All your questions about our campaign answered.
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Q: What is a rent guarantor?
A: A rent guarantor is a person, company or organisation that agrees to secure or ‘guarantee’ someone’s tenancy agreement or contract. They take joint responsibility for the rent with the tenant.
Q: What is the issue?
A: The UK rental market is in crisis and landlords are demanding rent guarantors for student accommodation as standard. Most students can ask a parent or family member, but for the 16,000 university students who are care experienced or estranged from their families, this simply isn’t an option. Without access to a rent guarantor, care experienced or estranged students are struggling to secure somewhere to live.
Q: Who does this affect?
A: Accessing a rent guarantor is an issue for all students, but one which affects estranged and care experienced students disproportionately because they don’t have a family member to call upon. It can mean the difference between a care experienced or estranged student completing their degree or even being able to access a university education in the first place.
Q: How many young people does this affect?
A: The issue of rent guarantors affects all students, but it disproportionately affects care experienced and estranged students. There are 16,000 care experienced and estranged students at university in the UK, so this is an issue adversely affecting thousands of students.
Q: How does it have a negative impact on care experienced and estranged students?
A: Care experienced and estranged students can’t just call a parent or family member to act as a rent guarantor for them, like other students can.
Not having a rent guarantor puts these students at a real social, economic and personal disadvantage. It can mean the difference between completing a degree and having to drop out.
It’s such a simple thing, but not having access to a rent guarantor means that care experienced students can find it difficult to secure accommodation. They are put in the position of having to disclose sensitive information to landlords to explain why they don’t have a rent guarantor, often multiple times if accommodation isn’t secured first time – and going through this process anew every year.
Without a rent guarantor, students are asked to pay six or twelve months rent in advance. An impossible ask for students who are already under additional financial pressure.
It’s unfair and it’s stigmatising, and we want to put a stop to it.
Q: What are you asking unis to do?
A: We have one simple ask that could change the lives of care experienced and estranged students, and that is: we want universities to provide a rent guarantor service.
It’s low risk for the universities, and life changing for the students.
Q: Why are you launching this campaign?
A: Accessing a rent guarantor is a huge issue for estranged and care experienced students,
but not something any person or organisation has yet addressed at a national level.
Our research shows that given the right support (somewhere to live), care experienced
students complete their degrees at the same rate as non-care experienced students and are
awarded top rate degrees at the same rate too.
But finding stable accommodation without a rent guarantor is almost impossible.
We want universities to provide access to a rent guarantor service for students who don’t
have a parent or family member to ask.
Q: Where can I get help with accessing a rent guarantor service?
A: Ask your university team for information and guidance on the support they can provide. They may also be able to let you know about private services that provide a rent guarantor, although there can often be an additional cost attached to this. The EACES Handbook also features some useful information about housing and guarantors, you can find it here.