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Recouping rent arrears after tenant has left

Hi there, my tenant has recently left my property after not paying any rent for 4 months through covid. She initially promised to pay back the arrears however she has since vacated and is no longer responding to texts, calls or emails. I also found a lot of debt collection letters in the house after she has left so I am not confident she will do as she’s promised and pay me back. There is a guarantor on her tenancy agreement but he is now saying he doesn’t feel he should have to pay. The fixed term on the agreement was up so it was onto a rolling contract. Can anyone give any advice on whether it’s worth me pursuing this through solicitors and courts? She owes £3k in arrears plus she has left the house a mess. Thanks in advance

Go for the guarrantor and if neccesary send in baliffs

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Yes I have contacted the guarantor who has said he doesn’t think he should have to pay so my next step is to send him a solicitors letter as I don’t have a forwarding address for the tenant. Do you think the fact the tenancy had gone to a rolling contract will matter?

that i dont know Maybe ask a legal eagle

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If she owes the arrears don’t see how that will affect that’s the tenancy is now periodic.
This happened to a LL friend. The guarantor put up a lot of arguments and excuses, lots of court cases and stress but eventually the guarantor was ordered to pay.
Tenant must have left, in what she was standing up in, as left the property overflowing with belongings including two rabbits. The LL had to get house clearance in but kept the rabbits!

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I might be wrong but my understanding is that a guarantor signs only for the term of the tenancy. I have two dss tenants who have a guarantor and when their term ended I got them along with their guarantor to sign a new contract ensuring that if the tenants went into arrears I was covered. It’s probably good practice for all landlords to do this if they have tenants with guarantors.

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Hi. I didn’t know that and one to remember. I hope you are wrong as you could then start a claim.

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If the guarrantor only signs for the term of the tenancy then it would be prudent to write into the contract that if it goes on to a periodic tenancy the guarrantor is still liable and all sign to that effect. As it would be no good if after 6 months the guarrantors guarrantee “runs out” and the tenant stays !

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http://www.maxwellhodge.co.uk/how-long-is-the-guarantor-of-a-tenancy-liable-for/

For those this affects, I’ve just found this info online. Apparently the guarantor is liable for the length of the tenancy … even if that rolls over past the 6 or 12 month agreement. The guarantor is liable until either the tenant or the landlord ends the tenancy. They are also liable for the court and solicitors costs. :+1:t2:

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nice one Claire I like it

Consider what you would be prepared to accept. Given all the hassle and stress pursuing a claim, and that getting 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing, I’d suggest you write to the guarantor informing them you would be prepared accept a percentage of the outstanding balance in full and final settlement on condition monies are relieved in full within x number of days. Explain, as the guarantor, they are responsible for the debt and you will commence proceedings to recover ALL costs associated with recovery if the debt is not settled by a specified date, and remind them of the potential consequences that may arise such as a CCJ and how it may affect their credit score. I’d also suggest your offer should be without prejudice. Just as a precaution, because in the event it does go to court they could argue you were prepared to settle for less.

PS, I note one poster suggested, because it has elapsed into a periodic tenancy, the guarantor is no longer on the hook. My understanding is they are. It does depend upon the wording, but if the guarantor has accepted liability under the tenancy agreement, this will extend beyond the end date. However, irrespective of the potential issue, this is more about brinkmanship, so you will not be testing their liability at this stage.

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