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I signed a tenancy 3 days ago: I went into the agent's office and they sent me an email with an online form which contained the tenancy agreement. The form asked for a guarantor; I phoned one of my parents, x, and they agreed to be a guarantor, so I put their name and email address on the form and gave my electronic signature.

Before I was handed the keys and moved in (as the tenancy was signed the day before I collected the keys due to me having to pay rent upfront via bank transfer), the agency sent an email to x asking for their details and presumably an e signature (I told x they would require a signature prior to putting x's name down). However, x decided to "leave it floating" and has not given details. We have had an argument today, and hence I don't see x giving details. As it stands, it is my understanding that x is not legally bound to any agreement and thus isn't actually a guarantor assuming that they lie about agreeing to be the guarantor, as in a court of law it would be my word against theirs.

The agency wouldn't give me the keys before I paid the first month's rent. So why would they not require the details and signatue of the guarantor first also before handing over keys? I am now living in the property and have moved in my posessions. Where do I stand legally? Just incase it helps, I reside in England. Also, I don't have any other potential guarantors. The tenancy does not mention anything about a guarantor but it was a mandatory field on the form, which needed to be completed in order for the agreement to be signed, and the agent said it wouldn't be possible for me to rent without one.

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It sounds like you already have an agreement. They might like to have a guarantor, but if the agreement already exists then its too late for them to insist.

  • Similarly, if x is already a guarantor, they can't pull out. – Dale M Oct 14 '16 at 21:26
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It seems to me that your providing a guarantor (and on a strict interpretation, x as guarantor) may well be a term of the contract. If so and if you do not provide one they could seek remedies including terminating the contract and charging you for the rent they lose while looking for another tenant.

However, in most jurisdictions, residential tenancy law is highly regulated and common law principles may have been modified: usually to give the tenant more rights.

  • That sounds right. However, why would they give me keys and let me move in before having a signature? They wouldn't give me the keys before I paid the first month's rent. So why would they not require the details and sig of guarantor first also? – Refractor Oct 14 '16 at 22:05
  • Because they wanted to? They don't have to wait for you to fulfill your contractual obligations before fulfilling theirs. – Dale M Oct 14 '16 at 23:44
  • Giving the keys and allowing entry prior to actual signature is also a demonstration of good faith. They assumed you would do the same, by providing a guarantor among other things. – Nij Oct 15 '16 at 2:39
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    Providing the name is f someone not willing to be a guarantor is not providing a guarantor. You can put my name up if you like : I won't do it either. – Dale M Oct 16 '16 at 2:40
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    @Refractor and now, before.becoming the guarantor, they have changed their mind. Since you have no contract with x, they are perfectly entitled to do so. However, you do have a contract with the landlord, one that requires you to provide a guarantor. – Dale M Oct 16 '16 at 19:23
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You moved in. In most countries, this gives you significant rights. It will take the landlord some effort to remove you. In the UK, for example, the landlord would have to take you to court, tell the court how you damaged them, and if the court agrees that the damage is more important then your right to not be homeless then you will be ordered to move out. As long as you pay your rent, there is no damage. I would think that it is practically impossible in the UK to be removed from your home if the only reason is that you didn't supply a guarantor.

A guarantor is doing you a huge favour. Personally, I will never, ever be a guarantor for anybody because it's a recipe for disaster. That potential guarantor in the end didn't sign, but you still moved in. Do you really want to start an argument with that person? Or even an argument in a court of law? I don't know who the guarantor is, parents, sibling, a good friend, your boss. In either case, starting an argument with them will hurt you more than them.

  • I take it you don't have children that will need to rent while at university? They will (in England) be homeless unless they can find a guarantor. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Aug 2 '18 at 15:41

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