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How To Only Pay Your Childs Debt as a Guarantor
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How To Only Pay Your Childs Debt as a Guarantor

Written by Sam | October 4, 2021

When your child goes off to university, they usually live in halls for their first year and they will ask for a guarantor but they will all have separate tenancies for their rooms. This means that if you are asked to be a guarantor then you only guarantee for the person on the tenancy which is likely to be your child.

For their second year, they might move into a house that has a Joint and Several Liability. In short and in my own words, what does this mean?

This means that all the students are under one contract or tenancy and they are equally responsible for the property.

For students:

  • If one student moves out, the others must make up the rent if they don’t pay
  • This will include any damage that has been caused
  • Plus any arrears

For guarantors:

  • You can be liable for the rent of the whole house
  • You can be liable for all the deposits

Because it is Joint and Several, all the students are on one contract and not on their own individual ones. So as guarantors, you aren’t just guaranteeing your child, it’s everyone’s in that house!

Guarantor Example

For example, if there were 5 students paying £100 per week on a 51 week contract and none of them paid for a year, you could owe the agent or landlord £25,500.

Do you have a spare £25k?

Joint and Several Tenancies

I’m not a solicitor but one of the most important factors you need to look at when signing the tenancy agreement and guarantor agreement is what type of tenancy you and your student is on.

If you are just on an individual AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) where you only need to worry about your rent, your deposit and the standard agreements of the tenancy then this is a good sign.

If you are on a joint and several tenancy then this means that students can be liable for rents if one student drops out and then as a guarantor you can be liable for the whole house rent.

This is the point where you need to make sure you are aware of what your responsibilities are. It’s fine making sure your student is accounted for but potentially having to pay for everyone’s rent and/or damages can add up to quite a lot and is not something you want to do.

How Can You Avoid This?

If you want to make sure that you only pay your share of debt (if there is any) there are several ways:

  • Ask for an individual guarantee
  • Search for a provider that has students on individual contracts
  • Buy an insurance option

Letting agents might not accept an individual guarantee, but you can ask them if you can be put on an individual AST and give you an individual guarantor agreement. If this is the case, then keep searching for someone that will allow you to be on an individual AST.