Some landlords will ask you to have a guarantor. This is someone responsible for paying rent if you do not/cannot pay or for any damages that you don’t pay. This is usually your parents or another friend or relative who lives in the UK. If you don’t pay your rent and your guarantor also doesn’t then all of you could be taken to court.
The landlord should tell you before you sign up for a property if they need a guarantor - don’t sign a contract unless you know for sure that you can get a guarantor and that they can meet the conditions. Increasingly landlords are asking more and more of guarantors, e.g.
- That they have to have a certain level of income
- That they own their property
This may be difficult for some guarantors to meet. If this is the case for you, before signing the contract (it may be too late after you sign), let the landlord know this will be a problem and you have the option of renting from another landlord as not all request guarantors or make difficult demands.
If you are signing a joint contract, then your guarantor may also share that joint liability e.g. if one of your housemates doesn’t pay, your guarantor may be contacted. Ask the landlord for an individual guarantor agreement - this limits the costs to just your share of the rent or damages.
LUU Advice has a free contract checking service which includes the liabilities of guarantor forms.