Guarantor for rent: how to protect your rental income

Co-signer and guarantor can provide an extra layer of security, ensuring you receive your rental payments on time.


3 minute read
Updated on 19 Mar 2024

Using a guarantor on the lease can be an excellent solution if you're a landlord looking to protect yourself against potential losses and ensure a steady income source. In this article, we'll discuss the role of a guarantor for rent and how they can help you rent out your properties with peace of mind.

You'll learn about:

  • requirements for a guarantor
  • documents you need from a guarantor
  • what to do if a tenant doesn't have a guarantor
  • how a guarantor rental application works
  • differences between a guarantor and co-signer

Who is a guarantor?

A guarantor is someone who legally agrees to pay the rent if the tenant fails to do so. Commonly, a guarantor is a family member or friend of the tenant. But rent guarantor services also provide this support for a fee.

Why do you need a guarantor?

Having a guarantor is useful when your tenant:

  • is a student
  • doesn't have a stable income
  • has no credit or failed the credit check

For instance, some good candidates lack a solid credit history or regular income, making it difficult for them to pass a rental application. In such cases, having a guarantor with a good credit score can help you accept them as tenants.

Moreover, a tenant who can't afford to pay rent or damages your property could lead to missed rents and costly lawsuits. A guarantor on the lease gives you a safety net if something goes wrong.

What are the requirements for a guarantor in the UK?

When setting requirements for a guarantor, you must consider your specific needs as a landlord. One of the critical requirements for a guarantor is that they have the financial means to cover the rent if the tenant defaults. This means that they have a good credit history, along with a sufficient level of income or savings.

It's also advisable that a guarantor is based in the UK. If your tenant and guarantor fail to pay, legal action is more straightforward when they're local.

Who can be a guarantor for renting in the UK?

Your tenant's guarantor can be a close relative or friend who's at least 18 years old. It's important that they have a minimum of 2 years of acquaintance with your tenant and are capable of providing a solid application.

What documents are required from a guarantor in the UK?

The following documents are commonly requested from a guarantor:

  • proof of identity, such as a passport or driver's licence
  • proof of address, such as a utility bill or bank statement
  • proof of income or financial means, such as bank statements or tax returns
  • employment details and recent payslips
  • credit check authorization

What to do if a tenant doesn't have a guarantor?

Securing a rental property for a tenant without a guarantor can be challenging. It's especially difficult for international students without UK-based contacts.

To accept the tenant and secure yourself against rent arrears, you can:

  1. Let the tenant use a UK-based rent guarantor service.

  2. Ask the tenant to pay a larger deposit upfront. This can provide you with some additional security in the event of a default. However, landlords face legal limits on how much deposit they can request.

  3. Relax guarantor requirements for certain tenants, such as international students. Instead, request additional documentation or references. This may include a reference from the tenant's university or employer, proof of their or their parent's income or savings, or a letter from a previous landlord.

What if the guarantor doesn't pay in the UK?

If both tenant and guarantor fail to pay, you may take legal action to recover the rent owed. The guarantor's liability is usually limited to the total rent owed for the remainder of the lease term.

Unfortunately, court suits are pricey. So it's best to avoid these situations by thoroughly screening tenants, requiring a sensible security deposit, and setting clear expectations and communication channels from the beginning of the tenancy.

How does a guarantor rental application work?

When a tenant applies to rent your property, you can ask them to provide a guarantor on the application form. You will then need to verify the guarantor's identity and financial status to ensure they are suitable for the role. This might involve checking their credit score, income, and employment status. If the guarantor meets your requirements, you can add them to the lease agreement.

Whether you accept a rental guarantee or not, HousingAnywhere lets you easily find renters that meet your needs. Use filters to receive relevant booking requests and find the perfect tenants!

What is a co-signer?

In the UK, a co-signer is a person who signs a legal agreement along with the tenant, agreeing to be jointly responsible for meeting the terms of the tenancy agreement.

What is the difference between a guarantor and co-signer?

A guarantor and a co-signer are often used interchangeably but they’re not the same. They’re similar in that both sign the rental agreement and are responsible for rental payments if the tenant cannot pay. They provide landlords with extra security to ensure they receive timely rental payments.

However, a guarantor is typically required when a tenant lacks rental history or has a poor credit score. They don’t live with a tenant.

In contrast, a co-signer is not required but often lives with the tenant and pays half the rent. They may also be required to pay their roommate's share of rent if the roommate cannot pay.

This article is for informational purposes only. Please consult the appropriate authorities for the latest developments or a lawyer for legal advice.

For feedback on this article or other suggestions, please email

Share this article
Read more about renting in United Kingdom
Browse other articles about the renting experience in United Kingdom