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Question

England | Start of a Tenancy (England) | Tenant References and Guarantors (England)

Tenant/guarantors reference checks.

4 Feb 2021 | 1 comment

I’ve done a check on a new prospective tenant. All good and the report gives a figure for what the tenant should be earning in order to afford the tenancy.

The problem is that the tenant is on Universal Credit and cannot tell me how much they will get until they actually move as they have just sold their house after a family split.

I’d like to request a guarantor, and the tenant has someone who is willing to do this. My question is, when I check the guarantor what right do I have to ask them for proof of income, and how do I know they can actually afford it and don’t have all their disposable income already tied up with other financial commitments?

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    It is perfectly acceptable to ask a guarantor for proof of income such as a payslip within the last 3 months for example (although often guarantors might be older so retired).

    You could in theory ask for bank statements from the guarantor to get a feel for income and outgoings but that doesn’t feel comfortable and might upset them. That being said, there’s no rule preventing you from asking if you wish.

    What we do in all cases (irrespective of the tenant circumstances) is ask for a guarantor who is a home owner. If they’re not a home owner we don’t accept them. But, if they are, we are also not as concerned about their income.

    You can easily check home ownership here which costs £3.00 (and you should check because many lie about this thinking you won’t check).

    If the name(s) match the land registry, that’s usually enough for us when letting our own personal properties.

    This isn’t an absolute guarantee of getting money (just because they own a home doesn’t mean they could afford to pay the rent) but in around 20 years of only letting with a home owning guarantor, we’ve had very little trouble and even if we didn’t get paid, the guarantor has usually intervened meaning the tenant leaves without the need for a court order. That being said, there are always exceptions!

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