Do you need a Guarantor to rent student accommodation?

Many student properties in the UK will ask you to provide a guarantor if you want to live there. A Guarantor is someone who is prepared to take on the main responsibilities of your rental contract. The Guarantor will be contacted and required to meet those responsibilities if for some reason you can’t. This will normally include being responsible for any rent payments due.
Why do I need a Guarantor?
In the UK the tenancy agreement or rental contract is, generally speaking, a lengthy and binding agreement. Most student tenancies will last for around 44 weeks and will involve substantial sums of money. For example the total average rent for a house share is £4,000 (£6,000 in London), while you can expect to pay around £6,000 for a hall of residence (£12,000 in London) on average.
In the majority of cases the person who is letting the property to you is going to want to know that you can afford to pay that amount of money. The problem is that for most students there is no real way for landlords or their agents to check your ability to pay. This is because of your age, absence of employment history and for international students a lack of history of living in the UK.
Therefore, in such cases a landlord or agent will ask for someone to guarantee those commitments – the Guarantor. This is the person who will be asked to guarantee the rent and some other of your tenancy commitments, if, for some reason you do not meet those commitments.
Who can be my Guarantor?
Most of the time your Guarantor will need to be an individual that is resident in the UK. Being resident in the UK is important to the person who owns the property because in the event that there are any issues with the Guarantor it will be much easier to resolve those issues from within the UK. This is particularly the case if any legal action is required. Secondly, it is common for the Guarantor to be required to have certain levels of income to ensure that they have their resources to meet those commitments. It may also be a requirement that the Guarantor owns a property in the UK.
What are the alternatives?
If you don’t have access to a UK based Guarantor there are a couple of options. You can try and find a property where a Guarantor is not required – this is possible. Alternatively, the landlord or property owner may ask you to pay your rent in advance. This can be a significant proportion of your rent or all of it. It is common for most Private Halls of Residence to request all of your rent in advance.
The other alternative is to use a company Guarantor. UK Guarantor is an example of a company which you can apply to act as your Guarantor. Broadly speaking, if you apply and are successful UK Guarantor act like any other Guarantor, enabling you to pay your rent in instalments.
Which accommodation will I need a UK Guarantor for?
In the UK most (but not all) privately owned student accommodation will request that you have UK based Guarantor. This includes house shares and private halls of residence. In our last piece of research just over 70% of the accommodation we surveyed required a UK based Guarantor. There are also a couple of private hall operators that do require a Guarantor but that do not need that Guarantor to be UK based. In such accommodation, if you are an international student you can ask your parents or a family member to act for you. If you don’t then your rent will be required in advance.
How to use a company Guarantor.
Using a company Guarantor is similar to using a normal Guarantor, the only difference is that you will need to pay a fee – £299 for UK Guarantor and provide your details. This will normally include proof of identification and your student status. You will also be asked to provide details of a co-signer. This will normally be a parent or family member that can be contacted by the Guarantor company in the event there is any issue with your tenancy. Once you have successfully applied the Guarantor company will issue you with a certificate and inform your property of your successful application.
If you need a UK based guarantor you can apply today here 

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