As a rule, I would not recommend having a guarantor on a lease agreement. If the person taking possession does not have sufficient credit, it is best to find a different applicant.
Requirements for Guarantors
If you do choose to have a guarantor, this person:
- Should reside in close proximity to the premises. Attempting to enforce contractual rights on a guarantor living out of the State of California, would be very difficult. Even if you obtain a judgment against this individual, collection in another state would be very costly and would have dubious results.
The next issue to consider is how long is the guarantor responsible, when there is a breach of contract with the tenant? Most courts hold that if you sign a one-year lease, then the guarantor is only responsible for that first year. If the lease converts to a month-to-month tenancy, the guarantor would not be held liable if the tenant fails to pay the rent. It is permissible to include a provision in the rental agreement that the guarantor will be held responsible, until such times that all the occupants have vacated, and the tenancy is terminated.
It should be noted that if you do bring an eviction action against your tenant, the guarantor cannot be included. An unlawful detainer action is only applicable to those persons that are unlawfully detaining the premises. This clearly is not the case with a guarantor. This would require that you file a separate suit against the guarantor to be compensated, adding to the cost to collect.
For these reasons it is best to choose an applicant that has sufficient credit so as to avoid additional lawsuits against the guarantor.
Dennis Block, of Dennis P. Block & Associates can be reached for information on landlord/tenant law or evictions at any of the following offices: Los Angeles: 323.938.2868, Encino: 818.986.3147, Inglewood: 310.673.2996, Long Beach: 310.434.5000, Ventura: 805.653.7264, Pasadena: 626.798.1014, Orange: 714.634.8232, San Diego: 619.481.5423 or by visiting www.evict123.com. Now, you can also read Dennis Block on Twitter, www.twitter.com/dennisblock or text him at (818) 570-1557. “Landlord Tenant Radio Weekly Podcasts can be heard at any time at www.EVICT123.com or download the app “EVICT123”.