International students issue

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  • International students issue

    Hi,

    We are 2 international (EU) students looking to rent a property for the next academic year (2013/2014). The standard of student accommodation in our small town is disgusting and we've decided to go on the professional market and rent either from an agent, or a private landlord.

    We had a lot of trouble last year on the student market. The landlord was unable to credit check guarantors abroad; we had to provide their P60 forms, references from previous 2 landlords (we were okay doing that, because we really have nothing to hide), references from work, and our parents had to fly to England (!) to sign the agreement too.

    The whole hassle will start again this year, and I suspect that with a letting agent it will be more than mediocre.

    We can't really afford to pay upfront. How to prove we are trustworthy tenants and convince potential landlords/agents that we are reliable? What would convince you?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    A UK based guarantor or six months' rent up front, I'm afraid.

    Where do your parents live?
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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    • #3
      We're Lithuanian.

      What should I understand as a British guarantor? Is it just a person based in the UK who will sign the contract? Do they have to have British citizenship, do they have to be British residents, or can they just live here? Are they going to be checked for anything? If so, what is being checked?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by loop View Post
        We can't really afford to pay upfront. How to prove we are trustworthy tenants and convince potential landlords/agents that we are reliable? What would convince you?
        A letter from your college or university would help (in addition to the usual previous landlords references, etc).

        Originally posted by loop View Post
        What should I understand as a British guarantor? Is it just a person based in the UK who will sign the contract? Do they have to have British citizenship, do they have to be British residents, or can they just live here? Are they going to be checked for anything? If so, what is being checked?
        The point of a guarantor is that it's somebody the landlord could claim against in the County Court, and successfully enforce the debt, in the event that you disappeared from the UK owing rent.

        Therefore, the guarantor should be UK resident, and ideally a home-owner. At the very least, someone with a reasonably high income and good employment history. Their financial status/property ownership would be checked.

        Usually, a guarantor would be asked to sign a Deed of Guarantee.

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        • #5
          Your guarantor needs to be traceable and afford to pay, in the event you vanish. The issue is that if you guys leave the country, there is no way for the landlord to chase you (or is very difficult). And you have no income and steady job. Which makes landlords worry.

          It would be good if the guarantor owned a property in the UK. Even if he vanished, he would still have assets in the UK. They will be checked for their income, as you dont have any, and they need to prove they can pay.
          All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

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          • #6
            Any information about their residential status? I am trying to think of a Lithuanian friend or a relative, who owns a property, however they have no British citizenship, and are not even a British resident.

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            • #7
              I believe after 5 years of exercising treaty rights in the UK EU citizens have permanent resident status. citizenship is somewhat irrelevant as EU citizens have no need to get one so quite often they dont bother. I dont see why a lithuanian national who is a homeowner is worse than a british national with no assets
              All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

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              • #8
                Have you spoken to your university accommodation officer?
                Ask if they run a 'head lease' scheme with private landlords (for which you don't need a guarantor).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by boletus View Post
                  Have you spoken to your university accommodation officer?
                  Ask if they run a 'head lease' scheme with private landlords (for which you don't need a guarantor).
                  boletus, is that where the University effectively agrees to stand surety/act as Guarantor, or does the uni become the tenant then sublet to international students or British ones who cannot produce a Guarantor?

                  There must be lots of British students (let alone international ones), whose parents rent and/or are retired/low income/unemployed. I often wonder how they go about getting a tenancy in a private rented house.
                  'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Heres a link explaining;

                    http://housing.london.ac.uk/cms/head-leasing/

                    The University wants to increase the number of bed-spaces we can offer directly to our students. From our recent survey we know that students do find good quality private sector housing in London on their own. However, we also know that they find the experience daunting and often very difficult and upsetting.

                    We want to help them through the process by sourcing properties from landlords directly and then letting them on to them.

                    In effect, we will become your tenants, guaranteeing the rent through the tenancy period and returning the property in good condition with vacant possession at the end.

                    For the students, we will be their landlords and you will not need to have any contact with them (unless you want to).


                    What can we offer you?
                    •Guaranteed rent directly into your bank account.
                    •We guarantee vacant possession at the expiry of the contract and will return the property in the same condition as at the start of the tenancy, subject to fair wear and tear.
                    •We have professional management and experienced staff to manage your property
                    •51 week tenancies. If a letting is successful, we will be likely to renew.
                    •Competitive rent levels




                    Please note, I'm not recommending this, just pointing out it exists.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks, that's very helpful.

                      I wonder whether all unis offer this, or just the London ones?
                      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by loop View Post
                        Any information about their residential status? I am trying to think of a Lithuanian friend or a relative, who owns a property, however they have no British citizenship, and are not even a British resident.
                        I suspect that would be a problem when it comes to credit checks etc - one 'negative' on any credit application is if you are not registered on the electoral roll.

                        International students are a fact of life for all Uni's - mine has a department specifically to help them. Check out your own Uni.

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