Who Can Be A Guarantor When Renting?
There are many different aspects that need putting into place before renting your next home and, for some people, one of essential requirements might be the need for a guarantor.
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If using a guarantor is a new concept to you, our guide will help you to understand all the ins and outs of what a rent guarantor is, how to find one, and who you can ask to be yours.
What is a rent guarantor?
In short, a rent guarantor is a person who agrees to take on the responsibility of covering your rent if, for whatever reason, you cannot pay it yourself. Occasionally, a rent guarantor also agrees to pay for any damages made to the property for the length of your tenancy agreement.
Why do I need a guarantor?
Sometimes your landlord will ask that you get a guarantor before they even offer you a tenancy, but not everyone needs a guarantor. You’ll more likely be asked to get one if you have a poor or no credit history, are a student or are renting for the first time, are unemployed or have a low income or if you move to the UK from overseas.
Who can be a guarantor?
In general, a guarantor tends to be a relative or close friend of the tenant, but they do not have to be. All a guarantor needs is a good credit history and an income or savings above a certain amount. Usually, landlords want a guarantor who lives in the UK as it is much easier for them to take legal action against a UK resident should it come to that. This can present problems if you are coming from abroad or if you are an international student. If you are unable to get a UK guarantor, don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you can’t rent. Normally, if you cannot find a UK guarantor you are asked to pay more rent in advance.
Can a pensioner be a rental guarantor?
The usual age range accepted for guarantors is between 18 and 75, however, a landlord may reject a guarantor or ask for more information if the guarantor provided is retired. There is no hard and fast rule stating a pensioner cannot be a guarantor, but it may present difficulties and prolong the process- it is advised to seek a guarantor with an income.
What to do if you can’t find a guarantor
You may not need to provide a guarantor if you can pass a credit check or show proof that you have an income that covers the rent by 2.5 times. Even if you have a poor credit history or a low income, a landlord can still rent to you; you will most probably be expected to pay some rent in advance.
Sometimes, a council or charity will have a rent deposit, bond and guarantee scheme that can give money to help with rent in advance and act as a guarantor service. It is certainly worthwhile looking into something like this, however, keep in mind that you may be expected to pay back any money paid on your behalf.
If you claim housing benefit or universal credit, you may be able to get a discretionary housing payment (DHP) to help you begin your rental process, which you do not need to pay back. Some charities also offer grants to help people in need.
If you are a student it is a good idea to ask your university or college if they have any funds or support available. Examples of help they may provide are: a hardship fund, student support services or details of a landlord who doesn’t require a guarantor. More often than not, there is a way to work something out.
Finding a guarantor needn’t be tricky if you need one, as long as you assess all your options. Where you can, ask a relative or close friend, but if this isn’t possible, there are other ways to secure your rental. Get in touch with us if you need any advice on finding a guarantor.