How to handle rent arrears when guarantor has passed away?

How to handle rent arrears when guarantor has passed away?

9:20 AM, 12th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago 10

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Hi all, not too sure how to proceed with this tenant, the tenant has paid rent regularly for about 1.5 years late at times but never ridiculously late.

The tenant has not paid rent for either January or February because their father passed away in tragic circumstances, I let it slide for a while but the tenant has still not paid, the tenant’s father was a guarantor for the rent but obviously, I can’t go to him to ask for payment.

Has anyone had this type of experience happen to them and what’s the best way forward with this tenant? I’ve contacted the tenant’s sister who said she’s not handled the death well but she would pay the arrears towards the end of this month, is this just a delay tactic?

Any help/advice would be good thanks.

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Graham Bowcock

10:31 AM, 12th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

The tenant's sister has no liability to you. You cannot pursue her for the arrears. If she offers/agrees to pay then that's a bonus.

Unless the guarantee agreement says different, it will have expired when the guarantor died.

Chris Rattew

10:44 AM, 12th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

I would see what their situation is. It may be a case of collecting payment when the tenant has the money. We had one tenant who paid the January and later rent in November, after leaving the flat in the June. We have another who left in June and is still paying us the arrears. These are tenants who were/are doing their best to clear their debts, so you need to make a judgement on that.

Darren Peters

11:21 AM, 12th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

I suppose the legal question is, does guarantorship end upon death of the guarantor or does the responsibility pass to the Estate.

Alltaf Samji

12:59 PM, 12th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Hi, I'm pulling these excerpts from the following:

"The distinction here is that notice of the guarantor's death will bring the guarantee to an end at the time of that notice, meaning that there will be no further liability, but any liability which existed prior to the notice, will remain."

"If you are a landlord that is seeking a guarantee for a new tenant, then thought should be given to ensure that the guarantee remains enforceable upon death of the guarantor. Furthermore, if you have received notice of a guarantor’s death, you should carefully consider whether that guarantee is now at an end and whether a new guarantee ought to be obtained."

Reluctant Landlord

13:56 PM, 12th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

as I understand it if the guarantor dies then clearly that's that - agreement ends. The chances of you getting another seem slim so perhaps formally write to the tenant, explain you are sorry to hear of his fathers passing and that you understand that is why the rent for Jan & Feb made be late as a result, but the fact remains that the rent is now overdue. Explain you are willing to meet him at the property to discuss the situation in person.

Perhaps offer to write off any interest payments (even if you have no intention of adding them on anyway!) as long as the last 2 months are paid in X days (try 7 or 10?) and that March payment is made on time as expected.

Forget the sister - she has no obligation to pay you and you dont want to be accused of hassling her.


14:14 PM, 12th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Alltaf Samji at 12/02/2024 - 12:59Absolutely, the debt is an unsecured liability of the estate and the executor of any will or an intestate administrator is obliged to discharge debt before any distribution to other beneficiaries.

Seething Landlord

14:21 PM, 12th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

My interpretation of the post is that the sister has said that the tenant will pay at the end of the month, not that she, the sister, will pay. If that is correct, you can only wait and see if it happens.

Judith Wordsworth

8:04 AM, 17th February 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Why isn’t the rent on a standing order if you are not running your rental business as an Ltd company, (which could have DDs for the rental payments?)

Whilst the property is part of your business be as compassionate as you can. It should hopefully pay off and see rent payments reinstated without accusations of your just being a greedy uncaring landlord.


13:51 PM, 17th February 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Ask the tenant to put another guarantor in place. They probably won't have one. But ask anyway.


18:15 PM, 18th February 2024, About 2 weeks ago

The death does not release the 'guarantor' as his/her estate will still be liable for any debts (good luck in getting that). You need the tenant to find another guarantor (good luck in that). You won't be able to get shut of the tenant unless they are 2 months in arrears. In practical terms you are stuck with it until the tenant is 2 months in arrears. S8 clauses won't work for loss of guarantor as the magistrate will look sympathetically on the tenant.

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