How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71134
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

I am a guarantor niece and her partner and now wish

This answer was rated:

I am a guarantor for my niece and her partner and now wish to be released from this responsibility as I am retired and she is waiting to be rehoused as they are splitting up due to a very abusive relationship.
I learnt recently that the Landlord came away from the Letting Agency some years ago but neither he nor the Agency informed me of this.
They have been there since 2007.
I have tried to contact the Agency for his address because the tenancy finishes on 19th of March and I would need to give one months notice. I have found that they have closed down and that there is no forwarding telephone number - so they appear to have gone out of business.
Can you please let me know where this leaves me and has the contract been broken if neither party have informed me of any change?
Also - please let me know where I stand re the partner once my niece has left.
Thank you
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
When does the contract that you guaranteed end?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
18th March 2016 - but would be renewed again on 19th March 2016
Yes, but there must be an option not to renew?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There is - it's on a six month basis - but because of the situation I have to be careful as my niece would want to go but her partner would not want to go. He is very abusive to her and does not know that she is trying to get out. I don't know what happens in these situations - I live 300 miles away.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I do not want to end up being a guarantor for her partner.
No, of course you don't want to guarantee his occupancy. I wouldn't necessarily accept allegations of abuse at face value if I were you though but that isn't the point. Whoever is to blame for their relationship issues, you don't want to guarantee his tenancy.
If this is an AST that keeps renewing because they sign fresh ones then they need to get guarantees afresh from you for each one. You can just refuse to sign.
If they do not accept that then you can always write to them making clear that you will not guarantee beyond your existing liability although there is no real legal need to do so.
It is probably a good idea to do that whether she leaves or not. Either way, their relationship is not your problem and you don't want to be caught up in the middle of it.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I know he is very abusive because I have seen it for myself on all the occasions that they have come to stay with me and I have always done my very best to stay out of it.
This is not the issue though - it is an assured shorthold tenancy but I have no idea whether they have to sign new ones - the only one that I have ever seen is the one that I signed in 2007 when they first rented the property. Is it a requirement that I am supposed to be asked to guarantee every 6 months? If so then shouldn't the Landlord be sending me the Guarantors agreement every 6 months?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My brother did enquire at another letting agency and was told that I could be liable for the partner if they signed it as a joint tenancy.
Yes, you should be signing new guarantees if you are to be bound by them.
The one in 2007 may purport to renew your guarantee throughout the life of the tenancy but that is not enforceable.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There is a paragraph in the agreement which states " The Guarantor acknowledges and agrees that this guarantee is and at all times continuing security and shall extend to cover the ultimate balance due at any time from the Tenant to the Landlord under or in respect of the agreement and any continuation renewal or variation thereof.
If I have not had any further guarantees to sign from the landlord then does this mean that paragraph only applied for the first six months and that I would not be liable for any damages that may have occurred either -( not that I know whether there are any or not)
Also - do I not need to write to the Landlord to stop being a guarantor?
Yes, so it purports to extend the can always write to them making clear that you will not guarantee beyond your existing liability although there is no real legal need to do so.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry - I think that as I am very tired I am getting a little confused . When you say write to them I am assuming you mean the Landlord - which brings me back to square one because I do not know his address because it was given to me as care of the agency - and the agency has closed down so I can't get it from there. One of the questions I asked at the beginning was does it break the contract if neither the Landlord nor the agency have let me know that he came away from them and did not let me have a forwarding address for him so that I could write to him if I needed to.
As I've said really, you don't need to.
They cannot extend your guarantee for the life of the tenancy agreement unless you sign fresh guarantors.
If there is an AST then the landlords' address of his agents should be upon there if you are intent. Your niece should have a copy. There is no real need though.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you - I do understand now - I apologise for the confusion - as I said - I'm a little tired at the moment.
Thank you for your help
No problem and all the best.
Please remember to rate my answer.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jomo1972’.
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you