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First time tenant advice

(13 Posts)
FatBarry Tue 12-Jun-18 16:55:34

Apologies if this has been posted in the wrong place, I couldn't find anything specifically related to renting.

DD has just finished university and has her first job lined up to start "soon" (NHS - subject to professional registration, DBS etc). She is taking on her first professional let with a group of fellow ex students also HCPs.

The letting agent wants the parents to be guarantors as they say "just starting her first job she won't have much of a credit rating".

I am not happy with the guarantor paperwork in that I would be liable for the other tenants bills or damages (excluding rent) if they didn't pay and their guarantor couldn't pay.

We have never rented and I have absolutely no idea whether this is the norm or whether the agent is trying to pull a fast one.

DD is registered on the electoral register at home, has car insurance registered to her at home, her Clearscore score shows her as exceeding the average score for our area and is considerable higher than the national average score.

So I am asking, is it usual for a tenant to have to provide a guarantor if they have an acceptable credit rating (and can provide a payment reference from the previous student landlord)?

GardenGeek Tue 12-Jun-18 17:01:09

I would say no, if everyone else does it they may just let her off grin

You can only resist and see.

I think its madness btw, the way they pick and choose when young people become 'adults'

Cliveybaby Tue 12-Jun-18 17:02:59

I think in an HMO it's fairly common that you (the tenants) are jointly responsible, so if one defaults, the rest have to pay their share... It's just been passed on to you the guarantor.

Hedgehoginthefog Tue 12-Jun-18 17:06:29

Cliveybaby - In my experience it's the other way round. In an HMO each tenant usually has a separate contract, whereas in a house share there is a joint contract, with tenants jointly liable. Usual for this joint liability to be passed on to a guarantor where one is required as well - unfortunately there are so many parents willing to do it that it's not going to change anytime soon.

Imchlibob Tue 12-Jun-18 17:06:31

It's not unusual for letting agents to try this. It's not unusual for tenants to go along with it if they have no other options. But it's also very much not unusual to walk away from these unfair terms and find a better deal. I certainly would not advise signing any guarantor deal that includes the debts and liabilities of other tenants. You could easily fall into financial ruin that way.

I have heard of some families getting around this by paying the whole year's rent plus a hefty damages deposit and the guarantor clause is then waived.

What are the chances for the group finding a different property without this kind of stipulation?

FatBarry Tue 12-Jun-18 17:11:45

Thanks both (and for such a fast response)!

I don't in theory have any objects to them each being jointly responsible, or any real concerns, they have lived and shared bills harmoniously for three years. I just don't want to be part of their gang.

On that basis I will decline and suggest they crack on with the credit check. The house is newly renovated and was also marketed as a student let, unfortunately the owner appears to have left it too late to get students in for the next academic year so has a real risk of no rent coming in at all.

specialsubject Tue 12-Jun-18 17:14:34

is it an hmo ? does it meet all local legal requirements? has she read the how to rent guide if england?

FatBarry Tue 12-Jun-18 17:17:42

It's as hedgehog describes, a house share with a joint contract, with tenants jointly liable.

FatBarry Tue 12-Jun-18 17:24:35

It's a well known local agent that manages student and professional lets. The house and agent are on the edge of a densely populated student area.

All the paperwork seems legit, protected deposit and all that, I just feel the agent is trying taking advantage of their naivety, what with this and trying to upsell their own Tenants Liability Insurance.

Sadly for them I am one of those people that read the T&Cs on paperwork, particularly when money is concerned.

I am declining.

Thanks all for your input.

specialsubject Tue 12-Jun-18 17:31:40

she does need tenant contents insurance and.may want liability cover. but not from the agent, that will be pricey. she needs to shop around. she also needs to.do her own research and read her own contract.

ButDoYouAvocado Wed 13-Jun-18 06:49:50

Im not an expert on joint tenencies but i can tell you that a good history of paying rent and a good credit check arent enough. You need proof that you can afford the rent going forward even if you pass the other two criteria. We have been through it a couple if times when we moved, even though we moved to properties managed by the same agency. We are in Scotland so it wasnt so they could get fees from us, its just the way it is.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Wed 13-Jun-18 17:08:51

In my experience (currently housesharing, but a few years older than your DD)
- it's the norm to require a guarantor for students but not once people are in full time work. I did have one landlord immediately post graduation who wanted a guarantor because it was meant to be a student house - a near identical situation to your DD. They backed down when I provided proof of impending employment and pointed out that I was earning more than both parents put together (not hard when one is retired and one is out of work!)
- it's normal for a houseshare to be a joint tenancy where all tenants are jointly and severally liable
- Letting agents often aren't very bright and will do the standard thing even when faced with a non standard situation, such as non student tenants in a student property wink

FatBarry Wed 13-Jun-18 20:13:29

Thank you @avacadosbeforemortgages that is very helpful.

I have mailed the agent this morning to say I am not keen to be a guarantor and DD has provided confirmation that her student landlady is happy to give a financial reference for the last two years, which ironically I never needed to guarantee.

She has also supplied a copy of her employment offer and references in the NHS together with bank details. I have also said I am happy for the rent to come from my bank account for the duration of the term but I won't be signing any paperwork that makes me accountable for any of the other tenants.

We will see what they say, if they prefer a five bed house to stay empty for potentially the whole of the next academic year @2k a month then so be it.

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