University of Edinburgh rent guarantee scheme given new lease of life

University of Edinburgh homesThe University of Edinburgh is to extend its guarantor scheme for overseas students seeking rented accommodation following a successful two-year pilot.

The scheme has already helped many flat-seekers unable to provide a UK guarantor – someone who agrees to meet a student’s rent if they are unable to pay it.

Following a successful two-year pilot involving second and third year students, the University will now also include students in their first and final years.

From the 2017/18 academic session, the maximum rent covered under the guarantee will be increased to £550 per calendar month.

The scheme has helped students from outside the UK whose families were based overseas. Some UK students from low-income households and care leavers have also benefitted.

Students who find themselves in this position are often asked to pay up to six months’ rent in advance, as well as a refundable deposit when they sign their lease.

Through the introduction of the Rent Guarantor Scheme, students have been able to reduce the initial outlay.

During the two year pilot period, the University acted as guarantor for 23 students. Agreements ranged from £2,500 to £5,700 per student.

The scheme will continue to assist overseas and EU students and, in exceptional circumstances, UK students where no alternative UK guarantors are available.

Robert Lawrie, director of student administrative services, said: “We recognise the difficulties that some of our students experience when they are asked to pay up to six months’ rent in advance, which is why we are delighted to be able to continue and expand our Rent Guarantor Scheme provision.”

The scheme was launched following representations by Edinburgh University Students’ Association which highlighted the problems that students were facing.

The scheme is operated by Student Administrative Services and applications are currently being received for the 2017-2018 session.

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