We understand that as an international student the housing law may differ greatly from your home country. The legal terminology may be difficult to understand and knowing what you rights are and if you are being scammed can cause anxiety and worry. SUBU Advice is here to help you understand your rights and responsibilities and those of your landlords. Below is some specific housing information for international students. 


Types of contract

A crucial first step to understanding your rights and responsibilities, and those of your landlord, is to find out what type of contract you have. Check out our Types of Contracts page and/or contact us for some advice.



A guarantor is a third party, such as a parent or close relative, who agrees to pay your rent if you don't pay it. Your landlord can ultimately take legal action to recover any unpaid rent from your guarantor.

Most students have to provide a UK guarantor for their rent if they are renting privately (i.e. not in Halls). If you are unable to find a UK based guarantor there are some Agencies offering to stand as a Guarantor for a fee. These include:  ukguarantor.com who charge £299 Housinghand.co.uk – from £295 

If students are unable to provide a UK based guarantor they may be  required by the letting agent / landlord to pay 6 to 12 months of the rent up front, in order to secure the property.


Right to rent checks

If you moved in on or after 1st February 2016, your landlord has to do right to rent immigration checks. They will ask you to prove you have the right to stay in the UK.


Housing Scams

We are aware of some scams which target students looking for private rented housing by taking deposits for properties that do not exist or are not for rent. The National Union of Students' and the Police have useful information to keep you and your money safe from these scammers. If you want a valid list of local letting agents, or have been a victim of a scam please contact us.


Top Scam Warning Signs

  • Very low rent
  • Asking for a deposit before viewing
  • Asking for Money transfer services such as Western Union or Moneygram to make payments. While these services can be useful when used properly, often the money is untraceable once you’ve paid it.
  • No viewings allowed? This is the biggest tell-tale sign of all. If the landlord offers you random excuses such as ‘property being refurbished’, ‘landlord lives abroad’ or ‘current tenant works from home’ walk away. Find somewhere else.


Top Tips

  • Make sure the price is realistic
  • Don’t pay anything before viewing. Only hand over money after you’ve seen the property, been given the contract and signed on the dotted line.
  • Check with an Advisor if you’re unsure



If you do not understand the words in your contract then check out our Housing Terminology page. You can also bring in your contract and we can explain things to you face-to-face, or email the contract to us and we will do our best to explain the contract in plain English.


For other housing related issues please check our main Housing web page

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