Signing your contract
Once you’ve found your new home, you’ll need to sign a contract to lay out all the terms and conditions of you renting the property. The most common student contract type is called an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (you may see this abbreviated to ‘AST’) and once it is signed, you are legally bound by it and it is very difficult to get out of it.
You should ALWAYS get your contract checked by either Community Living or Guild Advice – we can point out any odd phrases and explain any jargon to make sure you know exactly what you are signing up for. Any reputable landlord or lettings agent will allow you to take the contract away to read and understand for 24 hours – so get it checked for free before you sign.
When signing a contract, it is likely that you will be asked to provide a guarantor based in the UK who can guarantee the rent payment if you are unable to pay.
Usually this will be a parent or guardian, but if you are unable to provide a UK-based guarantor then there are also guarantor companies who can act as a guarantor for a fee.
Some lettings agents and landlords may let you pay more of the rent money upfront – but before you pay any extra money over, or if you have any concerns or questions about guarantors, please get in touch with Guild Advice or Community Living for information and support.
Right To Rent checks
Landlords are prohibited, by law, from letting a property to an individual who does not have the right to remain in the UK for the duration of their tenancy.
International students: you will need to secure your immigration status in order to secure a tenancy.
UK and EU students: be prepared to show proof of your right to rent property in the UK, for example a passport.
For more information and to understand whether this may apply to you please visit gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-landlords-code-of-practise or alternatively call: 03000 069 9799.