Guarantor - Frequently Asked Questions
Here are come of the most commonly asked questions
1. Do students really have to choose a property for next academic year in the winter?
Most students in Oxford look for their house for next year at the end of this Christmas term. Of course, they can wait until the spring/summer, but they will have less choice.
2. What is the process of applying for a property?
Each applicant in the group must complete individual application forms. We ask for two references per person and a guarantor. The group must also pay a refundable holding deposit to reserve the property - full details can be found under our Guide to Renting.
3. When is the deposit due to be paid?
The first account (made up of the first month's rent and the security deposit) is due one month before the start of the tenancy. This is payable by bank transfer or UK debit card.
4. What happens if somebody drops out between now and then?
If, for some reason, one of the group is not able to continue with the tenancy the rest of the group has the option to find a replacement tenant. There is a fee of £50 (inclusive of VAT) for a change of sharer in the tenancy agreement.
If the tenancy agreement has not yet been fully signed then the remaining members of the group can proceed by replacing the person who has dropped out. Please be aware that there will be strict deadlines to find a replacement as the let is not secured for any party until a fully signed agreement is held.
If the tenancy agreement has been fully signed agreement then all tenants are contractually bound to the terms of that agreement until a replacement has been found and a new agreement is in place. The original agreement will not be superseded until such time as a new full signed agreement is held.
5. What type of Tenancy Agreement will be signed?
Ours is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement. All agreements are joint and several, meaning the group is liable as a whole and each tenant is responsible for everyone named on the agreement. If one person fails to pay, the obligation falls to the others.
6. When will the Tenancy Agreement be signed?
The agreement will be sent through DocuSign and goes in stages. It goes to the guarantors first, then the tenants, then us, and then the landlord. It will not move on to the tenants until all guarantors have signed and so on. All parties must sign within 30 days of the agreement being sent to the guarantors.
7. How long is the Tenancy?
Most of our tenancies run for just shy of 12 months. The exact start and end dates of the tenancy will depend on the property and will be confirmed to the tenants at application.
8. What about insurance?
The landlord will have buildings and contents insurance, but this only covers their contents. If there is a leak for example the students' possessions will not be covered under the landlord's policy. We advise all tenants to take out their own contents insurance policy, ideally one that includes accidental damage. Tenants insurance must fall under an 'open door policy' as there will not be locks on individual doors.
9. What happens if repairs are required?
The owner is responsible for internal and external repairs, and the tenant will only pay if the breakdown or repair is due to their negligence or misuse, or if no fault is found (e.g. blocked drains and if it is independently deemed to have been the tenant's fault).
10. What about emergencies?
The tenants will be told whether their property will be managed by us or the landlord directly. If managed by the landlord, the tenants will be given their contact details upon key collection. If we manage the property, we are on 24-hour call for genuine emergencies.
11. How is rent paid?
Again, the tenant will be told whether they should pay rent to us or to the landlord directly. Either way, it is due on the first day of every month and if we manage the property we collect rent by direct debit from one account.
12. What am I agreeing to, as guarantor?
You are undertaking to guarantee the commitment made by the tenant - i.e. a joint and several agreement. By guaranteeing the student you will be guaranteeing the whole tenancy, so we ensure all parties have a guarantor (or pay their rent fully in advance). The contact details for all fellow guarantors will be provided, should you wish to discuss this tenancy with them.
13. Will my credit rating be affected?
We use a third party company who will check CCJs and your credit history. It is not a full credit check, so it will not affect your credit score.
14. Are students liable for council tax?
Full-time students are exempt from paying council tax, but it is their responsibility to prove their status to the council. If they do receive a bill, they must get in touch with the council as the tenants will be responsible for any court fees for chasing payment.
You can read the student FAQs here.