Do not have anyone to be a guarantor for my student accommodation, what do i do? Watch

~ Aquamarine ~
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Hi, i am in my first year and currently living in halls. I have just been looking at houses with other flatmates and discovered that i will need a guarantor to sign a contract to say they will pay in case i am not able to.

The problem is that my mum is not working as she is on benefits and my dad is divorced and lives and works abroad so he is not eligible either.
I don't really know anybody who works full time or who would agree to sign such a contract. What happens now? What about international students who have no family in the UK, how are they able to rent student houses?

I'm just worried and a bit panicking since all my friends parents work so is fine for them, but is just me who is going to have problems when it comes to signing for a house. Has anybody else been in the same situation?
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cheshiremum
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I would ask your student union - I know at UCL they have a guarantee system to help in some circumstances (including overseas students, as you say) - your Uni might have something similar. Sometimes landlords will do without a guarantor if you can pay rent upfront, but often they want 6 months in advance - if you have a student account offering a generous interest free overdraft that might be an option (depending on your share of the rent). Lots of students are in the same position as you, so don't panic. Sorry I don't have a definitive answer, but if you don't get anything really helpful here, do ask your student union.
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Roving Fish
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My family used my aunt as a guarantor. Any family member - it's not like you won't be able to pay rent, is it?

Also worth looking into uni/SU schemes for this kinda thing - nice post cheshiremum
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duduuu
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Im an international student and usually, the house agents asked me to pay 6 months upfront without a guarantor. That was in coventry by the way.
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agoodstudent
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I have had this problem. Dispite being well off my parent's credit rating is shot and they could not be guarantor. Chances are you'll have to cough up a large amount of rent before they will let you move in. Which isn't to bad a idea as you can't go spending it on alcohol.

In the end my godmother was my guarantor. it can be anyone, but understandably there's got to be some trust there. Best of luck with your problem.
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Josb
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Does this #~¤µ! rule also apply to EU students? even those with a scholarship? :dontknow:
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agoodstudent
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Yes. Unless the scholarship gets you into halls. which i don't think it will.
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Josb
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(Original post by agoodstudent)
Yes. Unless the scholarship gets you into halls. which i don't think it will.
But I would have the money to pay with a scholarship, why would they still ask to have a guarantor? :confused:
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jelly1000
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(Original post by Josb)
But I would have the money to pay with a scholarship, why would they still ask to have a guarantor? :confused:
Because they don't know that you will use the scholarship money to pay, for all they know you could spend it all on booze and not be able to afford the rent.
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Josb
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(Original post by jelly1000)
Because they don't know that you will use the scholarship money to pay, for all they know you could spend it all on booze and not be able to afford the rent.
So why don't they ask a guarantor for British students? They are far more likely to spend the money on booze.

Scholarships are only given to the brightest so it's unlikely to happen.

I mean is it in the Law that foreign students have to pay the whole year upfront or find a guarantor? or is it just a despicable practice?
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jelly1000
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(Original post by Josb)
So why don't they ask a guarantor for British students? They are far more likely to spend the money on booze.

Scholarships are only given to the brightest so it's unlikely to happen.

I mean is it in the Law that foreign students have to pay the whole year upfront or find a guarantor? or is it just a despicable practice?
Most landlords do, but most british people have someone living in the UK who can be their guarantor. It's not the law no, but landlords have mortgages to pay so they need to be sure they will get the money
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Josb
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(Original post by jelly1000)
Most landlords do, but most british people have someone living in the UK who can be their guarantor. It's not the law no, but landlords have mortgages to pay so they need to be sure they will get the money
So it's possible to negotiate?
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marple
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(Original post by Josb)
So why don't they ask a guarantor for British students? They are far more likely to spend the money on booze.

Scholarships are only given to the brightest so it's unlikely to happen.

I mean is it in the Law that foreign students have to pay the whole year upfront or find a guarantor? or is it just a despicable practice?
dear me you need an attitude check.

British students are no more likely to spend the money on booze, and securing a scholarship is no guarantee of a decent attitude /responsible approach.

British students are routinely asked to provide guarantor. Landlords, like most of the real world look at risk and hard cash, not someone's view of themself.
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Josb
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(Original post by marple)
dear me you need an attitude check.

British students are no more likely to spend the money on booze, and securing a scholarship is no guarantee of a decent attitude /responsible approach.

British students are routinely asked to provide guarantor. Landlords, like most of the real world look at risk and hard cash, not someone's view of themself.
Well British students have quite a reputation abroad.
Scholarship holders are asked to tell their advancements in their study, so they have to work and technically they are employees of the university/research centre.
What I don't understand is why do they ask to pay for the whole year? In France, we pay monthly and stay as long as we pay.
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marple
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You should be prepared to judge for yourself if you are going to study here.
It is offensive and simplistic to make such a blanket judgement.

Private landlords will typically expect students to sign up to a 12 month contract and they will take steps to ensure that the rent will be covered for that 12 month period. It has nothing to do with nationality, they are simply looking for an alternative source if the tenant is unable to pay. Renting for one month at a time is much less common , in the UK and tends to be at a higher rate.
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LiquidGold
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As some others had said, you'll most likely have to pay 6 months rent in advance.
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Josb
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(Original post by marple)
You should be prepared to judge for yourself if you are going to study here.
It is offensive and simplistic to make such a blanket judgement.

Private landlords will typically expect students to sign up to a 12 month contract and they will take steps to ensure that the rent will be covered for that 12 month period. It has nothing to do with nationality, they are simply looking for an alternative source if the tenant is unable to pay. Renting for one month at a time is much less common , in the UK and tends to be at a higher rate.
OK thanks. Sorry if I offended you - I was joking :rolleyes:
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marple
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(Original post by Josb)
OK thanks. Sorry if I offended you - I was joking :rolleyes:
No problem. I was tired and had a bit on a sense of humour failure.

I think you asked if it is possible to negotiate with landlords. That depends on where you study. If there is a shortage of student accommodation private landlords do not need to be flexible and most of them won't. The problem is that students are viewed as higher risk - they may drop out / mismanage their money / not look after the property and even the "good" ones tend to be short term so landlords try to protect their own position by asking for guarantors and/or significant payment up front.

It's also worth pointing out that if you rent a private house with 2 or 3 friends many contracts are set up so that you are all liable for each other - so if one housemate drops out the others will be responsible for his/her share of the rent unless they can find a replacement. If you are in university accommodation you are spared those problems.
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SlowlorisIncognito
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(Original post by Josb)
But I would have the money to pay with a scholarship, why would they still ask to have a guarantor? :confused:
Most landlords will want you to be earning 3x your monthly rent before they will be willing not to have a guarantor. If you are only just about able to pay your rent, like most students in the UK, they will worry that if you have an emergency one month, you won't be able to pay.

The reason for this is that UK rental laws, unlike in the rest of Europe, are a mess. They don't protect tenants from bad landlords, but they also don't really protect landlords from tenants who don't pay or trash the house. If a tenant doesn't pay and they are on an AST (like most students) it's not easy for a landlord to evict them, and the court process can take months. During this period, the landlord still has to pay their mortgage and all their other costs.

Tenants on a low, fixed income, like students, are obviously a high risk of non-payment, so landlords like to have some sort of back up, usually a guarantor, but there are ways around this- such as paying 6 months rent upfront.

Many landlords also have conditions imposed on them by their mortgage or their insurance, so the decision may have effectively been taken out of their hands.
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Josb
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(Original post by marple)
No problem. I was tired and had a bit on a sense of humour failure.

I think you asked if it is possible to negotiate with landlords. That depends on where you study. If there is a shortage of student accommodation private landlords do not need to be flexible and most of them won't. The problem is that students are viewed as higher risk - they may drop out / mismanage their money / not look after the property and even the "good" ones tend to be short term so landlords try to protect their own position by asking for guarantors and/or significant payment up front.

It's also worth pointing out that if you rent a private house with 2 or 3 friends many contracts are set up so that you are all liable for each other - so if one housemate drops out the others will be responsible for his/her share of the rent unless they can find a replacement. If you are in university accommodation you are spared those problems.
(Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
Most landlords will want you to be earning 3x your monthly rent before they will be willing not to have a guarantor. If you are only just about able to pay your rent, like most students in the UK, they will worry that if you have an emergency one month, you won't be able to pay.

The reason for this is that UK rental laws, unlike in the rest of Europe, are a mess. They don't protect tenants from bad landlords, but they also don't really protect landlords from tenants who don't pay or trash the house. If a tenant doesn't pay and they are on an AST (like most students) it's not easy for a landlord to evict them, and the court process can take months. During this period, the landlord still has to pay their mortgage and all their other costs.

Tenants on a low, fixed income, like students, are obviously a high risk of non-payment, so landlords like to have some sort of back up, usually a guarantor, but there are ways around this- such as paying 6 months rent upfront.

Many landlords also have conditions imposed on them by their mortgage or their insurance, so the decision may have effectively been taken out of their hands.
Thanks, that make sense.
I just hope that I won't be considered as a 18yo brat blowing daddy's money/student loan on booze if I have a scholarship for a PhD at a prestigious university.
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