Virtually all landlords and agents will require prospective tenants to provide a guarantor before creating a new tenancy or licence and it is highly unlikely that they will not do this without a guarantor.
Why do landlords ask for guarantors?
Landlords always want to protect themselves when it comes to ensuring their income, this is why they ask for a guarantor. Many landlords will have a mortgage on their property and need the monthly rent to cover their outgoing payments.
If a landlord decides that they want to pursue money from the student outside of the scheme, their only option is to take students to the County Court.
The solution to all of this is for landlords is to secure a second person (guarantor) who is also hopefully solvent and who will agree to be liable for any costs owed at any point under the agreement. This enables landlords to chase two people who are committed to pay and can be pursued to court ultimately when the tenant is thought to have defaulted on their obligations.
Who can be my guarantor?
A parent or legal guardian can make for a suitable guarantor, but the most important thing is that your landlord sees them as acceptable.
Your guarantor has to agree to pay your rent and debts if you are not able to, it is essential that they understand fully what they are signing up for.
They are likely to talk to you about the seriousness of you doing everything possible to ensure that you meet your responsibilities and will expect you to behave responsibly.
Guarantors and joint contracts
Most students are asked to sign a joint tenancy with others (and therefore all of the group are legally liable for all of the rent.
under the contract even if in reality, everyone pays a share), So a guarantor should only be asked to meet your obligations.
It is important to check the wording of the agreement before your guarantor signs, if you are unsure about anything, get some legal advice from your University or Students’ Union adviser.
What if I don’t have a guarantor?
If you do not have a guarantor, it is unlikely that a landlord will accept you as a tenant. There are a number of things to consider if you are really struggling to find someone:
You could walk away from the property and hope that there is a landlord or agent who will accept you with no guarantor.
Or you could look at paying your entire rent bill all up front as one payment, some larger agents will accept this.
Alternatively, you could use a private company to act as a guarantor but be aware that not all of the companies offering this service are of a good quality so be careful before you pay or agree to anything.
What will happen if I default on my payments?
If you miss your rent payment, expect the landlord to chase you and then move on to chasing your guarantor. They are likely to write to you and telephone you to speak in person.
Beyond this point, things may get a little more formal, this could include:
- Formal proceedings through County Court
- Landlords claiming additional costs on top of the charges outstanding
- Landlord may retain your deposit through the protection scheme
If you are having financial difficulties, always talk to your landlord or agents about what’s happening.
We suggest you negotiate with your landlord and work towards a possible payment plan.
For further information on how to manage your cash visit our budgeting tips for students page