Here is a question to the blog clinic from Victoria who is a tenant
I have rented a property on an agreed short-hold tenancy for 12 months with my mother as guarantor.
At the end of the twelve months the landlord offered me another 12 months on an agreed short-hold tenancy at a increased rent. I wrote back and agreed and requested they send me the agreement.
I have not signed the agreement and I have written to give one months notice to quit. My landlord says that I am bound into the new agreement even though I have not signed it and that my mother is also still bound as guarantor.
Am I still liable? Is my mother still liable as guarantor?
1. Are you liable as tenant?
There are arguments both ways and if it was something being decided by a court it would probably depend on the precise wording you used in your letter.
Your landlord will probably say that your letter would constitute agreement to the new tenancy. However I think it is more likely that a court would treat this as part of ongoing negotiations for a new tenancy as you asked for the tenancy agreement.
So as you did not sign the tenancy agreement and gave notice instead, your landlord is going to find it hard to make out a case for your being bound for a further fixed term.
2. Is your Mother liable as guarantor?
This is a lot easier to answer. Your Mother cannot be liable as guarantor (assuming she has not signed any further documentation) as the new tenancy was to be at a higher rent.
There is a general rule which says that a change in the terms of a tenancy will automatically end a guarantee and a guarantor’s liability unless they sign a new guarantee form.
Because the the tenancy with the changed term is not what they agreed to as guarantor in their guarantee deed.
So if your Mother signed up as guarantor for your tenancy at a rent of £X her liability will automatically end if the rent goes up to £Y.