A guarantor is a person who agrees to meet the terms of a tenancy agreement in the event that the tenant is not able to meet it themselves. It serves as a layer of security for the landlord who might view the tenant as high risk and so would need more assurance. Consequently, the guarantor serves as a surety in the deed. A tenant is said to be high risk when it is not seen that they do not have good credit or a constant source of income to cover payment of rent without hitch. Therefore, a student without a good job renting a house would be considered high risk. That is why a discussion of guarantors in tenancy nearly always involves students. However, the economic situation in the UK, and the world generally, has placed far more people at high risk.
But, if the issue of guarantors is centered on students, it means that the guarantors are often their parents, grandparents or stepparents, who are seen to be in a position to honour the surety. Landlords are always very particular about the people they accept as guarantors for the tenants, because such a person would be responsible for paying rent arrears if they pile up for too long, and for damages and overall violation of the terms of the tenancy agreement.
It is important for anyone about to act as a guarantor to have a full understanding of what is involved. For those acting as guarantors for their children, it is easy because they understand their child’s character and financial situation. So, they are less likely to run into any surprise. However, in cases of joint tenancy where two or more students are renting a house, it can get tricky. Serving as a guarantor for your child in a joint tenancy means guaranteeing for the other tenants in the event that those others damage anything, you are responsible for it if they aren’t able to come up with the payment.
To be able to serve as a guarantor in a tenancy agreement, one has to own one’s own house which the landlord will hold charge of in the event that both you and the tenant are not able to come up with the rent. Basically, the guarantor should have a better credit history than the tenant and a stable source of income. To determine this, the landlord is free to run the same kind of background checks they are required to run on the tenants on the guarantors.