Many agents and Landlords are familiar with guarantors. Where possible guarantors offer some security to Landlords. Should tenants be unable to pay rent, then this will not just accrue. The guarantor will swoop in like Superman to clear them all. Guarantors tend to be people who own property of their own, offering an extra layer of security to the Landlord.
Section 8 Possession Proceedings
The Superman guarantor, however, for many Landlords seems a distant phenomenon. Not for us at Woodstock Legal Services. We have always aimed to ensure open dialogue with tenants and guarantors from the very start of s8 possession proceedings.
When instructed to deal with s8 proceedings the first thing we do is ascertain whether rent is due under the tenancy. If there is a guarantor, we request a guarantor agreement or deed of guarantee. The latter is required where the guarantor is obtained subsequent to any tenancy being entered into.
Along with serving the tenant with the s8 notice, we also serve a copy on the guarantor. This makes the guarantor aware any proceedings being brought against himself and the tenant. But it also opens up lines of communication between us and them. This allows us to try and ascertain whether the guarantor was aware/is able to clear the arrears. Some may ask, well why do this? Because surely trying to secure payment ahead of issuing proceedings relying on ground 8 schedule 2 Housing Act means that we would extinguish the grounds for possession?
The simple answer is that we still have s21s thank goodness! With s21s the Landlord does not need a reason to want their property back. Hence getting payment through the guarantor, and then separately serving and issuing accelerated proceedings means that the Landlord is financially better off. Not only do they have the rent paid back to them, which otherwise they probably wouldn’t have, because the tenant is unable to pay or on benefits, or non-traceable, but it also saves the Landlord the legal costs of a hearing under standard possession proceedings.
This then begs the question of whether this has or does work in practice? Are we really able to secure payment through the guarantor? Well at Woodstock yes we are, and this is exactly what I managed to do, through open communications with the Landlord, tenant and the guarantor. The outcome, the guarantor swooping in like Superman paying off the full arrears and the tenant now looking to vacate very soon. This just goes to show that communication can make a wealth of difference, and guarantors can be an invaluable tool for Landlords.