What Is a Guarantor Agreement?

A guarantor agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and a guarantor, typically a close relative or friend of the tenant. In this agreement, the guarantor agrees to cover the tenant’s rental obligations if they are unable to fulfil them.

This provides additional security for the landlord, giving them peace of mind that they will receive rent even if the tenant defaults. Guarantor agreements are a common requirement in London’s competitive rental market, particularly for tenants with limited rental history or those who are self-employed with fluctuating income.

Why Do Tenants Need a Guarantor?

Landlords that let out properties in London’s rental market often request guarantor agreements to mitigate risk and ensure financial security. Here is why a guarantor can sometimes be essential for securing your tenancy:

  • Risk Management: From the landlord’s perspective, a guarantor acts as a safety net. If a tenant is unable to pay rent on time or in full, the guarantor becomes legally responsible for covering those costs. This provides peace of mind for the landlord and helps ensure a steady income stream for their property.
  • Limited Rental History: Landlords may view tenants with a short or non-existent rental history as a higher risk. A guarantor with a strong financial standing can alleviate these concerns by demonstrating additional security for the rental payments.
  • Financial Resources: If your income falls below a certain threshold compared to the rent amount, a guarantor can bridge the gap and reassure the landlord of your ability to meet your financial obligations. This can be particularly helpful for self-employed individuals whose income might fluctuate throughout the year.


Understanding these reasons can help you better prepare for the possibility of needing a guarantor in your London rental search. Having a guarantor lined up beforehand can strengthen your application and position you as a reliable tenant.

Understanding Your Responsibilities as a Tenant

While a guarantor agreement offers security for the landlord, it is crucial to remember that your responsibilities as a tenant remain paramount. Here is what you need to fulfil your obligations and avoid placing unnecessary strain on your guarantor:

  • Timely Rent Payments: This is the most critical aspect. Your guarantor is only brought into the picture if you fail to pay rent on time and in full, as outlined in the tenancy agreement. Make rent a priority to ensure a smooth tenancy and avoid potential legal action against yourself and your guarantor.
  • Maintaining the Property: The tenancy agreement will detail your responsibilities for maintaining the property. This typically includes general wear and tear but excludes any damage caused by negligence or misuse. Upholding these standards ensures a comfortable living environment and protects the landlord’s investment. Additionally, some agreements may hold the tenant liable for repairs due to neglect, which could ultimately fall on the guarantor.
  • Adherence to the Tenancy Agreement: The tenancy agreement outlines the rights and responsibilities of both you and the landlord. This includes details like subletting, pet allowances, and noise restrictions. Following these terms prevents disputes and ensures a harmonious tenancy for everyone involved.


By fulfilling these core responsibilities, you demonstrate your commitment to the tenancy and reduce the chance of your guarantor needing to step in to cover your rent. Remember, a guarantor is there for unforeseen circumstances, not to replace your financial obligations. Open communication with your landlord can also help address any issues proactively and avoid potential complications.

Selecting a Suitable Guarantor

Finding the right guarantor is an essential step in securing your London flat. Here is how to choose someone who can genuinely support your tenancy:

  • Financial Stability: Your guarantor should have a demonstrably stable income that significantly exceeds the monthly rent. This ensures they have the financial capacity to cover your rent if needed. Typically, landlords look for guarantors who earn at least twice the monthly rent.
  • Creditworthiness: A guarantor with a good credit history reassures the landlord of their financial responsibility. Encourage your guarantor to check their credit report and address any discrepancies beforehand.
  • Willingness to Co-sign: Open communication is vital. Discuss the guarantor agreement with your chosen person in detail. Explain their responsibilities and ensure they understand the potential financial implications of co-signing.


Beyond these core considerations, here are some additional tips:

  • Ideally, choose a close relative or friend: Having a personal connection with your guarantor builds trust and understanding.
  • Consider location: If possible, choose a guarantor who resides in the UK. Some landlords may have specific requirements regarding a guarantor’s location.


Always remember that your guarantor is there to support a smooth tenancy and not replace your responsibility to pay rent. By carefully selecting a guarantor who meets the criteria and understands their role, you can strengthen your application and demonstrate your commitment to fulfilling your obligations.


Understanding guarantor agreements is crucial for navigating London’s competitive rental market. By equipping yourself with this knowledge, you can approach your tenancy search with confidence.

Remember, fulfilling your responsibilities as a tenant is critical. This means paying rent on time, maintaining the property in good condition, and adhering to the tenancy agreement.

Choosing a reliable guarantor with strong financial standing further strengthens your application and demonstrates your commitment to a successful tenancy. With this comprehensive guide, you are well-positioned to secure your dream London flat or house and build a positive relationship with your landlord.