What is a guarantor and how can they help you rent a property?

When a landlord is looking for a tenant for their rental, there is one thing that is more important to them than anything else: that the tenant will pay their rent on time and in full. 

After all, many landlords are paying a mortgage on the property and if the rent isn’t paid, they need to find another way to cover the cost.

So as a tenant, you can expect to be asked lots of questions to help the landlord assess whether you can pay. If there are any doubts, you may be asked to name a guarantor.

What’s a guarantor?

A guarantor is a named person that the landlord can go to if you’re unable to pay for some reason. They must have UK residency status but can be any nationality. They must also be over the age of 18 and able to supply proof of employment or show long-term savings to cover the term of the tenancy. Guarantors are often a tenant’s parent or another family member, although they don’t have to be – it’s possible for an employer or trusted friend could also be a guarantor.

When do landlords ask for a guarantor?

There are a few situations where the landlord or managing agent is likely to ask for a guarantor, such as your monthly income does not reach the required threshold; if you have just started a new job and are still in your probation period; or if you’re a student. 

A guarantor will often be required if you have failed one or more reference checks. It may be that you have adverse credit or your previous landlord was not positive about you. 

Again, providing a guarantor can mean you’re accepted to rent the property.

What do you need to be aware of?

Having a guarantor doesn’t automatically get you the property. If there are other tenants interested in the house or flat and they pass all the reference checks without a guarantor, the landlord may well choose them over you.

Don’t test your relationships

Also, bear in mind that the guarantor is trusting you not to need their support. If you do run into difficulty and need them to pay, you should make them aware as soon as possible – after all it is better if they hear it from you rather than the landlord or managing agent. 

Financial disagreements can ruin strong relationships, cause family rifts or unhappiness. If you’re worried about covering the rent then we recommend looking for accommodation that’s more suited to your budget.   

Remember that the guarantor is liable for more than just the rent. If there is any damage to the property that you are unable to pay for, your guarantor will get the bill. They could even be liable for legal action if things go very wrong. 

In the vast majority of cases, the guarantor is there as reassurance for the landlord and they never need to get involved. It’s a great way of helping people to find the right home.

Guarantor Key Facts

  • Must have a strong credit history
  • Must be a UK resident
  • Cannot live at new rental property with you
  • Meets the affordability threshold (i.e. must be able to show an annual income of at least
    36 x monthly rent)

For more information about guarantors, call our team on 01733 293900 – we will be happy to help you.