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I am based in the UK and have a tenant in a property that is not paying their rent. The tenancy agreement was signed in Oct 2020 and there are rent arrears for the last few months.

I have a guarantor agreement signed with the tenant's dad acting as the guarantor where he is liable to pay any unpaid rent.

The tenancy agreement and the guarantor agreement were both signed using a popular online esignature platform, which as far as I have researched, is a perfectly legal and acceptable way to sign a contract.

The guarantor has confirmed the email address to which the guarantor agreement was emailed is his own, personal account.

However, the guarantor is claiming the tenant (his son) has access to his email address and signed the guarantor agreement fraudulently - presumably without his knowledge.

It might be useful to know the guarantor has claimed the son has also fraudulently set up other forms of credit (e.g. payday loans) this way and the guarantor has allegedly filed a report with the police. It is unclear if the tenant still has access to the guarantor's email account.

In this scenario, is the guarantor still liable to pay the unpaid rent arrears? If he successfully claims the documents were signed fraudulently, can he still be liable by means or being complicit or aware of his son's activity, not least by (presumably) seeing the emails coming through after signature over the last 10 months?

Any comments are appreciated

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    "(presumably) seeing the emails coming through after signature over the last 10 months?" This is trivially worked around with a bad actor, via spam filters and the like. More over, even if he was aware, what obligation does he have to report it to you? Imagine the situation where this wasn't his son, but a random individual? I would, however, ask to see a copy of the police report (I work at a financial institution, albeit in the US, where fraud claims are immediately responded to with a request for a copy of the police report; I'd be shocked if the same wasn't also acceptable in the UK).
    – sharur
    Sep 1, 2021 at 15:59
  • Thanks for the feedback. You're right, the emails could be deleted and/or filtered and/or suspected spam. I will try to get a copy of the police report asap Sep 1, 2021 at 16:35
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    It's a minor point, but if you are going for a section 8 eviction (rather than a section 21 "no fault" one), you could add Ground 17 ("The tenant is the person [...] to whom the tenancy was granted and the landlord was induced to grant the tenancy by a false statement") to the list of reasons for eviction (presumably including Ground 8 (non-payment of rent)). Sep 2, 2021 at 10:44

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If the purported guarantor can prove the facts stated then they are not a guarantor

You can rely on the signature and the onus of proving it isn’t theirs on the balance of probabilities rests on the guarantor. However, if they can do that, then they never agreed to be guarantor and you’re out of luck.

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