Some housing contracts, particularly those for students, require renters to have a guarantor. This person will be responsible if the tenants cannot pay their rent or for any damages they cause that are not covered by the deposit.

This also applies to joint tenants who are responsible not only for their own rent obligations and arrears, but also for those of their flatmates.

Stephen Small warns parents acting as guarantors of the possible risks of joint rent contracts and encourages those who have not yet signed their children's contract to ensure all sharers have their own guarantors before agreeing to do so.

'My housemate disappeared, leaving me to pay up': the dangers of joint rental contracts is available to read on the Telegraph website via subscription. 

Stephen is a partner in the property and housing litigation team. He acts for both landlords and tenants, advising on all aspects of commercial, residential and mixed use property related disputes. He advises on all property litigation matters, including recovering possession of residential and commercial property, right of way disputes, disputes arising out of guarantee agreements, the application of legislation relating to houses in multiple occupation, service charge and rent arrears collection and tenancy deposit protection requirements.