Would you ask for Guarantor?

I am in the process of carrying out comprehensive reference checks on a young couple who are looking to rent my property. There are no CCJs etc and they meet the affordabability criteria.

However, they have both been living with family up to now and so this would be their first time renting. As such, they cannot provide a previous landlord reference. In the past I have found this to be quite useful as it confirms the dates that tenants would have rented their previous property and informs me of any issues (late payment of rent, damage to property and so on).

I am looking for guidance from other LLs, would you be asking for a guarantor?

If you were able to obtain rent guarantee insurance, would you still insist on a guarantor?

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Personally, I don’t see the necessity for any individual to be their guarantor if you are able to obtain rent guarantee insurance. For me it is more important that they have secure (not on probation) employment and the affordability criteria is comfortably met. Presuming that you are letting unfurnished, first time renters will also need additional funds for furniture and other household items etc. The other consideration is how they came across when you met them at the viewing. It’s tough out there for prospective tenants. They should be treating it like a job interview and be trying to convince you they can take care of their financial responsibilities and look after the place.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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Thanks Chris. As you know, much like prospective employees, at the time of an ‘interview’, people say and do the right things. However, after moving in, they do not perform well and/or act differently.

That being said, I am also leaning towards no guarantor (providing I can secure RGI). Thankfully the tenants are well within the affordability criteria and I usually only sign for six months initially so I feel I am taking a calculated risk.

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Chris

Good for you, giving the youngsters a chance as they are often disadvantaged by not having any history.

Hope it goes well.

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We have also rented a place to a young couple who never rented before. We just received our second rental amount. So far so good. We didn’t ask for guarantor.

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Make sure the referencing process can tie them to that address. This is often what tenants say when theyve left a rental property with arrears.

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This is a very valid point I myself discovered previously.

Tenant had not paid previous LL up until notice and claimed he had lived at home (“mum” verified). Luckily caught out by some checks.

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I will propose that the the tenants provide a guarantor.

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Sadly,I did give a young couple a chance. The finances were fine when they moved in and they were very keen and seemed excited and mature. I kept the rent well below the market value as I though they were perhaps saving for their own place. We had regular contact and, three years on, after a turbulent few months where I learned they had separated explaining the delay in rent payments and the reason they were behind. We amicably agreed an end of tenancy date and I arrived with inventory ready for standard wear and tear. Amongst other damage I found carpets ripped up, rooms that dogs had been left in unattended for hours each day with floorboards saturated with dog urine and worse. There are large holes in the floors and doors have holes punched through. There is other damage - not to mention the smell. The carpets and paintwork were new when tenancy started and after the structural damage is repaired, the carpets will need replacing and paintwork re-done. Their split resulted in devastating damage to my house as they were obviously not mature enough to cope.
I wouldn’t hesitate to let to a young couple again but I would take out the landlord insurance, make more regular checks on the property and see falling behind with the rent as a massive red flag and act sooner rather than be overly kind and understanding.

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I would not rent to youngers again Not mature enough Young couples spliting up is a high percentage

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I have just refurbished a property after a year of a young couple. They never put any heating on, when I complained to them they called me rude, they have left, the kitchen and the whole property was sodden with damp and mould. New kitchen, new windows, bath floor renewed, al walls mouldy and its not a damp flat but a modern cavity wall with insulation. a full refurb £10K. Young people have no respect get a guarantor. It no point suing them they have nothing, another lesson learned

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Landlord insurance is mostly worthless, works on a per claim basis with an excess. Forget any thoughts of having insurance pay to have property put back to how it was once tenants leave.

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Sorry to say Caroline25, but I think you need to up your game. Charging below market rent as a favour to the tenants tells them immediately you are a soft touch and not business-like. Also what happened at all your quarterly inspections. Did you not notice the state of the place then? Are you suing the tenants for the damage? Did you have a detailed inventory/condition report and photos at the start of the tenancy?

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Hi David122
Yes I did have a detailed inventory/condition report with photographs. I hold my hands up that this last year I relied on the condition report from my Gas engineer who made a couple of visits as I live some distance away. Holding the rent low as the rental value increased was a decision I made based on the fact that the tenants were on quite a low income and were settled and that pricing them out would involve finding new tenants and the property probably being empty for a period of time whilst it was re-painted etc. so any increase would be off set by these factors. You are right though David, I do need to up my game and not be so naive, ensure I do my own tenancy checks and charge current market rates. We learn by experience.

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Agreed. You are quite right. Landlord Insurance is worthless. It’s you risk as a landlord and you must underwrite that risk personally.
The only way to minimise the risk is to vet and meet the potential tenants personally and get street smart on the information provided.
Remove the emotion and just look at the objective facts.
You must do the due diligence yourself.
Credit checks are potentially of some use but they are right down at the bottom of the list of things that you must do yourself.
If you have no other option than to accept a void, then do that or you will almost certainly regret it.

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Thats how i will treat it like a job interview lol first impressions do count how u come across dress sense loke i said first impressions do count

Just out of interests how lomg have you been on this community this website u seem 2 b on here quite a lot n u do give out good advice :+1:

U seem to know what u r talking bout n u seem 2 give out the vital important info

You need to protect yourself, Up the rent to cover the policy in case you have a problem. That way you’re giving him a chance and you’re covering yourself.

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Ok thanks brain7 well my budget is £700 bills included or not include