Here’s a scenario we see a few times each year: –

Your child is at University and, as a parent/guarantor, you want them to make decisions, and that often includes deciding where they are going to live for the next year. Generally, you’re not there when the decision to take the flat is made, and then, when you gently quiz them about it, you realise that you’re looking for answers to a lot of questions they didn’t ask! Not only that, but your child may not even have seen the flat – it may have been one of their flatmates, and the flatmates are scattered to the four winds!

Take heart. You’re not alone.

We see this from time to time; guarantors may not be terribly comfortable with some decisions that have been taken.  The best advice I can give is to get involved as early as possible. There is limited value in taking an interest when the lease has been signed. It’s very frustrating to be left in the dark, but these three suggestions might be worth considering:

  1. Get pictures of the property from the viewer and look at them as soon as possible. Make sure that the viewer takes a lot of photos of the property at the viewing. Agents shouldn’t object to this.  Videos are fine, but pictures taken from the doorway and corners of the room will give a clear view of the condition of the entire room.  (It’s what we at Swift do when we are taking a general picture for an inventory).
  2. If you are unhappy about any aspect, pick up the phone to the Agent and talk to them as soon as possible asking if changes can be made. Be aware that the answer may be in the negative, especially if the difference is merely one of personal preference, e.g. you don’t like the chairs, even though they are perfectly serviceable.
  3. Make sure everyone communicates with each other. As the Agent answers questions, circulate the answers so that all tenants and guarantors are up to date.  A lot of time can be wasted if everyone phones independently looking for the same answers and, to be honest, it can get a bit confusing as to who we are talking to.

It bears repeating that there can be up to six tenants in a property and, if they are scattered around the world, a group phone app between tenants and guarantors may be the easiest way of keeping up to date while getting everything finalised. What you really don’t want is the Lease signing being held up.  We’re often on a tight schedule using email, and ours can be circulated to 12 people (tenants and guarantors), which makes for quite a bit of organising!

We’ll be adding more posts on this subject, but please contact me, or Lucy,, in the meantime if you need any help or information about being a guarantor.

Written by Anne Sellar, August 2019