Be aware that if you are a student, or are currently unemployed, you are likely to need someone to act as a guarantor in order to rent a property.
If your income is currently uncertain, or is flexible or seasonal, a landlord will require a guarantor who agrees to pay for your rent if needed, giving your landlord reassurance that rent payments won't be missed.
Although each agreement will be specific to your situation, here are some important facts to consider:
- A guarantor is typically a third party such as a parent or close relative.
- Your guarantor should expect to be credit checked, as they will be responsible for any repayments you miss.
- The agreement must be in writing to be legal.
- What is covered by the guarantor agreement will depend upon your landlord and/or agents requirements, so it may include damage to the property.
- If damage is part of the agreement, it’s advisable to show your guarantor exactly what they will be responsible for, too.
- When renting within the UK, be aware that it’s likely the guarantor will need to reside in the UK, too.
- International students without a UK guarantor may be required to pay more rent upfront.
- It’s common for one guarantee to be in place for a joint tenancy, as opposed to just your share or the cost for your room. It may be possible to negotiate with the landlord for a variation to an agreement, meaning the guarantor's liability is confined to only your rent payments or any damage caused by you. But this will depend upon the landlord.
- Many agreements are open-ended in that they refer to liability ‘under this tenancy/agreement’ which means it can cover an extension beyond the fixed term and any variations in the rent.
- Be sure that you fully understand the agreement, and remember to ask questions before signing it.