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Guarantor - how much notice to back out?

(11 Posts)
mystepmotherwasanalien Tue 27-Oct-15 10:47:09

I (very foolishly) agreed to act as Guarantor for my stepdaughter, and was led to believe that this would only be for 12 months. Sometimes I wonder why I don't take my own advice to read the small print.

Three years down the line we have hit problems. The rent has not been paid for one month, and the landlord also wishes to sell the proprty and has issued a Section 21 which comes into effect at the end of December.

I am getting conflicting advice

- I am the guarantor and cannot get out of it at all
- i can give the landlord "reasonable notice" which usually means 3 months notice, that I no longer wish to be guarantor
- the Section 21 means tht I will no longer be guarantor after the end of December which makes the above comment redundant.

My stepdaughter is saying she is witholding the rent because the landlord has not fixed the leaking bath - the contract says the landlord needs to keep the sanitary ware in good order.

I am getting different stories from different people. I realise that as guarantor I will have to cover the unpaid rent but the situation isn't that straight forward.

Does anyone have any experience of this?

Rockchick1984 Tue 27-Oct-15 10:55:55

She can't withhold rent for him not making the repair, so currently either you or her need to get the rent payment up to date.

If the rent arrears were built while you are named as guarantor then you can still be chased for the payment even though you wouldn't be guarantor any more once she moves out in December.

everybodylovesdogs Tue 27-Oct-15 10:59:16

If she has a problem she should take advice. If a landlord doesn't fulfill their duties re repairs you can get them done yourself and bill landlord. But their are procedures to be respected. Maybe CAB can advise.

specialsubject Tue 27-Oct-15 13:48:09

two wrongs don't make a right. The landlord should indeed fix the bath. Your stepdaughter can report to the council and it is possible that this will invalidate the section 21 (new 'deregulation bill' came in Oct 1st). If she wants to stay, of course. She needs advice on this.

I don't think there's any way out for you, otherwise there'd be no point having guarantors. Is there anything in the agreement you signed about a notice period?

tell her to fight her battles using the legal recourse at her disposal. Or give her own notice and go.

expatinscotland Tue 27-Oct-15 13:51:49

Don't do it again when she gets a new place but for now, you might be stuck.

19lottie82 Thu 29-Oct-15 08:08:37

It depends what the contract says, chances are you can't get out of the contract until she leaves voluntarily, or the LL throws her out. But if he is issuing a section 21 then that's what he IS doing.

You certainly can't give "reasonable notice" just to get out of being a guarantor.

No offence, but why didn't you read / understand the implications of the legal document you signed and terms you agreed to, at the time?

19lottie82 Thu 29-Oct-15 08:11:09

PS also please be aware that the section 21 does not mean that your step daughter has to leave at the end of December. It's simply a notice that the LL intends to regain the property. If she stays put he will need to apply for a court date to get her out. This may not be approved and the whole scenario will have to start again. If the judge approves it then he will need to wait for an appointment with the bailiffs to get her out.

mystepmotherwasanalien Thu 29-Oct-15 09:06:50


mystepmotherwasanalien Thu 29-Oct-15 09:10:43

oops hit send too soon. Rent is now up to date. Bath situation meaens that my stepdaughter gets extra points as some of the outstanding repairs pose a health risk.

I've spoken to a specialist lettings solicitor since I posted - thanks to everyone for your help. I've been advised that the contract has now become "periodic" and there is precedence in law that a person cannot be held to a contract indefinitely, otherwise we would end up in situations where tenants refused to pay rent indefinitely and the guarantor would have to pay the rent every month for years and years. But the definition of reasonable notice is something that would have to be agreed. 3 months seems to be the suggested amount of time in order to allow the landlord to either decide to let the tenant stay without a guarantor or issue notice to leave.

mystepmotherwasanalien Thu 29-Oct-15 09:12:41

lottie - if my stepdaughter does not leave I will be liable for the court charges to get her removed. Councils are used to dealing with tenants with no assets and therefore landlords normally just take the hit of the court charges from the deposit as they can't get them out of the tenant. So councils lose nothing by advising people to stay on after the date of the section 21.

19lottie82 Thu 29-Oct-15 09:55:08

OP, I would think so, yes. By signing a guarantor agreement, you basically assumed all financial responsibility of your SD's tenancy. LL's will chase for court costs if they think you have the £ to pay them, and im guessing you had to meet certain financial requirements to be approved as a guarantor? However, check the small print, and it may be worth getting the Guarantor Document checked over by the CAB / Shelter, as if the LL hasn't followed the legalities to the letter re the document you signed, it may be invalid.

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