Guarantor question from a prospective guarantor

Hi I have been asked to be a guarantor for a family member and was wondering what protection there is for a guarantor in the event of a landlord having to approach the guarantor for payment.

If the tenant refuses to pay whats to stop the tenant staying in the property and relying on the guarantor paying the rent?

Does the guarantor have any power to force the landord to begin eviction proceedings or is there any way the guarantor can protect themselves from this scenario?


You have no protection. That is exactly the reason landlords seek guarantors.

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There is nothing stopping him from staying in the flat. Also, what do you think a person chooses if he has to - loosing your friendship or staying on the street?

Only become a guarantor if a. You can afford to lose the rent x8, and b. You only do it with someone you really think deserves it.

You cannot make the LL evict the tenant. What you can do, however, is to not pay the rent in lieu of the tenant when the LL asks you to. LL will then have to evict to get his money from you or the tenant. Then pay him. That way you minimize your exposure without the risk of a CCJ.


Thank you very much for your reply, that’s actually quite reassuring if I understand you correctly. So if the worst were to happen and the tenant decided to take advantage of me and just stop paying the rent knowing that I would have to, if I refused to pay when asked, the landlord would have to evict the tenant in order for me to need to pay? If so that would afford me the protection I was alluding to. I appreciate I would still be paying the arrears for the period from them stop paying and their eviction.

Of course I would be also be fine with covering any rent arrears if the tenant genuinely had a reason for not paying, lost job, illness, temporary hardship etc after all that’s why I’m prepared to be a guarantor, I just didn’t want to risk becoming an indefinite 100% payee of someone else rent.

Also, for the record, I don’t expect that to happen, if I did I wouldn’t be prepared to be their guarantor but it pays to cover all the bases and that “what if” scenario seemed to be a potential risk with no way out.

Thanks again for you help.

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There are no friends in business remember that saying ? Also the saying never a borrower or a lender be. Money is money . If you have doubts don’t do it , listen to your gut feeling it is normally right .


So, it’s not that the LL is prevented from asking you or pursuing you for money. But, in order to force you to pay he needs to evict and sue the tenant/you first. Once he has evicted the tenant you then pay the arrears to prevent him from suing you.

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That’s great, I couldn’t believe that being a guarantor would open you up to legally having to pay someones rent indefinitely but I couldn’t see a way to stop that from happening. Many thanks again.

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That’s what a guarantor is … you are guaranteeing the landlords rent money if the tenant / friend/family member does not pay .
Maybe watch slum tenants bad landlords ( whatever it is called ) on Chanel 5 the amount of people that sign to be a guarantor and didn’t understand that they had to pay the landlord their rent if the friend or family member failed to pay the rent and then gave to pay is really quite astonishing. The guarantor is the guarantee.


I understand that, my question was specifically related to a potential circumstance where the tenant decides to stop paying and the landlord doesnt evict (as he has no need to as he will still get the rent via me as the guarantor) so I could potentially end up paying the tenants rent indefinitely maybe even for years. It seems from Pers reply that wouldn’t happen because by me refusing to pay, the LL would have to evict in order to force the situation so there would be at least be an ending of the obligation once the eviction completed and the tenancy ended and thats all I was after. Of course I would still have to pay the rent arrears as the guarantor, thats a given…

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As far as I am aware, there is nothing stopping the landlord suing you using MCOL whilst the tenant is still there. Most landlords will wait until the full extent of the debt is known, but if the tenant decided to blow the December rent on Xmas pressies, there is nothing to stop him suing you for it.

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As previously explained, the tenant blowing the December rent on Xmas presents or his otherwise short term hardships isn’t what I am concerned about, should that occur, I’ll be picking up the tab as per the guarantor obligations and I’m good with that. What I don’t want is to end up a long term rent payer for him should he stop paying altogether and not leave and the landlord decides to let him stay as he’s getting his rent ok via me. That situation could go on for years and from what I could make out a guarantor doesn’t seem to have have any protection from that unless Per is correct. Are you saying Per is mistaken and the LL could still sue me, let the tenant stay and make me keep paying indefinitely?

A s21 notice is now only 2 months, but it does not end the tenancy and a tenant who refuses to leave will need to be evicted through the courts, which will take many months. A guarantor could therefore be on the hook for the best part of a years rent if the tenant stops paying.

Thanks David, Im happy with that, thats not actually a problem as I keep saying.

The key here isnt how long it would take the LL to get the tenant out, if I could be sure he would evict, the eviction would eventually take place and all would be good. The crux for me is the possibility the LL chooses not to evict comfortable in the knowledge that I will be paying the rental payments. There seems no incentive for the LL to begin eviction proceedings all the while his rents being paid by the guarantor and until he does evict, the guarantor is still on the hook for the rent. If the LL never does evict, that could go on indefinitely. The question is: Is there a mechanism I have at my disposal to either force the LL to start eviction proceedings notwithstanding I’m paying the rent or any other pressure I could exert to encourage him to do so in order that I am not on the hook for years… A question so far only Per has answered and if Per is correct, there is. You seem to suggest he is mistaken. Perhaps you could confirm?

I would not even be a guarantor for a close relative .If their life goes upside down so could yours

Yes indeed but there are other reasons I want to help and somethings are more important than money. Its just I want to limit my exposure and this damn potential pitfall seems to mean I can not. It would be simple if I was only liable for the term of the tenancy but with ASTs they can roll over to monthly after the initial period and go on forever and so could my liability. If I get stung for a years rent so be it, that would be the price for trying to help but it appears there’s nothing to stop the situation going on for years which seems daft to me. I hoped there was a mechanism to prevent the landlord taking advantage of me as guarantor by allowing the situation to go in indefinitely knowing I was liable for the rent. Would be real helpful if anyone who knows for sure could either confirm Pers opinion or confirm they are mistaken as his suggestion sounded like it was the option I needed.

Is it possible to get written into the rental agreement that you will only be a guarantor for a certain length of time? I am no expert so I do not know if this is o k

I was thinking similar if there is no automatic redress, perhaps asking for an addendum to the guarantor terms saying in the event of a claim against the guarantor, the LL must begin eviction proceedings but a limit to the guarantor period would be better which could be renewed each time the tenancy agreement is extended. If I cant establish another way I will try and get this added.

as long as both parties agree this may be the way forward

I must admit that I am slightly bemused by the fact that you that you have this concern but are comfortable with the possibility of having to pay 12 months rent.

I have never been, nor ever used a guarantor, but from what I’ve read, many landlords have to sue the guarantor to get the money, so there isn’t much prospect of the landlord getting complacent. However, as said, your best bet is a limited guarantor agreement. I think the NRLA produce one.

Not sure what there is to be bemused about. The potential cost of the situation I’m concerned about could end up costing a heck of a lot more than a years rent… I am already prepared as prospective guarantor that it could cost me but I want to know there are limits. Im not ok with an open ended situation that could end up costing many years rent.