New scheme to launch in 2017/18 will allow students unable to find a UK based guarantor to use the College in rental agreements.
The pilot scheme will see the College act as a legal guarantor for students renting in the private sector who are not able to provide a suitable guarantor themselves.
“In launching this pilot we’re pleased to be able to help students who would otherwise be faced with expensive upfront costs when renting.
– Professor James Stirling
In order to rent accommodation in the private sector in the UK, prospective student tenants are required to provide a UK based guarantor to underwrite their rent obligation, or pay between 3-6 months’ rent up front.
Many students do not have someone based in the UK who is able to act as a guarantor – whether international students whose families are based overseas, or home students from a low-income background. London’s high rental prices mean that these students have previously been faced with an up-front cost of over £4,000.
The pilot will be open to all returning undergraduate students (first years already have guaranteed accommodation in halls of residence), and will allow them to rent any property up to the value of £250 a week.
Imperial’s Provost, Professor James Stirling, said: “The College is committed to providing high quality accommodation to all its first year undergraduate students but we’ve always known that after this securing accommodation can sometimes be difficult, particularly for international students, because of the requirement for rent guarantors.
“In launching this pilot we’re pleased to be able to help students who would otherwise be faced with expensive upfront costs when renting. I’m sure this scheme will be greatly welcomed by our student community.”
The scheme will make a real difference to undergraduate students – another example of what we can achieve when we work together with the College on behalf of our student community.
– Emily-Jane Cramphorn
Deputy President (Welfare), Imperial College Union
The scheme is being launched following recommendations from Imperial College Union led by the 2015-16 Deputy President (Welfare) Jennie Watson, looking at the challenges students face in securing private accommodation once they leave College accommodation after their first year.
Emily-Jane Cramphorn, Deputy President (Welfare), Imperial College Union said: “The scheme will make a real difference to undergraduate students – another example of what we can achieve when we work together with the College on behalf of our student community. I will be looking to build on this approach over the coming months.”
The scheme will see Imperial join a small but growing number of institutions in London operating schemes which see the institutions acting as guarantors for their students where a suitable guarantor cannot be found.
The scheme will be operated by the Student Hub, and is due to open for applications in the spring term 2017.
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