If you're planning to rent student accommodation while at university, you'll probably be asked to provide the details of someone who can act as your guarantor. But what exactly does this mean? And why do you need one in the first place? We're breaking everything down to make the process as simple as possible.
What is a guarantor?
A guarantor is someone who will assume responsibility for paying your rent if you fall behind on payments or are no longer able to afford the rent. In this eventuality, the property manager or landlord will still expect to receive the rent, so your guarantor will become legally responsible for continuing the payments. You can't just nominate someone; before they become your guarantor, they will have to agree, sign a legally binding contract, and undergo reference and credit checks.
Who needs a guarantor for student accommodation?
Usually, every student will be required to provide a guarantor, unless you can pay the full year's rent upfront. It doesn't matter if you're a domestic or international student, you will most likely need a guarantor for student accommodation.
Why do students need a guarantor to rent?
Students can be seen as a financial risk for property managers and landlords as they are not in full-time employment. Often students are reliant on maintenance loans to pay for their accommodation. Having a guarantor provides the property manager with some insurance in case you can't make rent for reasons beyond your control.
Who can be a guarantor for student accommodation in the UK?
Usually, your property manager will lay out specific guidelines for who can and can't be your guarantor in your tenancy agreement. This may differ slightly depending on your property manager's preferences.
Your guarantor must be in a secure enough financial position to cover your payments if you can't make them. They will need to undergo referencing and credit checks to establish this. Typically, guarantors are required to be based in the UK so it is easier to run these reference checks, and they can be held liable for payments if you can't make rent.
Most students tend to use their parent, guardian, another relative, or a family friend to be their guarantor.
I'm signing a joint contract. Do we all need a guarantor?
It's very common for students to sign group tenancy contracts when they are sharing a house at university. Usually, you will each be liable for your own share of the rent, and will therefore each need your own guarantor. Be sure to check the wording of your specific tenancy agreement carefully if you aren't sure.
Time to find your next home!
Now you know your legal responsibilities, you're ready to find your perfect student property and get signing! Take a look on the UK's leading student accommodation platform, StuRents.com, to kickstart your search.