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If I Pay Rent as Guarantor, Can I Claim Against Tenant?

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I am acting as Guarantor on a rented property for someone who is now in serious rent arrears, to the tune of almost £3k.


If I pay this off, does anyone know if can I then make a claim (small claims court maybe?) against them in order to try and get the money back?


If so, has anyone done it?

How easy is it?

What power does the court have to compel the tenant to pay me?




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No. because legally you accepted full responsibility to pay the bill. In effect, the debt is yours as well as the debtors.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..



If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks


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:madgrin: yep

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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:madgrin: yep



Yes, absolutely. Even if there is no express agreement, there must be an implied term that if the guarantee is called upon, then the protected person (I don't have the language full of this) will reimburse/indemnify the guarantor.


I think you would simply sue on the basis of the contract. I can imagine that the tenant might turn around and say that there was no contract or no written agreement – but I can't imagine that a judge would go along with this. I would say that your chances of getting a judgement are extremely high. Your chances of managing to execute any judgement might be much lower if the tenant doesn't have any money or if you are unable to locate him/her or any assets

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you can sue but if they cant afford their rent how can they afford to pay you back?


The court can decide that you are owed the money

but powers to force them to pay you are limited.


What would you say if for example were ordered to repay the £3k at £5 per month?


you need to let the LL know that when the assured tenancy period is up you wont be acting as a guarantor for any renewal or you could find yourself having this hang over you for a long time.

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I agree with the previous.

The guarantor can seek to recover their loses from the non-paying tenant (as ‘an indemnity’).


Yet, “being able to seek to recover” isn’t the same as “being able to recover”!

The LL has sought a guarantor because they are worried it won’t be easy to recover from the tenant. What makes the guarantor think they'd have any more luck?.

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Thanks all. My gut feeling was that it was a pretty strong case, but I couldn't be sure.


I understand that there is little chance of actually getting the money back, especially since they are self-employed and will no doubt produce accounts that show that they don't earn more than minimum wage.


I'm getting the impression that I'll have to accept whatever they offer, but at least they'll have to acknowledge their responsibility for the debt.

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Sometimes you might want to pursue a claim and get a CCJ even if in financial terms it appears to be throwing good money after bad.


To show a debtor that they can't just give you a metaphorical two-fingers and wander off with no consequences,

especially when it's a personal guarantee that presumably you gave in a spirit of friendship and got no tangible reward for.


A CCJ could make life difficult for them, especially if a self employed small trader.

  • Haha 1
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I lent some money to a “friend”....

when it came time to pay it back

I was hit with a constant stream of excuses and subtle threats to blackmail/embarrass me if I didn’t stop demanding it be repaid.


I gave him a total of three years to come up with the principal....

eventually I served him and it was only when the CCJ appeared on his credit file that he took it seriously and repaid me.


I took control of the situation and made it about me, not him.


The OP may indeed feel better going this way. I know I did.


*I didn’t get all my money back as he claimed to be skint but we settled on a Tomlin Order and he honoured it.

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Thanks again all.


There is a slight wrinkle that has come up today.


Although I thought I was acting as Guarantor for one individual,

as it was they who were credit-checked and were supposedly paying the rent,

there are two names on the contract in addition to mine as Guarantor.


Speaking to the estate agent today, they inform me that we are all "jointly and severally liable".


Does this make any difference to my position,

and my intention to pursue only one of the other named individuals

(i.e. the one that was credit-checked and is working).


The other name on the contract was never intended to pay the rent and was/is not working.

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so when did you sign it, before or after the tenants?

did you sign a blank bit of paper?


as you acted as a guarantor for the person you agreed with then they are the one you will chase.


the LL can chase any or all of you,

you are not obliged to chase anyone but can pick and choose with the 2 people you are apparently acting for.

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The contract says that the contract is between the LL, the tenants (two parties, one I might wish to pursue and another) and myself as guarantor.


The party I wish to pursue is named as "lead tenant" on the contract and was the one that I filled in the relevant forms to guarantor for. We all signed the contract together, but it was my assumption (I know, I know!) that I had only guaranteed one person.


I wonder if I'm splitting hairs here and perhaps it makes no real difference?

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You need to look carefully at the lease to see if you guaranteed one tenant or both of them but I suspect it makes little practical difference.


If the contract makes the two tenants jointly liable for the rent the LL can go after either of them for the full amount.

So if you only guaranteed one of them the person you guaranteed can be liable to LL for full amount.


You have guaranteed him not just for his notional 'share' but for whatever amounts he is liable to pay to the LL under the lease.

And if that's 100% of the rent then you have guaranteed 100% of the rent.

That's why agent says you are all jointly and severally liable for unpaid rent.


But if the guarantee is written so that you expressly guarantee both tenants the practical difference it might make is whether you should name both tenants in any action to recover the money in the small claims court. I don't know the answer to that.


This issue came up when by son was at university and was house sharing with 5 other students.

Letting agents invariably required each of the students to have a guarantor (always in practice their parents).


We realised that potentially our son could be the pursued for the entire rent and then we could end up in effect guaranteeing all 6 of the students even though we had no idea who the other 5 were!


Fortunately the guarantor wording in that case was not a blanket one.

We only guaranteed our son's one-sixth share of the rent (the university housing office were involved in the process somewhere).

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Thank you Ethel Street.


My situation is not entirely dissimilar to yours, in that one of the parties is my daughter so obviously I would not want to pursue her for the money.


But I take your point that there is no concept of a "share" of the rent, all parties are liable for 100% of the rent.


In a way this helps, as the other party cannot then reasonably argue that they don't owe the full amount should I wish to pursue them for it.

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