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leannedon@hotmail.com
26-11-2010, 23:37 PM
Hello forum,

I am hoping some of you may be able to advise me what I should do in this situation.

My tenant who lives with her partner & baby wants to leave 3 months early. She is separating from her partner and he wants to take on the lease. The tenancy agreement is in her name only. He works part time and attends college. He assures me if I give him a new agreement in his name that college will subsidise his rent. I have asked about a guarantor and he says his parents will have no problem acting for him. They have already offered to help him with the rent and other expenses. I am quite keen to let to him as they have been good tenants and I have also met the parents who initially paid the deposit.

Can anyone foresee any problems if I agree to this? I would like to draw up an agreement for 3 months initially to see if he feels he can manage all the expenses on his own. Is this possible or must the agreement be 6 months?

Does anyone know where I would find a good guarantor letter to copy for the parents?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Leanne

theartfullodger
27-11-2010, 09:14 AM
Hmmn two main areas I think... (Assuming tenancy is a SAT and you served an AT5 & can prove you served and AT5 before the tenancy started... -if not is ain't a SAT it's an AT...)...

a) Guarantor: Dunno this area, the only thing I could find that I would trust is this
http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/getadvice/information_for_landlords/dealing_with_deposits

Guarantors' agreements

An alternative to deposits is to use a guarantor; this is where a third party agrees to take on liabilities arising from some one's tenancy. Guarantors stand surety. This means that they guarantee rent payments and other tenancy obligations. A guarantor pays the landlord the rent if the tenant defaults, and pays the landlord losses, expenses or damages where the tenant fails to carry out his obligations under the lease

If you decide to ask for or accept a guarantor rather than a deposit you should make sure that the guarantor understands the responsibility they are taking on. You should outline the nature of the guarantee arrangement in a letter or written contract, for example:

'This guarantor agreement creates a binding legal contract. If you do not fully understand the nature of the agreement, then it is recommended that you take independent legal advice before signing.'

Within the agreement you should set a limit for liability. The contract should be signed by both landlord and guarantor at least seven days in advance.

You may wish to extend contract for another fixed term if you renew the original fixed term lease.

- which says at the bottom - written by John Blackwood. Blackwood, excellent chap, assuming he's the same one, is Director of Scottish Association of Landlords..
http://www.scottishlandlords.com/
and I would trust his views on the matter. I would regarding this whole matter suggest you ask SaL: If not already a member, join (£90, tax deductible) , then ask SaL.

I did find this...
www.napier.ac.uk/napierlife/.../Guarantor%20Form%202010-2011.pdf
The thing about Guarantor forms is, will the stand up in court?? (Which is why I'd want advice rather than just take one I found on't t'InterWeb...)

b) This concerns I think ending the existing tenancy & starting a new one....
i) To end the existing one either you need the tenant to give notice to quit..
and/or you need to give NTQ, AT6 & S33 notices...
SaL & landlordaccrediationscotland (also worth doing their excellent courses..) appear - to me - adamant that in such circumstances the Landlord should go through the whole NTQ/AT6 & S33 notice processes (at least 2 months notice..) and then start a new tenancy. The ending by a Landlord of a tenancy seems an area of some confusion & I believe the Scottish Government are considering clarifying what should be done. See here for some guidance..
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/housing/leaflets/atsy-03.asp
but during this time of uncertainty I'd serve AT6, NTQ & S33 notice just-in-case. e.g I have a situation where joint tenants are splitting up, one has written giving notice & saying the other will leave also (I believe them, I've written back accepting their notice) but just in case either does not leave I will also be serving NTQ, AT6 & S33 notice. Note under
Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907 ............. (Schedule1, s34.8
These notices are only valid if served by Sheriff's officers or Recorded-signed-for mail. Nothing else!! (If it ever gets to court..).
- also, ask SaL for guidance on this matter.
ii) Where parents and babies are concerned I always try to tread carefully (no offence)..

Cheers!

Artful

leannedon@hotmail.com
27-11-2010, 11:47 AM
Thank you very much for your detailed reply. The tenancy is a SAT, I served the AT5 before the agreement was signed. I have my own signed copy proving this.

I have read the articles from the links you posted and will follow your advice. I am meeting the couple plus the mother who will be guarantor today to try and come to an agreement that suits us all. I will report back with any outcome.

Many thanks again.

Leanne

theartfullodger
29-11-2010, 16:37 PM
See also this guide to ending a tenancy..
www.edinburghlandlordaccreditation.co.uk/.../Letwise_Guide_to_Ending_A_Tenancy.pdf

And another guarantor form & advice re. guarantors in this list of V useful stuff ...
http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/downloads/926/landlords-advice_and_support

leannedon@hotmail.com
30-11-2010, 08:35 AM
Thank you for those links once again Artful. That is the guarantor letter I used. With it being so near to Christmas I felt it would be difficult to find a new tenant and I really didn't want things to turn sour if I told her she had to see out her contract. This seems like the best solution. We signed everything on saturday, hopefully it will all go well. I trust this young man and his parents. Also the situation is that the couple both hope the split is only temporary so in time she may well move back into the property with him.

Thanks again for all your helpful advice.