A Tenant's Guide to Lease Guarantees: Why They Matter and How to Negotiate

What you need to know and understand when negotiating your lease guarantee

Lease Guarantee

A Tenant’s Guide to Lease Guarantees

Are you a tenant looking to secure a new lease or renew an existing one? If so, understanding lease guarantees is crucial to protecting your rights and financial security.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the ins and outs of lease guarantees, why they matter, and how you can negotiate the best terms for your situation. Whether you’re a seasoned or a first time tenant, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools to navigate the complexities of lease guarantees confidently.

We’ll delve into the two main types of guarantees, such as personal and bank guarantees, and explain the benefits and risks associated with each. Additionally, we’ll provide practical tips on how to negotiate favourable lease guarantee terms, empowering you to advocate for your best interests.

 By the end of this guide, you’ll have a clear understanding of lease guarantees and be well-prepared to navigate the leasing process with confidence and peace of mind.

What is a lease guarantee?

A lease guarantee is a legally binding contract that provides an additional layer of financial protection for landlords in the event that a tenant fails to meet their obligations under the lease agreement.

In essence, it acts as a promise from a third party, known as the guarantor, to assume responsibility for the tenant’s financial obligations if they are unable to fulfill them. This guarantee ensures that the landlord will receive the rent and any other payments due, even if the tenant defaults or breaches the lease agreement.

Lease guarantees can take various forms, including personal guarantees, corporate guarantees, and bank guarantees. It’s important for tenants to understand the different types of guarantees and their implications before signing a lease.

Why lease guarantees matter for tenants (and their guarantors)

While lease guarantees primarily benefit landlords, they also have implications for tenants. Understanding the significance of lease guarantees can help tenants make informed decisions and protect their rights.

One of the main reasons why lease guarantees matter for tenants is that they can affect the leasing process itself. Landlords often require guarantees as a condition for agreeing to lease a premises, or, to agree to an assignment of lease. 

The nature of the tenant and the bankability of their lease guarantee may influence landlords in deciding who to tenant their premises to.

Without a guarantee, new or smaller tenants may struggle to secure the lease they desire, especially in competitive rental markets.

However, lease guarantees also have financial implications for tenants. In the event of a default or breach of the lease agreement, the guarantor is legally obligated to cover the tenant’s financial obligations.  As the guarantor is usually the shareholder or director of the tenant, the lease guarantee bind’s the tenant’s lease obligations to the guaranteeing shareholder or director.

Types of lease guarantees

Lease guarantees come in different forms, each with its own set of benefits and risks. Understanding the types of guarantees available can help tenants make informed decisions and choose the option that best suits their needs and circumstances.

  1. Personal guarantees: A personal guarantee is the most common type of lease guarantee. It involves an individual, typically the tenant’s shareholder or director, assuming personal liability for the tenant’s financial obligations.
  2. Bank guarantees: A bank guarantee is a form of third-party guarantee where a financial institution, such as a bank, assumes responsibility for the tenant’s financial obligations. In this case, the tenant obtains a letter of credit or a bond from the bank, which the landlord can claim in the event of default. Bank guarantees provide additional security for landlords, as they involve the backing of a reputable financial institution.

The above guarantees can either be unlimited or limited (Bank Guarantees by their nature are often limited) to a specific time period of rent and opex (3 months gross rental) or a specific sum ($50,000 plus GST).

Understanding the risks and responsibilities

While lease guarantees provide a safety net for landlords, tenants should be aware of the risks and responsibilities associated with these agreements. First and foremost, tenants need to understand that lease guarantees create a legal obligation for the guarantor to fulfill the tenant’s financial obligations. If the tenant defaults or breaches the lease agreement, the guarantor may be held liable for any outstanding rent payments, damages, or other costs incurred by the landlord.

Tenants should also consider the potential impact on their relationship with the guarantor. Depending on the nature of the guarantee, the guarantor may have the right to seek reimbursement from the tenant if they have to fulfill their obligations. This can strain personal or business relationships and lead to financial difficulties for the tenant.

To mitigate these risks, it’s crucial for tenants to carefully assess their financial situation and the potential implications of the guarantee before signing a lease. Seeking legal advice and engaging in open and honest communication with the landlord and guarantor can also help clarify expectations and ensure all parties are on the same page.

How to negotiate lease guarantees

The type and nature of guarantee required will depend on factors such as the tenant’s financial standing, the size and nature of the lease, the landlord’s risk tolerance, and the tenant (or their advisor’s) ability to negotiate.


In circa 75% of our negotiated lease transactions we either get the guarantee waived or capped.

Negotiating lease guarantees can be a complex process, but it’s essential for tenants to advocate for their best interests and secure favourable terms. Here are some practical tips to consider when negotiating lease guarantees:

  1. Assess your financial standing: Before entering into lease negotiations, evaluate your financial situation and determine your ability to meet the landlord’s requirements. If you anticipate that a guarantee will be necessary, gather the necessary financial documents and be prepared to demonstrate your creditworthiness and ability to fulfill your obligations.
  2. Offer alternatives: If you have reservations about providing a personal guarantee or if you believe it may be unnecessary, propose alternative solutions that can provide the landlord with the necessary assurance. For example, you could offer a larger security deposit, provide references from previous landlords, or present evidence of a steady income stream.
  3. Negotiate the terms: When discussing lease guarantees with the landlord, be prepared to negotiate the terms. Consider proposing a cap on the guarantor’s liability or a time limit for the guarantee, especially if you anticipate improvements in your financial situation in the future. Remember that negotiations are a give-and-take process, so be open to compromise while still protecting your interests.

Negotiating lease guarantees requires careful consideration and open communication with the landlord. By being proactive and prepared, tenants can strive for a mutually beneficial agreement that protects both parties’ interests.

Alternatives to lease guarantees

While lease guarantees are a common requirement, there may be alternatives available to tenants who wish to avoid or minimise the need for a guarantee. Here are a few alternatives to consider:

1 Security Deposit: Offering a security deposit can provide landlords with an increased level of financial security. This can be particularly effective if you have a strong credit history but prefer not to provide a personal guarantee.

  1. Letters of credit: In some cases, tenants may be able to obtain a letter of credit from their bank or financial institution, which serves as a guarantee for the landlord. The letter of credit demonstrates the tenant’s ability to fulfill their financial obligations, providing the landlord with assurance without requiring a personal or corporate guarantee.
  2. Term Deposit: Depositing a sum of money on Term Deposit with your bank in the join names of the tenant and landlord. In the event of tenant default, the landlord can access the Term Deposit.

It’s important to note that the availability and acceptance of alternatives to lease guarantees may vary depending on the landlord’s requirements, local regulations, and market conditions. Tenants should carefully assess their options and discuss them with the landlord to determine the best approach for their specific situation.

5 tips for protecting yourself as a tenant

While lease guarantees can provide additional security for landlords, tenants should also take steps to protect themselves throughout the leasing process. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Read and understand the lease agreement: Before signing any lease agreement, thoroughly read and understand all the terms and conditions. Pay close attention to clauses related to lease guarantees, default provisions, and any other obligations that may have financial implications.
  2. Seek professional advice: Engaging the services of a property advisor or a solicitor can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected. They can review the lease agreement, explain any provisions, and advise you on the potential risks and implications of the lease guarantee.
  3. Maintain open communication: Establishing clear and open communication with the landlord is crucial throughout the leasing process. Discuss any concerns or questions you may have regarding the lease guarantee and seek clarification if needed. Maintaining a positive and respectful relationship with the landlord can help prevent misunderstandings and potential conflicts in the future.
  4. Document everything: Keep a record of all communications, agreements, and documents related to the lease guarantee. This includes emails, letters, receipts, and any other written or electronic correspondence. These records can serve as evidence in case of disputes or disagreements.
  5. Regularly review your financial situation: Regularly assess your financial situation and ensure that you are capable of meeting your obligations under the lease agreement. If your circumstances change, communicate these changes with the landlord and explore potential modifications to the lease agreement, if necessary.

By following these tips, tenants can protect their rights, minimize risks, and ensure a smoother leasing experience.

Lease Guarantees: Conclusion

Lease guarantees play a significant role in the leasing process, providing landlords with an additional layer of financial security.

As a tenant, understanding lease guarantees and their implications is essential for protecting your rights and making informed decisions. By familiarising yourself with the different types of guarantees, negotiating favourable terms, exploring alternatives, and seeking legal advice when needed, you can navigate the complexities of lease guarantees confidently.

Remember to communicate openly with the landlord, maintain documentation of all agreements, and regularly assess your financial situation to protect your interests. With the knowledge and tools provided in this guide, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the leasing process with confidence and peace of mind.

Share this article to:

Marcus Bosch

Marcus Bosch

Managing Director