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Can these guarantors get their name taken off the lease?

flatHere is a question to the blog clinic from Phil who is a guarantor

We went Guarantors for my daughter and her boyfriends flat on a 6 month lease and we paid the deposit and first 6 months rent.

Now they have to pay the rent the boyfriend is stating he’s not going to pay the rent so we have to.

We want our names off the Lease as guarantors and the deposit back but have been told we cant do nothing to take our names off?

What can we do, the daughter is no longer speaking to us which makes the situation 10 times worse. We now have no chance of removing the obligation and will lose the deposit we paid as when they do move out the deposit will be paid to them.

Is there anyway we can take our names off the lease?

I  cannot really answer this question properly as it will depend rather on how long the fixed term of the tenancy is and the precise wording of the guarantee you have signed.  However here are a few suggestions.

The guarantee

It is highly unlikely that as guarantors you will have the right to cancel the guarantee during the fixed term of the tenancy.  However if the fixed term was six months you may be able to give notice to end it now.  If it was for a year you are stuck with it for a while longer.

Some guarantees purport to hold the guarantor for the whole time the tenants are in the property, if they stay on after the fixed term ends.  I have never been sure how enforceable these are, bearing in mind that if the tenants stay on under a period tenancy, this is actually a new tenancy not a continuable of the old one.

I would suggest that you get out your guarantee deed and read it carefully and then take some legal advice on it.  Without knowing what it says it is impossible to advise on its effect.

Incidentally, if you are forced to pay your daughter and her boyfriend’s rent for them under the guarantee, this should give you the right to claim this money back from them – through the courts if necessary.

However this would not do much for your family relations!  Although I have to say that your daughter and her boyfriend do not seem to be behaving very well.

The deposit

So far as the deposit is concerned, if this was paid by you direct to the landlord or his agent, then you should be registered as the person who provided the deposit and it should be returned to you rather than to the tenants.

In which case, you should check to see if the deposit has been properly protected as if it is not then you can claim for it to be returned and for a penalty for non compliance.

In conclusion:

  • Check the wording of the guarantee document and see what is says
  • If the deposit was paid by you direct to the landlord / agents, check to see if it has  been protected in your name in a statutory scheme.


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One Response to Can these guarantors get their name taken off the lease?

  1. I agree with your view. The deposit should be protected in the Parent’s name provided of course it was received direct from them. If however they first paid it to the daughter who simply deposited it in her name with the agent/landlord, then its highly likely the deposit is protected in the daughters name.There won’t be much the parent can do except, as you say, sue their daughter.

    My advice would be for the guarantor to try to work with the agent/landlord to bring the tenancy to a mutually amicable end. No landlord should want a tenancy continuing in this manner whatever the fixed term agreement says. Its in all parties longer term interests to start over.



About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer and specialises in creating products and services which help landlords and letting agents learn and understand landlord & tenant law. For example, she runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 14th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

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Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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