Before your new landlord will sign a tenancy agreement, you will usually need a solid reference and a reliable guarantor. This is to ensure you're someone they can trust in their property and that you will pay your rent on time.
So what are references and guarantors?
Effectively your potential new landlord wants to know that you are a reliable tenant and that you didn't cause any major issues at your last place. If you are coming straight from halls you should be able to get this from the university housing office. But if you were renting privately before, your old landlord should be able to provide this for you.
As long as you have a good track record, there should be nothing to worry about here. It's worth thinking about future references when you do move into a new place though. A good relationship with your landlord could do wonders when getting a reference for your next place.
These are generally required for all student properties. A guarantor is someone who is willing to take the responsibility of paying your rent or covering any damage to the property if you don't pay. For lots of people their guarantor would be a family member or a friend of the family.
A potential guarantor is usually required to be a UK resident and must also complete a reference check. To limit the liability of your guarantor, ensure their agreement only covers your portion of the rent. Be sure the other housemates get their own guarantors.
Also, make sure that you understand what is covered by the guarantor, and don’t end up costing them any money!
“But I’m unable to get a guarantor!”
Not to worry, this is a situation many people are in, especially if they are an international student. The solution is to pay a larger proportion of the rent up front e.g you may have to pay 6 months rent before you can move in. This removes the need for a guarantor.
Do you have any tips when it comes to securing good references and a guarantor? Let us know in the comments below.