Many private landlords and letting agents request that a third party acts as a ‘guarantor’ for the rent before they will agree to let a property to a student. This will usually be a parent or a guardian.
Landlords will usually require a UK based guarantor, which can often be a problem for overseas students. UK citizens may also experience difficulties if they don’t have a family support network or their parents earn under the arbitrary threshold set by the agent to act as a guarantor.
If you don’t have anyone who can act as your guarantor in the UK, landlords and letting agents may ask you to pay more rent upfront (generally 6-12 months).
What are my options?
It can be possible to negotiate with your landlord or letting agent regarding the amount of rent to pay upfront. If you have enough income or funding to cover your rent every month and can provide evidence of this, your landlord may be willing to accept a lower amount of rent in advance.
Important to know: Always ensure that your agreement is confirmed in writing.
If you are unable to come to an agreement with the landlord or letting agent, you can continue looking and take accommodation from another provider where they do not require a UK guarantor.
You can also explore the following:
Private guarantor company
Several organisations have been set up to help students without a UK guarantor. You can find qualifying criteria and the terms of service on the guarantor organisation website and check that the agent/landlord will accept this scheme before applying.
Housing Hand and Your Guarantor are two organisations we are aware of that offer a guarantor service to students.
Important to know: We are aware of such companies, but please understand that we do not endorse them.
If you would like to talk to us about your options please contact us and we can provide information and advise you.
All new full-time undergraduate and international postgraduate applicants are guaranteed accommodation in the first year of study if King’s is your firm choice for the next academic year and if you submit your accommodation application by the deadline noted on the Residences webpages.
Private student halls
There are plenty of private student accommodation providers who are not affiliated with a university. Some of these providers may be more flexible with their guarantor requirements.
These tend to be more expensive, so you should consider whether this is something you can realistically afford before signing a contract with them.
One guarantor for joint tenants
Guarantee agreements are often worded to ensure that the Guarantor has liability for covering the full rent. This means that in Joint Tenancies they are guaranteeing the rent for all tenants. If you are signing an agreement with others, you can ask if their guarantor is happy to cover the full rent which may mean that you do not have to provide your own guarantor.
Some agencies will insist on all joint tenants having their own guarantor anyway, but you can try to negotiate this.
If one guarantor is not happy to cover the full rent on a joint tenancy, they will need to check that the wording on their agreement limits their liability to just one share of the rent.