When taking a guarantor for a tenancy, it is good advice to ensure the guarantor is a home owner. This way, if the tenant defaults the guarantor can be held liable and ultimately if they are a home owner you can obtain a charging order against land or property they own.

This page offers guidance on obtaining a charging order and in particular guidance on completing form N379.

What is a charging order?

It is an order of the court placing a ‘charge’ on the judgment debtor’s property, such as a house or a piece of land. The charge will be the amount you are owed. The charging order will not normally get you your money immediately, but it may safeguard your money for the future.

If the judgment debtor owns stocks or shares or has a fund or money in court, the court can also put a charge on these in much the same way as on property.

How does it do that?

A charge on a property means that if the property is sold, the charge has usually to be paid first before any of the proceeds of the sale can be given to the judgment debtor. You should note, however, that a charging order does not compel the judgment debtor to sell the property.

If there are already charges on the property when your charge is registered, for example, arising from a mortgage, then that charge will be paid first.

When can I apply for a charging order?

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