If renting to students, how can I guarantee rent payment?

Question from Eileen Jacob updated on 3rd September 2009:

Parental rent guarantee for student - I am looking at letting a property to a group of full-time students whose parents will be helping them to pay the rent. As the students do not have the ability to pay the rent independently, especially in terms of being severally liable, I would like one or more of the parents to guarantee the rent. Do you recommend I ask the parents to be co-tenants or to sign rent guarantee forms, or is there another option?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

A landlord can only hold the tenants named on the tenancy agreement responsible for the tenancy, including for payment of rent. Where the tenancy agreement is breached and the parties cannot resolve the matter between them, the landlord can only apply to the Tenancy Tribunal in respect of the tenants named on the tenancy agreement.

Whether a Tenancy Tribunal order could be issued against individuals (such as the tenants’ parents) who are named as tenants but who do not reside in the premises would need to be determined by a Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator, taking into account the circumstances of a particular case. A landlord cannot apply to the Tenancy Tribunal against the tenants’ guarantors.

For information about whether a Tenancy Tribunal order establishing a debt can be enforced against a guarantor, I recommend you seek advice from your local community law centre. To discuss your situation further, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.



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