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Private housing guide


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UK based guarantors

When renting accommodation in the UK, it is very common for a landlord or agency to ask for a Guarantor. A guarantor is someone who will guarantee to pay your rent, should you fail to do so.  Normally a guarantor would be a relative or close friend of the tenant, but they do not have to be. 

Guarantors normally need a good credit history and income or savings of a certain amount. A landlord may reject a guarantor if they are retired, live abroad or don’t own their own property. Some landlords will carry out credit checks on the guarantor, some do not.

A guarantor agreement is a legal document and should be checked carefully, alongside the tenancy agreement. It must clearly state when the landlord can ask a guarantor to pay them money, how long the guarantor agreement lasts for and what happens in a joint tenancy.

Joint tenancies are when tenants can be jointly and severally liable for the rent. This means each joint tenant can be held liable for the total amount of rent, not just their share.

A guarantor agreement for a joint tenancy can work in the same way. A guarantor will be liable for every tenant’s rent unless something in the agreement says otherwise.

If there is more than one guarantor, each one should sign the guarantor agreement and agree to any changes. For example; in a shared student house, the landlord might ask parents to guarantee the rent.  Each parent could be held liable for the whole rent unless they negotiate an agreement which states they only have to cover their child’s share.

If you do not have someone who can act as a guarantor for you, you may still be able to rent the property if you pay the some or all the rent in advance, or if you use a guarantor company. There are several companies that offer a guarantor service.

If you do not have a UK based Guarantor, there are different companies who provide a guarantor service you may wish to consider using. 

There are several companies who offer the service, however, we are aware that some students have used the following sites:

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Further advice about guarantors can be found on Shelter’s website.

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