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I have a student on an assured shorthold tenancy agreement with his mother as guarantor. He has not paid any rent, I approached the guarantor who says she has not signed anything and have been told in no uncertain terms to leave her alone. The tenant is admant she did sign it.

I am about to initiate a small claim with the tenant as defendant and mother as co defendant. How do I go about determining who is telling the truth and should I list the mother as codefendant. She is already claiming harrasment.

If the tenant signed on her behalf is that not fraud?

I have heard of a similar case where the court directed the defendants to provide a sample of handwriting to an expert to detemine who signed - all at their cost.

Any one got any thought on how to proceed please?

many thanks

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Approaching the named rent guarantor for clarity of a situation is not harrassment and that fact should be pointed out to her.

Somebody clearly is not telling the truth and that fact should be cleared up between the two people concerned.

I would keep it business like and inform all concerned that you are commencing legal action and debt collection against them both for your rent money and may the truth out and of course your rent money.


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LMAO...............harrasssssssment..........i guess she has been watching to much tv.

It is quite simple, write to her advise here that you are taking her to court, and the onus will have to be on her to prove she did not sign it, in the eyes of the judge. If she did not, you will have to advise her that sadly her son may well be arrested for fraud and deception (which he could well be as it would then be a criminal matter)

You will probably find under the circumstances she might be on benefits!!!!!

Just take her to court and dont worry about it..............you have nothing to lose, either he pays or she does, and in my experience................SHE WILL PAY.........................most if not all parents do.............unless of course she hates him that much

Good luck................

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I have heard this situation arise on many occasions so what I'd like to do is just add some tips here for future reference either for yourself or for others who are reading.

When you take a guarantor you want more than just a piece of paper with a signature.

I talk to our many Landlords old and new about 'safety nets' and how important it is to put these in place BEFORE you start handing keys over to ANYONE.

My way of dealing with Guarantors is this.

1) Get THEM to fill in an application form (let's get some info on them as well as the tenant)

2) Reference and credit check the Guarantor as well. (No point in having them if THEY have a poor record)

3) Get them to sign the guarantor form IN FRONT of you (difficult on occasions because certainly with student lets parents can be hundreds of miles away, to overcome this problem get them to send you their ACTUAL passport and /or driving Licence to check the signature against it, photocopy this so you have proof that they match )

If you CAN, always view passports or drivers licence at the time they sign the guarantor form and again take a copy of this.

Some people are loathe to pass over this to you to take away and photocopy so invest in a small portable photocopier (around £175) that you can do it at thier house or the property you are letting.

4) Ensure a Guarantor is a house OWNER and resides in the UK (Check this out on LR online, the BEST £3 you'll spend, at the end of the day if you DO need to claim off the guarantor you want to make sure they have something to sue against! )

5) Try and interview the guarantor at THEIR property and make absolutely sure they understand that if the tenant doesn't pay THEY will have to.

This may sound time consuming and a little costly but of course you can charge a tenant for guarantor references and credit checks but the most important thing here is that you've covered all angles and you'll be glad you did if/when something goes wrong.

It's only Landlords/Agents that don't have these 'safety nets' in place that then experience problems down the road so take the time and do it.

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