Keele University Rent Guarantor Scheme

For the 2020/21 academic year, the University will again be offering the Keele University rent guarantor scheme, offering up to 25 places to returning Keele students who meet the relevant eligibility criteria. The scheme has been developed in partnership with Keele Students’ Unions to help students who are unable to secure private rented accommodation because they do not have access to a UK-based guarantor.

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

If you are considering applying, please make sure you read the information and guidance for students document below thoroughly. If you have any questions about the scheme or would like to arrange a discussion with an adviser prior to applying for the scheme, please contact student.services@keele.ac.uk.

 

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.

Where a student is unable to find a guarantor, Keele University may be able to act as a guarantor in terms of rent arrears for fixed term tenancy agreements up to a maximum of 12 months. If a student is struggling to find a guarantor, the University would expect that they do the following:

  • Try and search for an alternative property/landlord on Student Pad who may have different terms and conditions
  • Consider living in halls of residence where a guarantor is not required
  • Consider whether they are able to find the money to fund an extended deposit
  • Speak to the Money and Welfare team in Student Services, or ASK in KeeleSU for advice

The University will act as a guarantor for the successful students, who will be required to sign a student agreement to show 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 University 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 is accepted on to the scheme.

This guarantee is limited to payment of rent arrears within the dates of the fixed term of the tenancy for a maximum of 12 months, and up to a limit of £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 the above maximum.

The University will not, under any circumstances, be liable for payment of monies 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

Students who are covered by the Keele University rent guarantor scheme will be required to pay rent directly to the landlord or agent. The University would expect the student to get in touch with the Money and Welfare team promptly for advice and support if they felt they were struggling to pay their rent.

If you are unable to meet your rent payments you must contact Student Services as soon as possible, and within 72 hours of an actual default, to discuss options.

If a student has defaulted on their rent payments, landlords must notify Student Services by email within 14 days 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 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 debt recovery procedure and debt policy.

The scheme is open to home and international/EU students, and places will be allocated on a needs basis. 

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 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 your personal tutor

The scheme will prioritise applications from students from backgrounds where no UK guarantors are available and 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

Students should find a room or flat before applying to the University guarantor scheme. Students will also be required to have the tenancy agreement checked by the ASK department in the Students' Union prior to applying.

Students who wish to be considered for the scheme must complete the application form and submit it to the Student Services Centre, either in person or via email to student.services@keele.ac.uk, along with the following evidence:

  • The proposed tenancy agreement (this should be completed but not signed at this time) 
  • Confirmation that the tenancy agreement has been checked by ASK
  • The students 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 funding, a letter from a sponsor, bank statements from your family, etc.)
  • An accommodation reference from the University Accommodation Services or current landlord. (An Accommodation Reference Request form can be downloaded at the bottom of this page)
  • An academic reference from your personal tutor/school (An Academic Reference Request form can be downloaded at the bottom of this page)

Please read the guidance notes at the bottom of this page thoroughly before completing the application form. 

How will my application be processed?

Once an application has been receive,d it will be reviewed by the Money and Welfare team to check that it meets the eligibility criteria. You then be invited to a one-to-one meeting with a member of the Money and Welfare team to discuss the application further. Following this meeting, you will be notified if you have been accepted on to the scheme.

We work in a methodical and systematic way to ensure that we allocate places on the scheme to those who need it most.  If you would like an explanation about how we assessed your application, please come into the office and we will be happy to go through it with you.

What if I am still not happy?

If you're still not happy with the decision, you can make a formal complaint. Your application will be reviewed again and it may be reassessed. You should write to us within four weeks from the date of the original decision, stating the exact reason for your complaint:

Head of Student Inclusion and Wellbeing

Student Services, Tawney Building

Keele University

Keele

ST5 5BG

We will aim to respond within five working days of receipt of your complaint.

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