sometimes be tricky. If they don’t own a property in the UK, it can also be challenging to understand their financial situation, credit score and overall affordability.

2. Have You Been a Guarantor Before?

This is a great question to ask so that you can understand how familiar the person is with being a guarantor. If they haven’t had this experience, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go ahead. But it does mean you will need to explain the process in more detail to confirm they fully understand the agreement. It’s also important to ask the guarantor if they would like to seek legal advice before committing to being a guarantor.

If they have been a guarantor before, ask for more details. Find out who it was for and if they ever needed to make any payments for the tenant.

3. Are You Becoming a Guarantor for One Person or Joint Tenants?

If the guarantor is responsible for joint tenants, that means they’ll be liable to pay if any or all the other tenants don’t pay.

However, some guarantors may only wish to be responsible for one tenant, so make sure this is clarified and understood.

4. Do You Understand the Circumstances in Which You Will be Asked to Pay Money?

Essentially, you want to ensure the guarantor has read the agreement and fully understands when they may be liable for payment. You should ensure they are familiar with the rental property in Brixton, and the rental amount.

While a tenant may have asked the guarantor this question, you’ll want to do your due diligence too, to ensure they are prepared for the commitment.

Usually, you’ll only need to ask the guarantor for payment if the tenant doesn’t pay rent or utilities or damages the property in a significant way. So, be specific about the circumstances and potential costs to ensure they fully understand their responsibilities and your income is protected.

5. How Long Are You Prepared to Be a Guarantor For?

You’ll need to agree on how long the guarantor agreement will last. If the tenancy agreement is fixed-term, the guarantor can specify whether it will only last for that fixed-term – or beyond if it renews.

Landlords: Get Expert Help

At Your Home Managed, we are your local property management experts in Brixton. If you need expert letting agent or property management services to help market and manage your property including completing tenant referencing checks, our experienced team can help.

Call us today on 0208 125 7780 or browse our letting and property management services.

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