HOw do I get out of being a Guarantor?

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jedimistress | 22:59 Sat 05th Nov 2005 | Business & Finance
4 Answers

How do I remove myself from being a guarantor from someones shorthold tenancy agreement?

They have a 6 month rental agreement and have failed the first 2 payments. They then received help from someone else to pay the rent. At what point could I remove myself as the gaurantor, as I find the stress unbearable and it is only a matter of time before payments default again.

No lectures please. It was for my manipulative, alcoholic daughter who promised everything would be ok this time.


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I assure you that none of this is meant as a lecture, it's just a statement of the facts:

Please consider what is meant by a 'guarantee'. If you bought a product that carried a guarantee and that product then developed a fault, you wouldn't be very pleased if you were told "Oh, sorry. We've changed our mind about guaranteeing that product and we're not going to pay up". The same principle applies to the guarantee that you've given regarding your daughter's payments. You can't just change your mind and say that the guarantee of payment, which you've made, is no longer valid.

The only thing you can do is to default on the guarantee. This means that, when the owner of the property looks to you for payment of the outstanding debt, you simply refuse to pay. The property owner then has two options. The first is to sue you for the debt. The second is to start eviction procedures against your daughter (although this doesn't prevent the property owner from seeking payment from you for the time which your daughter has lived in the property without paying rent).

It's up to you to decide whether you wish to give prior notice to your daughter and/or the property owner of your intention to follow this course of action. (Personally, I'd notify the property owner straight away. This means that he'll be ready to move towards eviction, rather than suing you for the debt, as soon as things go wrong). I suggest that your local Citizen's Advice Bureau might be able to give further advice in this matter.

(I've just re-read what I've written. If it still seems like I've been giving a lecture, I can only apologise. My sole intention has been to provide accurate information and advice).

I'm sorry to reinforce the bad news Buenchico has given you but I really don't think you have any exit route from being a guarantor apart from contacting the landlord and waiting for him to take whatever action he feels appropriate. Some of us have learnt from bitter experience never to trust an alcoholic because few of them are ever able to overcome their adiction, which leads to ever deeper debt problems as they always priortise their finance towards funding alcohol rather than meeting other financial obligations. I guess the sad moral of your story is never to loan money or act as guarantor to somebody unless you have afford to lose it. I think Buenchico's advice is very sensible. However hard it hurts you, try to withdraw from this and hope that some firm action on the part of the landlord will bring your daughter to her senses.

Well i dont know about anyone else but i know something similar happened to me.

Did u sign anything to say u will definately go guarentor for the full 6 month period or did u just agree to be a guarentor. If u havent signed for any set period of time then if u notify the landlord in writing that u no longer wish to be guarentor for the said property/person then u are only liable for it up until the date that u give in writing. From then on its up to the Landlord to either carry on with the tennant by allowing the tennant to find another guarantor or allow them to live there without one, or evict them. Either way its your daughters problem then as she was the one who signed for the property and if her guarentor backs out then she loses her right to live there!

You are liable up until the point of notifying the appropiate person of your termination of it so if there are rents owed up to the point u write to the landlord then u may still have to pay them but as from the agreed date of termination its not your concern. Make sure u do it in writing tho! Verbal agreements arent always considered legal.

Let me point out that as guarentor your not liable for the property, the person that is renting it is! Your only liable for paying if they dont pay and if its not in your name on the rental agreement and no contract stating how long your guarentor for you can cancel the agreement to be guarentor at any point. The only person that will suffer from u canceling is your daughter and not yourself.

Best to contact the Citizens Advise and then the landlord directly through writing and explain your actions. The quicker u do it the better before more debts rack up

further to my previous post, if you were given a contract to sign to guarentee that u would be guarentor for the full 6 month rental agreement then i am afraid that u are liable for them 6 months but i would advise writing to the landlord explaing that at the end of the signed agreement u wish to no longer be guarentor. This means that she has missed the first 2 payments that u have said have been paid for by someone else, so means u will be liable for a further 4 months of payments until u are no longer guarentor so still write to them as quick as possible terminating the contract from the earliest agreed date (6 months) and have enough money put aside to pay for 4 months remianing just in case your daughter does drop u in it with the rent.

Next thing to save up 4 months worth of the rent in a year or so's time and take it out of the bank in �10 notes. Stack it up into a nice big pile and take a picture of it so that u have a worthy reminder to look at how much your daughter costs u whenever she asks for a favour. The actual sight of the money might stop her pulling your heart strings in times of need!

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