Having adjusted back into student life following the Christmas break, we’d suggest, if you haven’t already, starting the house hunt for September asap! It’s prime time for student lettings so most agents will have all their student lets on the market by now. Living arrangements are such an important part of student life it’s essential that your happy with your new house mates
DIGS top tips for house hunting!
- Make sure you have a solid group that you know well and you definitely want to live with them
- Don’t rush, have a good think about housemates and financials before you sign
- Don’t give in to pressure, we still have properties left so come in and have a chat with us if you need some advice
Whether in prep for your second or third year at University, starting the process sooner rather than later is key.
But, the good news is that you still have time. And this month we thought we’d tackle the world of guarantor’s and explain all.
What Exactly is a Guarantor?
Usually required for students or individuals with low income, a guarantor is a third part individual such as a parent, relative or family friend who agrees to pay your rent if you are unable to.
Providing a landlord with a measure of financial security is essential to the letting process so it's worth considering your options at this stage if you are not sure what to do.
Requirements of a Guarantor
The guarantor will need to go through the same referencing process as a tenant. However there are a number of stipulations in play including, but not restricted to the following:
- UK resident
- Aged between 25-70 years
- In full-time employment
- UK home owner
- Cannot be financially linked to the borrower (eg, married)
At the application stage of the letting process, the guarantor as standard will need to provide valid proof of residency dated within the last 3 months, and they may be subject to a credit check before any documents are signed.
What happens if I live in Shared Accommodation?
It is particularly common for students to be living in shared accommodation with other tenants under one tenancy agreement; a joint and several tenancy. Where this is the case, a guarantor may be liable for the payment of all rent and not just the share of an individual. We recommend that guarantors have a chance to read the tenancy agreement and check that they are also happy with its terms, the general DIGS contract can be downloaded from the front page of our website to make this easier for you, and we are happy to help with any questions that you may have. Remember, as soon as the agreement is signed the guarantor is bound by its terms.
My guarantor doesn’t want to be liable for everyone else
That’s ok, the guarantor is only required for rental payments, therefore rent can be paid upfront in full prior to the move in date and therefore that individual tenant does not need a guarantor.
The other option is to take out insurance that can reduce the risk of you having to pay other tenants rent arrears meaning you are only liable for your share. We recommend ‘Only My Share’
I don’t have a guarantor?
Not to worry, we let to a lot of students who are unable to provide us with a guarantor. Once again we ask students to pay the rent upfront in full so there is no need for financial security from a third party.
The other option is to use a guarantor service. We accept guarantor certificates from ‘Housing Hand’ a UK based company who will guarantor for anyone. They have a partnership with Bristol University so the cost of the service to UoB students is £225. Outside of this, the fee is based on the rental price of the property. Please contact Housing Hand for more
More Help and Information
The above should help you understand the role and the need for a guarantor when applying to rent a student property. However, if you’re still not clear or have any questions regarding the above do not hesitate to get in touch with the Bristol Digs team of experts by calling us on 0117 930 8750.
You can also find some useful tips and considerations during this process in our blog “10 questions students should ask when moving house”.