Can Guarantor recover money from the guaranteed tenants?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can Guarantor recover money from the guaranteed tenants?

I’ve been asked to be the guarantor of tenancy agreement, and I feel I’m emotionally pushed to do it as my friend is very hard situation and needs help. If the landlord made a claim for unpaid rent, and I pay it, can I recover the money from the guaranteed tenant? How I can protect myself and limit the responsibility as a guarantor?

Asked on January 11, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't recover money frm the tenant *unless* you have a written agreement with the tenant that he/she will repay you any amounts. The guaranty agreement itself is "one way": it obligates you to pay, not anyone to repay you. So you need an agreement with the tenant that he/she will repay you; such a written agreement, signed by the tenant is enforceable against him or her. Of course, that will NOT help if the tenant simply does not have the money to pay--it doesn't matter what you are legally entitled to if there is no money available. It also may not help if your friend "disappears": leaves without letting you know where they are going, since you can't sue someone you can't find. And even if they do have money and you can find them, if they won't pay voluntarly, you will incur the cost and trouble and time of a lawsuit to get your money.
Guarantying the lease (or any major obligation, like, say, a car) for someone in a "very hard situation" often means that you end up paying for them: don't do this unless you are able and willing to be the one paying this lease.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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