Rent arrears & guarantors

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If rent isn't being paid

Non-payment of rent is stressful for everyone – landlords, tenants and guarantors alike. It can cause financial hardship for the landlord trying to pay off their buy-to-let mortgage. It can push the tenant further into debt. And for the guarantor – the person who’s agreed to pay if the tenant can’t or if the property gets damaged – it means a potential claim that they weren’t expecting.

There are ways to resolve each situation 

Whether you’re a landlord, a tenant or a guarantor, you have options. If a tenant is two months in arrears, landlords have the right, under the Housing Act 1988, to take action to repossess their property. Similarly, tenants struggling to pay rent may be able to get formal help to manage their debt, or they could have grounds to bring a claim against the landlord that offsets any arrears owed. For instance, if they’ve had to spend money on repairs to the property that should have been carried out by the landlord. Guarantors may be able to reduce their liability before they sign an agreement, or be able to argue against a claim brought by a landlord.

How we can help

If you’re a landlord, we can talk you through how you may be able to recover your rent arrears or even evict your tenant. If you’re a tenant, we can explain the steps you need to take to get back on track and steer you towards the help you need. If you’re still negotiating a guarantee agreement, we can help you understand your legal responsibilities as a guarantor and advise you how to limit your liability or argue it no longer exists. We can also explore ways guarantors may be able to defend a claim that’s brought against them. We’ll:

  • listen to what the situation is
  • give you clear guidance on your rights and obligations
  • tell you what your options are
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Meet your experts
Adrian Schwab Sq Adrian Schwab Adrian joined Which? Legal in June 2017 as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. Adrian received his Bachelor in Law degree from the Holborn Law School in 2006.
Catherine Hudson 360X360 Catherine Hudson Catherine is an expert in landlord and tenant law, having worked for a housing charity as a Caseworker for 15 years. See profile
Lawyer Profile Picture 360 360 Sophie Jones Sophie joined Which? in June 2015 specialising in landlord and tenancy as well as other areas. See profile
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