How to Secure a UK Guarantor
A guarantor is almost always required by letting agents when a tenant moves into a house. It is an individual who supplies a guarantee that the rent will be paid on time, with the guarantor making up any extra costs if the tenant can’t pay.
A landlord, letting agency or online property agent will ask for a guarantor if they believe you not being able to pay the rent could be a substantial risk. Common circumstances for this are if you are a student or if you’ve not lived in rented accommodation before. For foreign students studying in the UK, a guarantor is almost always required. You also may require one if you are in a low income job or unemployed.
If you have bene asked to be a guarantor, it may seem like an easy job, but it comes with very real, defined responsibility – not to mention a financial cost if you’re asked to make up the rent. Also, a guarantor may be called on if there is substantial damage to a property or if a landlord incurs legal fees. In student accommodation, guarantors are also responsible for every person in the house, not just the individual they are backing.
Can I Be a Guarantor?
A guarantor must be based in the UK and is often a parent or family member. However, friends can also fill the role. Just be aware that you both need to have a very trustworthy relationship as you are entering into a binding financial agreement, with the guarantor responsible for any financial costs a tenant may incur and not be able to pay. What may start out as a friend helping another friend, could well turn into a financial hurricane.
A guarantor will also be subject to a letting agency or landlord credit check which can have an impact of their credit score. Of course, if it’s discovered that the guarantor has not passed, they will not be able to enter into the role.
Finding a Guarantor
As stated above, most students and young renters look to their parents as guarantors, or family members who are financially stable. However, some people don’t have this luxury. If you’re an overseas student without any family based in the UK, don’t worry, there are still options.
There are several companies out there who will act as a guarantor for you. But, this does come at a price, which usually clocks in at around £250. You’ll also need proof the you are student as well as photographic identification – a passport and a letter of acceptance to your place of study will do fine.
Graduates and those in employment can also use these services. All you will need is a letter from your employer as well as pay slips which show that your monthly wages are 2.5 times more than your rent.
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