What is a Guarantor?
A guarantor is a third party, like a parent or relative, who undertakes to pay rent on your behalf if you don't pay it. Your landlord can take legal action to recover unpaid rent from your guarantor. Landlords typically require UK based guarantors, as it is easier for them to take legal action if required.
Students who don’t have a UK based guarantor may be asked to pay rent in advance which is typically between 6-12 months.
What is the University of Surrey Guarantor Scheme?
This scheme has been devised by the University to help students who are unable to secure private rented accommodation because they don’t have a UK based guarantor.
The University will act as a Guarantor for the successful students who will be required to sign a guarantor agreement. Also, the University will sign a guarantor agreement with the landlord, to confirm the conditions of the guarantee.
What is the purpose of the scheme?
The scheme has been introduced to make private rented sector accommodation more accessible to students who do not have access to a UK based guarantor.
What does the Guarantee Cover?
The guarantee only covers the proportion of rent payment for the individual student and not the rent for the whole property.
How does the Guarantor Scheme work?
- The University is trialling the Guarantor Scheme with 50 students, with a consideration to open it up for more students after the trial period.
- The applications will be processed on a first come first serve basis and the maximum number of applications is 100, after which the applications will be closed.
- The scheme will be run by Student Money Team in Student Services Centre
- Students interested will be required to complete an application form and submit requested evidence
- The Student Money team will assess each application against eligibility criteria
- Successful applicants will be contacted by Student Money team and required to pay £60 administration fee (including VAT).
- Successful applicants will be required to sign a Student Guarantor Agreement with the University and ask their landlord to sign the University of Surrey Landlord Guarantor Agreement
- The University will provide a signed copy of the University of Surrey Landlord Guarantor Agreement that the student can provide to the Landlord.The Landlord Guarantor agreement is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
When will the Guarantor Scheme open for applications
The scheme opened on Thursday 30th June 2016 and takes applications on an ongoing basis.
Am I Eligible?
Students who meet the following criteria will be eligible to apply:
- Returning students (first year students are not eligible, except for those who had their foundation year with the University and lived on campus)
- Full time and enrolled with the University for the duration of the tenancy.
- No debt to the University
- Satisfactory accommodation reference
- Evidence of funding to maintain the rent payments
- Satisfactory tutor and warden reference to confirm academic engagement and ‘clear disciplinary record’ of living in halls (or satisfactory references from landlords)
- Rent must be up to a maximum amount of £700 per calendar month
- Must not have access to a UK based guarantor. The scheme is to be used as a last resort, therefore only students who don’t have a UK based guarantor will be eligible to apply
What happens if I’m not eligible?
If you’re not eligible to apply to the scheme, you have the following options:
- Negotiate advance rent payment with landlord (this can be between 3-6 months advance rent payment)
- Consider renting from a resident landlords, as they are usually more flexible and they don’t typically require a UK based guarantor
- There are companies who provide guarantor services, like Housing hand, UK Guarantor
How do I apply?
To apply, please contact email@example.com or on 01483 68 68 68 to arrange a short appointment with a Student Money and Housing Adviser. If you prefer to arrange an appointment in person please visit the Student Information Desk located in Student Services Centre.
How/when do I repay any rent to the University?
Any rent payments the University makes on students’ behalf as a result of students defaulting on their rent must be paid within 7 days from the date the University makes the payment to the Landlord.
Repayments can be made:
- Via the Online Store: using a credit/debit card - Online payment
- In person or by phone: using cash/credit/debit card – at Cashiers Office, Floor 1 Senate House, Tel: 01483682101
- If you are unable to make the repayment by the due date, please contact Student Money Team on firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Not Covered?
This guarantee is limited to payment of rent arrears within the dates of the term, therefore, the University will not under any circumstances be liable for payment of monies for:
- Default interest for non-payment
- Any other or subsequent loss or damage
- Loss of profit or opportunity
- Legal costs
- Costs of damage to the property;
- Costs associated with possession/eviction proceedings.
- Unpaid Utility Bills
- If you are considering using the University’s guarantor service, you will have the following responsibilities:
- Having your housing agreement checked by Student Services Centre in advance of signing
- Ensuring rent is still paid in a timely manner at the correct periodic intervals, as specified in the housing agreement. We recommend the use of tools such as standing orders and "online bill pay" features for instance
- Signing the housing agreement direct with relevant landlord/agent
- Complying with the conditions outlined in the housing agreement with the landlord or managing agent.
- Notifying Student Services Centre of any proposed changes in the occupants of the property, whether already approved by the landlord/managing agent or not.
- Notifying Student Services Centre of any intention to terminate the housing agreement before the date stated in the Agreement whether already agreed with the Landlord/managing agent or not.
- Informing the Student Services Centre by emailing email@example.com as soon as possible of a likely rent default and within 72 hours (3 days) of an actual rent default, and state the reasons for non-payment.
- Informing the Student Services Centre by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible and within 72 hours (3 days) if considering withdrawing/have withdrawn from the course.
- Reimbursing the University in the event it pays rent on the student’s behalf within 7 days of the date of invoice
- Notifying Student Services Centre in the event of the student being released from the tenancy early or not taking up the tenancy.
The University’s responsibility
- The University will act as a guarantor for the payment of rent only for the room rented in the property by the individual student which will be restricted for the duration of the agreement.
- Arrange for the payment of any rent due within 14 days, as a result of a default with correct notice given by the landlord/managing agent
- Invoice the student to seek reimbursement of monies paid
- The University will send a letter to the student confirming rent payment to the Landlord/managing agent. In this letter the student will be asked to reimburse the University for this Cost within 7 days of the date of the letter.
- Non-payment within 7 days of the rent due date will be passed on to a Debt Collection Agency. The agency will manage such debts by entering into a separate agreement with the student which will specify repayment arrangements.
- If you have any questions about the scheme, please contact us at email@example.com to arrange a short appointment with a Student Money Adviser. The Adviser can discuss the scheme with you and explain the terms of the Application form and Landlord Guarantor Agreement