OpenRent Community

Can a Guarantor cover just one tenant?

Hi All,

We are new to the property market as a Landlord. Our interested tenants have gone through referencing and one of them failed. They provided a guarantor, but she also failed due to insufficient income. My questions are…

  1. Can a guarantor cover just the failed tenant or should they cover all tenants in the property?
  2. Can we remove the guarantor (I tried to remove; it is not working) already referenced and add her again just for one tenant?
  3. If the above is possible, would this be an issue to add the same guarantor to cover a different amount?

Appreciate help from experienced landlords.

Many thanks

I would reject the application and continue to market. Tennants are jointly and severely responsible. Meaning if one does not contribute the other has to. I guess the guarantor for one of them would be ok if the other independently passed but the guarantor will also be responsible for the other parties defaulting as well as the one they are guaranteed. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

Ultimately it sounds messy and suggest walking away from that enquiry.

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Yes, echoing what @David70 said. Guarantors are responsible for all those named on the tenancy.

I would reject the application.

Please note, even if a guarantor passes referencing, you have to ask yourself can the guarantor meet their rent or mortgage payment and still have enough to cover your tenants’ rent payment should the need arise. This is the flaw in Openrent’s process I recently discovered in a recent situation. And do not feel pressured to accept as it’s your property and ultimately your decision to make.

In my recent example, the guarantor a family man has annual income of £40k. A quick search of the area he lives in shows rent slightly higher than my property. I couldn’t see how the guarantor will be able to meet both payments if the need arose so I rejected the application.

  1. Prospective tenant misled me about their income. Monthly income does not cover the rent.
  2. Guarantor does not earn enough to meet commitments on two properties.

I made an informed decision based on information available not to accept the tenant, and I explained to both tenant and guarantor reason for my decision. Both were not happy, and neither was I as I had paid £40 for referencing which I can’t reclaim from the holding deposit, as well as lost 2 other potential tenants.

Guarantors should alsonbe asked if they are guarantors for others. If the same guarantor is acting for 2 or more tenancies, in my opinion, their capacity to fulfil the obligations would diminish.

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Hi @Ancy,

In order to pass referencing, guarantors need only earn enough to afford the portion of rent of the tenant for whom they are the guarantor. Like all signatories, however, they will be jointly and severally reliable for the rent, meaning that you could purse any guarantor for the full amount of any rent arrears.

Regarding your specific trouble removing and editing guarantors, have you solved this issue with our support team by now? If not you can email them at info@openrent.co.uk.


Hi @Biggss, You’ve accurately described how landlords must read and interpret referencing reports and then use them to make a decision about tenants or guarantors. I don’t think it’s fair to say that this is a flaw of OpenRent. This is how all referencing reports work.

Referencing companies find out as much info as possible, but they can’t tell the future. Furthermore, as I have mentioned to you before on the Community, the pass/fail result on the referencing check refers only to the availability of insurance products from the referencing company. It is not a direct judgement on the tenant/guarantor’s personal levels of reliability.

If referencing companies could, with 100% accuracy, tell landlords whether tenants or guarantors will fall into arrears and be able to pay them off, then the rented sector would be a very different industry!

I think you have a good point about guarantors been asked to guarantee multiple tenancies.

Sam