tenancy agreement

(23 Posts)
pixiepotter Mon 10-Feb-14 00:26:14

DS has signed up for a house next year with a group of friends.I have not had sight of the tenancy agreement but apparently the letting agent says he has to have a guarantor.Reading through the guarantors contract , it seems that we have unlimited liability for anything anyone in teh house share does to the house
Are there any student lets that don't require a guarantor, and what are students with no prents in the uk or parents with poor credit supposed to do

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 10-Feb-14 00:43:02

If you haven't seen the agreement then you couldn't have signed it. Therefore you're not the guarantor. Therefore you're not responsible for anything. If he wants you to sign it and therefore be a guarantor then you would need to read it.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 10-Feb-14 00:43:44

Sorry, ignore that, I totally misread your OP. my fault.

SavoyCabbage Mon 10-Feb-14 01:26:16

I would advise him not to sign it! The responsibility would be far too much.

pixiepotter Mon 10-Feb-14 07:36:33

does anyone know whether these guarantor agreements are the norm for student lets?

Cleanthatroomnow Mon 10-Feb-14 07:59:18

Yeah, I think they are the norm. Someone with an income needs to prove the rent will be paid every month. We signed one , but so did the parents of the other tennants--therefore we only guarantee DS's portion of the rent.

I guess getting a room in a "rooming" house where landlord is on-site is what others not so fortunate do, or stay on in a uni halls type set up. Not sure, TBH.

creamteas Mon 10-Feb-14 08:10:47

Some guarantor contracts are blanket covering everything, and others only for a proportionate share. Push for the latter rather than the former.

Ensure that the agreement is checked with someone with knowledge. Often the students union can do this, if you are not sure.

ijustwanttobeme Mon 10-Feb-14 08:15:18

DD is going into a house share with 5 others. The liability for each of the guarantors is just 1/6 of whatever is owed.

rightsaidfrederick Mon 10-Feb-14 17:01:46

Entirely normal. My own parents kicked up a fuss and said they didn't want to sign. Neither they nor I could find anywhere that would take you without a guarantor - it's just too much of a risk for the landlord.

Eventually they either had to sign up or leave me homeless and therefore having to drop out.

Students with no parents in the UK / poor credit ratings (or even more interestingly, care leavers) often have problems, but as far as landlords are concerned that's not their problem - they just want their income guaranteed each month. I had problems one year as both parents were out of work in househunting season. Eventually I managed to get the LA to accept the fact that they were homeowners meant they were financially secure enough to be guarantors.

creamteas Mon 10-Feb-14 17:19:06

At my university, international students and care leavers are guaranteed halls of residence for the whole of the degree.

It is the children of renting parents that tend to struggle with the lack of guarantor when trying to get accommodation. This is another reason that many students are choosing to live at home.

pixiepotter Tue 11-Feb-14 08:54:20

Thanks, the rent part is limited to my own DC's share.That I am not worried about.It is the unlimited damages I am worried about.
Also they have naively come up with this 'fabulous idea' that 2 of the boys will have their GFs living in the room with them to reduce everyone's rent.So these girls can do any damage they like and nothing comes back on them because they are not on the tenancy agreement.

pixiepotter Tue 11-Feb-14 08:55:12

I don't understand how Unite (lovely accommodation where he is now) can manage without a guarantor?

amumthatcares Tue 11-Feb-14 21:23:46

pixie 2 of the boys will have their GFs living in the room with them to reduce everyone's rent Presumably then there will be two more tenants in the house than the contract covers and so this will be breached immediately.

My DD is sharing with 5 other next year and two of them are a couple and will share a room, but none of the letting agents would rent them anything less than a 6 bed property. They could have lied but if the agents had found out, they would probably have good grounds to evict them!

With regard to the tenancy agreement, I suggest all the parents read right through it. DD's has been littered with mistakes...even down to setting up a direct debit running for 13 months for a 12 month contract. 2 weeks later we are still waiting for it to come through correct!

rightsaidfrederick Tue 11-Feb-14 21:51:45

Halls are less likely to ask for guarantors, IME, presumably because they're big enough that one person defaulting won't notice (+ they have some rather brutal lawyers on hand to take DC to court) + they tend to get more international students who usually don't have acceptable guarantors.

The thing about having a gf living there depends on the tenancy agreement. They won't be breaching the HMO licence, because they'll be living together 'as man and wife' and so they only count as one person for HMO purposes. So, it would come down to anything written specifically in the tenancy agreement. Even if they were to breach a clause like that, the chances of them being evicted for that during the fixed term of the tenancy are hovering around nil - it would take far too long and be far too much hassle to take through the courts.

With regards to unlimited liability, there's plenty of nonsense that estate agents write in contracts that is either (a) unenforceable, or (b) bollocks. I once had a tenancy agreement that said we had to sweep the chimneys monthly. We didn't have chimneys...

You might like to take a look at the OFT guidelines on unfair terms though www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/reports/unfair_contract_terms/oft356.pdf
A common one that LLs try to pull at the end of tenancies is getting tenants to pay for a new-for-old replacement for damaged goods. Totally illegal - this explains it fairly well www.propertyhawk.co.uk/index.php?page=bible&id=230

Can you post the specific clause that you're worried about on here? I'm not a lawyer but have at least a passing understanding of the law relating to tenancies, and might be able to point you in the right direction.

amumthatcares Wed 12-Feb-14 11:29:59

That's interesting right, I wonder why none of the letting agents would even consider renting a 5 bed house to them, knowing that they would be living as 'man and wife' - it was a definite no, no from them all confused Except one that said 'what the landlord doesn't know won't hurt him' - that attitude raises doubts as to their professionalism and dependability!!

SlowlorisIncognito Wed 12-Feb-14 14:49:38

amum Unfortunately, this sort of thing is often found on student tennancy agreements. I am sure they don't intend to do lots of damage though, as they won't want to lose their deposits. Some will even want guarentors to be liable for the whole of the rent.

One thing I would be careful of is getting the inventory done properly. These are often very poorly done in shared houses. Get him to take date stamped photos of any existing damage at the start of the tennancy, and not just to sign the inventory without checking the house for existing damage.

Ultimately, you don't have to sign anything you're not happy with, and other lettings agents may only change for a proportion of the damage.

Students who can't get a guarentor use lots of different strategies- if you can stump up enough rent up front (often possible with a student loan) then you can sometimes avoid needing a guarentor. Many international students will live in halls or private halls for their whole degree. Other students chose to live at home and commute into uni. Sometimes students will ask another relative to be a guarentor for them if their parents can't do it.

rightsaidfrederick Wed 12-Feb-14 16:02:22

amum - you're assuming that letting agents know the first thing about tenancy law. They rarely do, and even when they do they invariably choose to ignore the inconvenient bits and hope that the students are too naive / ill informed to notice. Unfortunately, most are. I recently looked over a friends' tenancy agreement and found a clause that attempted to make a very illegal eviction legal - summary evictions after 14 days of arrears shock - the law is that it has to be a full 2 months rent and then you have to go to court.

There's a very good chance that they said they would only let a larger house to them as larger house = more profit.

I would, however, urge them to think very carefully before moving in together for second year, especially if they will have separate rooms. The reason is that if they split up (if they're first years now and met at uni, they've been together no more than 5 months, and are gambling that they're going to be together for at least another 16 months) and don't feel able to live in the same house, things start to get expensive. One will end up having to move out and, as they'll seriously struggle to find a replacement tenant, they'll end up paying double rent - I've seen this happen. I'd only advise moving in together if they were a couple before uni started tbh.

pixiepotter Wed 12-Feb-14 18:17:51

They have emailed the guarantor deed for me to sign and have witnessed.However it is in word and I could easily insert the odd 'not' after each 'shall' and unless they troubled to read it all through again presumably they would never know

amumthatcares Wed 12-Feb-14 20:40:34

Thanks right for all the advice. When the 6 tenants were each asked to pay a £180 non refundable agents fee, I did, naively assumed they knew what they were doing but after still trying to get the tenancy agreement put right, I most definitely know they do not!

The sharing couple were together before uni and moved to uni town together this year, so hopefully not so risky.

Slow - very good point about the inventory, thanks smile

Haha pixie it's worth a try wink (sorry if I've hijacked your post)

rightsaidfrederick Wed 12-Feb-14 22:57:34

pixie - definitely worth a try! IME they're all so feckless they'd probably not notice if you signed it from Donald Duck.

mumblechum1 Sat 15-Feb-14 17:21:43

I received DS's guarantor form last week which stated that I would be responsible if he doesn't pay his rent (not a problem as I'm paying it anyway), but also that I'd be responsible for any damage caused.

I crossed that bit out and inserted a rider along the lines of:

"to pay for any damages caused by the Tenant during the course of the tenancy but if responsibility cannot be ascertained then to pay a proportion of the damages based on the number of Tenants in the property at the time it took place"

They haven't got back to me so I presume it's ok.

RandomFriend Fri 07-Mar-14 01:35:28

what are students with no parents in the uk or parents ... supposed to do

I have a small flat in a student town that is let by an agent. One year, it was let to an overseas student. The agent organised the tenancy agreement for six months at a time, with the full six months being paid to the agent upfront. I was a bit surprised but they said this was their standard practice when there was no UK guarantor.

prism Mon 10-Mar-14 18:18:56

This idea that landlords can't manage without a guarantor really bugs me- because it's not true. I'm a landlord; I've rented to loads of students, and never asked for a guarantor. That's what the deposit is for, and in my experience is not needed, as students are, on average, better tenants than most people.

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