Even wealthy tenants being asked for guarantors

Renters earning between £50,000-£74,999 are 82.3% more likely to have been asked to provide a guarantor in 2023 compared to 2020, in signs that landlords have the luxury of being choosy when looking for a tenant.

The research, from rental platform Goodlord, found that 2.68% of tenants in this group were asked for a guarantor, up from 1.47% in 2020.

For those earning £75,000-£100,000 1.72% were asked for a guarantor, 187% more than in 2020, when 0.6% were asked.

Oli Sherlock, managing director of Insurance at Goodlord, said: “Asking for a guarantor used to be very concentrated amongst student tenants and those who, on paper, looked like they may be renting outside of their means.

“The pandemic widened this net and asking a broader demographic of tenants for additional assurances became embedded for many landlords and agents.

“As this analysis shows, the practice has trickled out beyond the ‘traditional’ groups, meaning higher earners are increasingly likely to find themselves providing guarantor details.

“This practice will undoubtedly be frustrating for tenants who easily meet affordability checks. However, landlords have faced four years of intense uncertainty and complex regulatory changes; their desire to seek out additional assurances isn’t illogical.

“A sensibly utilised system of guarantors is a vital feature of any healthy rental market, but agents should caution against excess or unnecessary use of the practice.”

Overall, 17.7% of all tenants were asked to provide a guarantor in 2020 compared to 18.4% in 2023, a modest increase of just under 4%.

Renters who are under 30 – who make up over 55% of the renting population – are nearly 8% more likely to be asked to provide a guarantor today compared to 2020, even if they are a high earner.

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