Information on the UCL Rent Guarantor Scheme, eligibility and how to apply
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The purpose of this scheme is to assist eligible full-time UCL students to rent private accommodation that might not otherwise be available, by UCL acting as a guarantor where the student is unable to secure any other UK-based rent guarantor.
The Scheme is open to overseas and EU students and in exceptional circumstances to UK students where no alternative UK guarantors are available.
UCL will charge an application fee of £50 before UCL can act as guarantor. This fee is only payable when you are accepted on to the scheme.
The scheme is run by the UCL Accommodation Office.
It is common practice for landlords/managing agents to ask you for a UK based rent guarantor. If you do not have a UK based rent guarantor, landlords/managing agents may ask you to pay a high deposit. This can be as much as six months’ rent in advance. To help you in this situation, UCL may be able to act as a rent guarantor for you, if you, the property and the tenancy/licence agreement fulfil certain criteria.
To be eligible, you must:
- Be enrolled at UCL
- Must have a contract length of 52 weeks (12 months) or less.
- Not have any outstanding debt to UCL
- Not have access to a UK based guarantor
- Provide evidence of funding to maintain the rent payments for the duration of the tenancy/licence agreement
- Have clean disciplinary record of living in UCL halls (or provide references from landlords) where applicable
- Not have any record of inappropriate behaviour or have been the subject of a serious behaviour incident at UCL.
To be eligible, the properties/rooms:
- Properties must be within the M25.
- Rent must be no more than a maximum of £300.00 per week or £1300 per calendar month per UCL student.
To be eligible, the tenancy:
- Must be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) or a licence agreement for purpose built private student accommodation.
- Agreement with landlords/managing agents/private student accommodation providers must be for 52 weeks or less.
- Students should first find a property/room of their choice.
- Before signing the tenancy/licence agreement, students should then complete the online rent guarantor application form and submit it along with the required supporting documents in order to be considered under this scheme. Please note that all supporting documents are required to enable UCL to process an application. We will only accept electronic copies.
- UCL will assess the application against the eligibility criteria and will inform the student by email on whether the student has been successful with their application or not. Please note that the final decision is made by the UCL Accommodation Office. If a student is accepted onto the scheme, UCL will then contact the landlord/managing agent directly and request relevant documentation from them.
- Once all the documentation has been received by UCL, the student will be contacted directly by email requesting payment of the application fee before issuing the guarantor letter. Once payment has been received, the guarantor letter will be sent to the landlord directly.
Please make sure to provide all documents below:
- Evidence of funding that will cover rent and living costs (e.g. bank statements showing family contribution, loan paperwork, bursary/scholarship award letters, wage slips, etc.).
- Bank statements (all accounts) for 3 months prior to application.
- Evidence of details of proposed tenancy including cost, number of tenants, start date and duration (a provisional email agreement or draft agreement wil be sufficient).
Please make sure to provide all documents below:
- Evidence of household income (Only provide this document if your family is expected to contribute to your rent payments).
- An accommodation reference either from your student accommodation, or the landlord from whom you currently rent. (If you have not lived in any rented accommodation previously, you will NOT need to supply this document.)
- Sponsorship/Scholarship documentation (Only provide this/these document(s) if you will be receiving a Sponsorship and/or Scholarship).
- How much is the application fee?
The application fee is £50. This application fee is payable for each rent guarantor scheme application made by a student to UCL. For students who wish to remain in the property for a period longer than 52 weeks, such students will need to reapply to the UCL rent guarantor scheme.
- How can I make payment for the application fee?
Once a student has applied and been accepted onto the scheme, the student will not hear from UCL until we are ready to issue the guarantor letter. It is at this point that the student will be sent an email asking for payment of the application fee along with online payment details.
- What does the UCL RGS cover?
- The UCL RGS will cover rent only up to the guarantee limit of £300 per week or £1300 per calendar month for the UCL student. The RGS will not cover a portion of the rent where the rent is greater than the guarantee limit; the entire rent must be within the guarantee limit for the tenancy to be eligible for the RGS.
- The guarantee will be restricted to the duration of the tenancy/licence agreement which must be for 52 weeks or less. If the student’s course starts or ends within the period of the tenancy, the guarantee will only cover the portion of the tenancy during which the student is registered at UCL.
- Any guarantee will only be for the portion of the rent for the named student. If a student is in a shared tenancy agreement, the rent covered is calculated by dividing the total rent of the property by the number of tenants in the property.
- If UCL is required to make payment to a landlord/managing agent for reimbursement of rent arrears under the terms of the RGS, the defaulting student will be invoiced for the full amount and become a debtor of UCL.
- How long will it take to process my application?
We aim to approve any new application within 2 working days of submission. However, the duration of the full process up to the issue of the guarantee is dependent upon a number of factors outside of our control. For example, once your application has been approved, we contact your landlord/managing agent directly to request some documentation, and can only proceed once they have provided us with this.
- How will I know if my application has been declined?
If a student has been unsuccessful with their application, UCL will notify the student directly by email.
- I don’t qualify for the UCL RGS. Are there other schemes available?
Alternate Rent Guarantor Schemes are available via external third party providers such as:
Please do note that any arrangements you make with external providers will be at your own risk and UCL will not pay for any associated costs.
Read the full UCL Rent Guarantor Scheme Terms and Conditions before you apply.
Please note: It is not possible to amend an application once submitted, please take care when filling it out. If you think you have made a mistake in your application, please email email@example.com with the details.
UCL are prepared to act as guarantor for students who do not have an alternative guarantor and meet certain criteria (see above). The guarantee covers the rent only for one named student, even in a shared tenancy. Once a student’s application to the RGS has been approved, you will receive a letter of introduction explaining about the scheme and listing the documentation that we require from you. On receipt of all the documentation from you and receipt of our admin fee from the student, you will be issued with a signed guarantee letter. As a university guarantor we are unable to sign any tenancy/guarantor agreements or be subject to referencing.
Landlords/managing agents (named persons on the contract who are entering an agreement with the prospective tenants) are responsible:
- For providing a signed copy of the tenancy agreement to UCL.
- For providing a copy of the (House in Multiple Occupation) HMO licence for the property where applicable.
- For providing a copy of the gas safety certificate or, if relevant, a letter confirming that there is no gas within the property.
- For providing a letter stating that the furniture meets the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 and 1993) or if relevant a letter stating that the property is unfurnished.
- For notifying the UCL Accommodation Office in writing via email to firstname.lastname@example.org within 48 hours of the date on which the rent payment is in arrears (please note that although UCL will use its best endeavours to process payment as soon as possible, it can take up to 60 days to arrange a transfer of funds from the date on which written notification is provided by the landlord to the UCL Accommodation Office).
- For staying any possession proceedings against the student tenant during the above period.