Golden Rule #1: Get a Guarantor

29 Jun 2015

About the author: Sarah Coats Madden

Sarah is a solicitor in the Gosschalks commercial litigation team.  She advises on a wide range of disputes including debt recovery, contractual disputes, professional negligence, company disputes, and residential and commercial property litigation.  She is a Board member of Pickering and Ferens Homes, which is a local charity and Registered Housing Provider, and a regular speaker at the meetings of the Humber Landlords Association.

The 8 Golden Rules private residential landlords need to know (Part 1)

I act for a number of landlords of residential property in the private rented sector, and their agents. Most are experienced and know the law well, but can still get into difficulties when tenants become problematic and they need to obtain possession of a property through the courts.

Residential Landlord and Tenant Law is not straightforward. Tenants can always throw new challenges in the way of a landlord, and during my years advising landlords, I’ve certainly had experiences that I’ve learnt from and which have improved the advice I give. I’ve also noticed that landlords tend to be tripped up by the same pitfalls. So it makes sense to try to avoid these pitfalls in the first place rather than try to sort out the mess afterwards.

With the benefit of my experience, I’ve reflected on the common errors I come across and created eight Golden Rules for landlords. Essentially, the Golden Rules are matters of good practice. Tenants being tenants, it’s not possible to eliminate all difficulties. But I believe that if these Golden Rules are followed, they’ll help to protect landlords and their investments, and allow any possession proceedings to run as smoothly as possible.

Golden Rule #1: Get a guarantor

In the event of rent arrears accruing and your tenant not being able or willing to pay you, or even disappearing, a guarantor can be a very useful backup.

In brief, most guarantee agreements provide that in the event of the tenant failing to pay the rent, or in the event of any other breach of the tenancy agreement, the guarantor is liable to pay.

You should seek advice as to the precise wording of your guarantee agreement to make sure it’s enforceable and to make sure the guarantor’s liability is not limited. I can advise you on this – just give me a quick call on 01482 324252 or email to see how I can help you.

It also helps to carry out credit checks on your guarantors. But bear in mind that it’s not foolproof. If the guarantor’s circumstances change or they move away, then you will not necessarily be able to recover any money from them, but at least it gives you a second option. If you already have guarantors, you should keep them informed as soon as there is any breach of the tenancy.

How you can protect your best interests and investments

Call me now on 01482 324252 or email >  to see how I can help you.

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Spencer Wood

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