If you have been asked to be a Guarantor you are probably a parent or close relative/friend of a student.
A guarantor is someone who agrees to pay for a tenant's rent (and potentially other charges) if they don't/can't pay it.
To be a Guarantor you need to own a home (either on your own or with other people) in England (including the Isle of Wight or Isle of Man), Wales or the Channel Islands. You can have a mortgage on the property and act as a Guarantor.
We're sorry, but if you rent a house, or own a house in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you're not eligible to be a guarantor with us. If you cannot be a guarantor, there is an option to use a company called Housing Hand, you can have a look at what they do and how it works via their website http://www.housinghand.co.uk/ or pay in two instalments.
We will carry out checks using the public Land Registry database to verify that you are the owner of the property. If your details are not shown on the Land Registry database, you will be required to provide further evidence. Read our section on property checks for further details,
We will also check if there are existing county court judgements against your property. The decision to accept or decline you as the Guarantor falls ultimately to our discretion.
What is the Guarantor responsible for?
As the Guarantor, you will be asked to sign a legally binding contract called a Guarantor Agreement. Please take a look at our Sample Guarantor Contract.
If you sign this agreement you are:
- required to cover all rent, bills and charges incurred during the tenancy should the tenant be unable to do so.
- the Guarantor for the entire time the agreement is in effect - even if the tenancy is extended beyond the standard contract length
What happens next?
- The tenant tells CODE you are willing to act as the Guarantor and will provide your contact details.
- The CODE Team will check you are a homeowner in England (including the Isle of Wight or Isle of Man), Wales or the Channel Islands, using the Land Registry and if yes, email the Guarantor Agreement document for you to sign. We ask you send this back, along with a copy of a photo ID i.e. passport or driving licence
- Full details of what to do will be provided on the Guarantor email. It is very important you read this and follow instructions exactly. If you do not, it is likely your documents will be rejected.
- You will also get a log-in to our "Guarantor Portal" via email. If you do not receive this email, please do let us know.
We use the HM Land Registry to find out who owns a property by checking the official deeds for that property . Sometimes, the Land Registry search might fail.
If this happens, we will always contact you by phone. If we are unable to reach you, we will e-mail you. We will do our best to explain why the search has failed and learn how to move the booking forward.
Commonly, a failed search is nothing to worry about and can easily be resolved. Reasons the search might fail include:
- The property isn't listed
A property may not be listed on the Land Registry for several reasons. This does not mean you are unable to act as a guarantor:
If this happens we may ask you to provide alternative proof of ownership such as:
1) a mortgage statement (dated within the last 12 months),
2) title deeds (if the property does not have a mortgage)
3) buildings insurance certificate (dated within the last 12 months).
- Names do not match.
This could be because you recently got married/divorced or use shortened/different names in certain situations. We can talk you through next steps.
- There is more than one name on the Land Registry...
... but only one name was provided by the customer.
If you legally own the house with someone else and they are listed on the Land Registry, we need all parties to agree they will act as guarantors.
- There's an unusual charge identified against the property
If you already have a charge on your property, our General Manager will confirm if you are able to act as a guarantor on this occasion.
Why do you ask for documents like a passport?
We ask for you to supply key documents so we can confirm you own the property and verify your identity.
We ask you to provide proof of identity documents that are recommended by Gov.uk for proofing and verifying an individual. We need to complete identity checks on all parties who own the property.
Because driving licences and passports are more difficult to forge or counterfeit, this helps us to battle identity fraud and reduces the risk that your identity will be misused.
If your Guarantor Agreement has been rejected
Occasionally, we may need to ask you to complete the Guarantor Agreement again. Please do not be offended if we need to do this.
The main reason(s) your Guarantor Agreement may be rejected is because:
- the signature does not match exactly how it appears on the ID.
- not all of the homeowners have accepted the guarantor status - if more than one person owns the property then all owners must all sign.
Because this is a legal requirement, if there is more than one owner we cannot accept just one signature, there are no exceptions to this.
- the document has been edited or doctored in any way - any changes or corrections or updates must be sent through to CODE in order for us to change.
- the document has been printed over two pages. Please ensure it fits on one page. Please contact us if you have any difficulties doing this.
Why have you rejected my signature?
Our team will check your ID and signature. When carrying out this process they will be:
- Checking the signature matches the name of the authorized signee
- Checking the writing style of the signature is the same. This will include looking for characteristics that can be seen by the human eye.
1) geometric shapes (e.g. the shape of circles, swirls or ovals)
2) fragments (e.g. lines or extensions around normal letters)
3) trajectories (e.g. sloping lines or upward/downward strokes)
You may believe you sign documents the same all the time but in reality the time of day, tiredness and different surfaces (on a desk vs. on a notepad for example) can all change your signature. Speed can also be a factor - some people write “slower” and more deliberately when signing important documents.
As such, our team may ask you to complete your signature again to reach an acceptable match. Please remember if we ask you to do this, it is for your own protection and to reduce fraud.
What if I change my mind?
If you have signed a Guarantor agreement and no longer wish to be the guarantor for the tenancy, then the tenant must find someone else to take over the Guarantor's agreement. As the current guarantor, you will still be liable for all payments until this has been done. This is whether or not the person has moved into the room.
What do you do with my data?
We do not keep your personal data for any longer than is necessary in light of the reason(s) for which it was first collected.