Rent Guarantor Scheme

Keele University will continue to offer the Rent Guarantor Scheme in the 2022/23 academic year, offering up to 25 places to returning Keele students who meet the relevant eligibility criteria. The Rent Guarantor Scheme has been developed in partnership with Keele Students’ Union to help students who are unable to secure private rented accommodation because they do not have access to a UK-based guarantor.

If you are considering applying, please make sure you read the information and guidance below before submitting your application. If you have any questions about the scheme or would like to speak to our Financial Support Team, please get in touch.

Please be aware that there are limited places on the scheme, and these will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

A guarantor is someone who undertakes to pay rent on your behalf if you don't pay it. Landlords can take legal action to recover unpaid rent from a guarantor. Landlords typically require a guarantor who is an adult and resident in the UK, as it is easier for them to take legal action if required. Students who don’t have a UK-based guarantor may be asked to pay rent in advance which is typically between 6-12 months.

If you're struggling to find a guarantor, the University would expect that you do the following before applying to the Rent Guarantor Scheme:

If a student’s application to the scheme is successful, the University will act as a guarantor for the successful student. The student will be required to sign a student agreement to show that they understand their responsibilities and the responsibilities of the University under the terms of the scheme.

The University will not sign individual tenancy agreements. We will provide a signed copy of the Keele University rent guarantee agreement; this agreement must be signed by the landlord and returned to Keele University. If the landlord is not willing to accept the terms and conditions of the Rent Guarantor Scheme, then the University will be unable to act as a guarantor.

Keele University will charge an administration fee to the student of £30. This fee is only payable if a student's application is successful.

The guarantee is limited to payment of rent arrears within the dates of the fixed term of the tenancy agreement for a maximum of 12 months, and up to a limit of £100 per week or £400 per calendar month. In the case of ‘joint and several’ tenancies, we will only guarantee a pre-agreed amount. This will usually be the individually named student’s ‘share’ of the rent up to our limit.

The University will not, under any circumstances, be liable for:

  • Default interest for non-payment
  • Any other or subsequent loss or damage
  • Loss of profit or opportunity
  • Legal costs
  • Costs of damage to the property
  • Costs associated with possession/eviction proceedings
  • Unpaid utility bills

If your application to the Rent Guarantor Scheme is successful, you will be required to pay rent directly to the landlord or agent. The University would expect you to contact the Financial Support team as soon as possible if you are struggling to pay your rent, and you must contact us within 3 days of an actual default, to discuss your options.

If a student on the Rent Guarantor Scheme has defaulted on their rent payments, landlords must notify Student Services by email at student.services@keele.ac.uk within 14 days (2 weeks) after the date on which the rent becomes overdue. The University would expect the landlord to have first approached the student for the rent before contacting the University.

If the University is required to make a payment under the Rent Guarantor Scheme, the amount spent will be added to your student account as a debt to Keele University. The debt will be subject to the University’s debt recovery procedure and Charging and Payment of Student Fees Policy

The Rent Guarantor Scheme is open for applications from home and international students.

Students must meet the following criteria to apply:

  • Not have access to a UK-based guarantor
  • Be an undergraduate or postgraduate returning student, or postgraduate who has just completed their undergraduate degree at Keele University (first year or direct entrant students are not eligible)
  • Be studying on a full-time basis and enrolled with the University for the duration of the tenancy
  • Have no debt to the University
  • Be able to provide a satisfactory accommodation reference record, either from the University accommodation services or from a current landlord
  • Be able to provide evidence of funding that is in place to maintain the rent payments during the tenancy
  • Have satisfactory academic standing and engagement with the course, and be able to provide a reference from their personal tutor
  • Be unable to live in on-campus accommodation or to find alternative options which do not require a guarantor

We will prioritise applications from students where exceptional circumstances mean that they are unable to pursue other options. The following groups will be prioritised as part of the scheme:

  • Care leavers
  • Students who are estranged from their families
  • Students from low-income backgrounds where parents are ineligible to become a guarantor
  • International students where exceptional circumstances have impacted on their ability to sufficiently fund their living costs

You should find a room or flat before applying to the Rent Guarantor Scheme. You will also be required to have the tenancy agreement checked by Advice & Support at KeeleSU (ASK) prior to applying.

Students who wish to be considered for the scheme must complete our online application form and, following this, send the following evidence to the Financial Support Team (student.services@keele.ac.uk):

  • The proposed tenancy agreement (this should be completed but not yet signed)
  • Confirmation that the tenancy agreement has been checked by ASK
  • Your most recent three bank statements from all accounts
  • Evidence of funding arrangements for the academic year that the Rent Guarantor Scheme applies to (e.g. confirmation of Student Finance, a letter from a sponsor, bank statements from your family, etc.)
  • An accommodation reference from the University Accommodation Services or your current landlord (please see the Accommodation Reference Request form below)
  • An academic reference from your personal tutor or School (please see the Academic Reference Request form below)

Please read the terms and conditions at the bottom of this webpage thoroughly before completing the application form.

Please note that we will only accept applications directly from students, and not from landlords.

Once your application has been received, it will be reviewed by the Financial Support team to check that you meet the eligibility criteria, and that you have provided all the required evidence. You will then be invited to a one-to-one meeting with a member of the Financial Support team (either virtual or in-person) to discuss your application further. Following this meeting, you will be notified of the outcome of your application by email. 

We work in a methodical and systematic way to ensure that we allocate places on the Rent Guarantor Scheme to those who need it most. If you would like an explanation about how we assessed your application, please let us know and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

After this, if you feel that we have not assessed your application fairly, you will be able to make a formal complaint by sending an email to the Head of Student Wellbeing, who will aim to respond to you within 5 working days of your complaint:

Alison Felton - Head of Student Wellbeing

a.felton@keele.ac.uk