The Student Room Group

No guarantor, no co-signer, no student halls, homelessness

I’d love some help on this. I am an estranged student, and there’s no more student halls available. I have no guarantor. I can’t use a service like Housing Hand because you need a co-signer, which is the same thing as a guarantor and I don’t know anyone who is eligible. I told my university about my concerns and they told me there’s nothing they can do to help. I feel like there’s no way out of this situation, help?
Reply 1
Thats pretty poor if the uni has refused to help. Most would in some shape or form. You should name & shame.

Have you considered a private guarantor company. I know they will charge and have no idea how they work but it is an option if you find nothing else.
Original post by Anonymous
I’d love some help on this. I am an estranged student, and there’s no more student halls available. I have no guarantor. I can’t use a service like Housing Hand because you need a co-signer, which is the same thing as a guarantor and I don’t know anyone who is eligible. I told my university about my concerns and they told me there’s nothing they can do to help. I feel like there’s no way out of this situation, help?

Given that we're right at the end of the academic year, the timing of this post is odd. Are you just at the end of first year (when you were staying in halls), and have tried - unsuccessfully - to re-apply for halls next year? And the reason you can't arrange for private accommodation (which is what most students about to enter their second year would have done) is because of the lack of guarantor / co-signer?

You say, "I have no guarantor", but don't actually say that you've been turned away by private landlords due to that fact. Have you? How many landlords have you spoken with? Not every single landlord will require a guarantor (although most will).

Have you offered to pay a higher security deposit, to reduce the landlord's risk? Have your offered to pay for Landlord Rent Guarantee Insurance (also known as Rent Protection Insurance), which would protect them if you fall into arrears?

If you weren't at university, where would you be living? (As an estranged, you clearly wouldn't be living with your parents.) How would you handle you housing situation / guarantor requirement then?

Finally, are you estranged from your whole family - or just your parents? Is there perhaps an aunt, uncle, or grand-parent who could help?
Reply 3
Original post by nutz99
Thats pretty poor if the uni has refused to help. Most would in some shape or form. You should name & shame.
Have you considered a private guarantor company. I know they will charge and have no idea how they work but it is an option if you find nothing else.
i’d name and shame but i don’t want to give away too much personal info 😔

in my original post i spoke about looking at private guarantor companies. they require a co-signer to pay your loan payments, which is the same thing as a guarantor
Reply 4
i’ll respond in bullet points!!

i’m going into second year of uni. in first year i was in halls. i tried applying to halls when the applications opened at the start of 2024. in just 2 hours they were all taken. a few were left, but they were the most expensive halls (10k a year) so i didn’t pick them.

i was not able to get into student halls in the original time slot, so since the start of the year i’ve been religiously checking my accommodation portal for more student accommodation, and have also looked privately. i live in an expensive city in the south, and i have seen lots of properties. i’ve spoken to both letting agencies and private landlords. they all want guarantors, no question. i have seen house shares on websites like facebook, i have had to back out of multiple houses that would’ve been 100% perfect because the landlord and letting agents will not accept anything that is not a guarantor

i haven’t offered the higher deposit! but i unfortunately do not have a lot of money, and i am working two jobs currently but it will not be near enough to pay any sort of rent upfront - how much extra would you be looking at to pay a higher deposit? because if it is still expensive then it defeats the point. but i have offered the rent protection and they still didn’t accept this, their reasoning was “it’s up to the discretion of the landlord” who said no, one of the agents i asked didn’t even know what it was 😭

it’s the summer right now, my contract ends soon, and my partner is letting me stay with them until their contract ends in august as they’re in private accommodation. so i’m not homeless currently

i am estranged from my entire family, and my partners family isn’t willing to help unfortunately

Your experience is terrible. Speak to your student union.

I know some Unis who guarantee accommodation for care experienced and estranged students in their halls, all year round for every year of study. They waive the deposit, too.
Original post by Anonymous
I’d love some help on this. I am an estranged student, and there’s no more student halls available. I have no guarantor. I can’t use a service like Housing Hand because you need a co-signer, which is the same thing as a guarantor and I don’t know anyone who is eligible. I told my university about my concerns and they told me there’s nothing they can do to help. I feel like there’s no way out of this situation, help?
Go speak to the students union, they operate separately from university services and are specifically there to advocate for their students i.e. you.
Original post by Anonymous
I’d love some help on this. I am an estranged student, and there’s no more student halls available. I have no guarantor. I can’t use a service like Housing Hand because you need a co-signer, which is the same thing as a guarantor and I don’t know anyone who is eligible. I told my university about my concerns and they told me there’s nothing they can do to help. I feel like there’s no way out of this situation, help?

Hello, I am not an expert on this but hope I can provide some help on what you could do. I spoke to my colleague here at Exeter who supports our estranged students to see what advice they would give based upon your post. As you have already reached out to your university and they have said they cannot help it might worth trying the Unite Foundation: https://thisisusatuni.org/ They do offer bursaries and support to estranged students (she mentioned deadlines for scholarships have passed but they may be able to provide other advice to support you).

She also highlighted that you can see a list of universities who are committed to supporting estranged students here: https://www.thestandalonepledge.org.uk/champion-institutions I know your university have been unhelpful here, but it could also be challenges with getting through to the right person/department. It might also be worth speaking to your Student Union (I know ours provides support to our current student to find the right support services so may be able to do the same for you too).

I hope that this can be of some help to you. Please do reach out if I can help in any other way. Hoping this enables you to find the support that you need.

Melody
University of Exeter Student Recruitment Team
Original post by nutz99
Thats pretty poor if the uni has refused to help. Most would in some shape or form. You should name & shame.
Have you considered a private guarantor company. I know they will charge and have no idea how they work but it is an option if you find nothing else.

I dunno, is that really a unis responsibility? If student halls aren't available and options such as discretionary/hardship funds have already been used or unavailable, what can they really be expected to do beyond advice?
Original post by Anonymous
I’d love some help on this. I am an estranged student, and there’s no more student halls available. I have no guarantor. I can’t use a service like Housing Hand because you need a co-signer, which is the same thing as a guarantor and I don’t know anyone who is eligible. I told my university about my concerns and they told me there’s nothing they can do to help. I feel like there’s no way out of this situation, help?

I would suggest you urgently reach out to firstly your student union and secondly try to see if your uni has a student success team or similar who support students who are e.g. care experienced, estranged, etc. It may be that unfortunately the people you contacted aren't aware of the resources to support, but there might be some support available in the uni (but that may be less immediately clear), and either group may be better placed to signpost you potentially!

Also as above see what hardship funding there is available that may help you in e.g. offering a higher deposit up front to a landlord.

You may want to look into private student halls available in your uni city, although these also may require a guarantor.

It might also be worth speaking with your local Citizen's Advice Bureau and/or a charity like Shelter who may be able to offer (confidential) advice.

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