International Students: Referencing & Guarantors

Does anyone know how effective referencing is of international students and/or their guarantors?
Presumably tenant referencing doesn’t draw in Interpol?!

Might be an idea to just wait for the ones that will pay the whole 12-month term upfront.

You can forget about guarantors and therefore referencing of guarantors. What you can do is use social media yourself to see if they have good jobs. If the parents can afford to send them here to study then they should be ok, that itself proves they have good credit. But legally speaking you won’t be able to pursue guarantors cross border.

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Thank you. Sounds right.

That’s the only way we would be renting to them.

I rent to some, and in my case, the issue is who would I rather rent to, the other 80 or so applicants were all unable to provide answers to the most basic questions and also had lots of obvious credit issues, and then I had 2 foreign students whose parents are rich enough to cough up the £10k a year tuition fees and living costs, and both sets of parents seemed to have good jobs. Also, in my case I like the fact that foreign students will leave in a year or two and won’t be any problems getting the property back, it gives me a chance to adjust rent if necessary and fix the place up. So it depends what your alternatives are.

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When renting to international students, is there a chance of cultural differences / expectations causing problems during the letting?

Unfamiliar with UK housing stock, they may find (or cause) more problems with old houses and conversion flats, than would domestic tenants.

And may demand their rent back from the landlord as they want to move into a new-build (which likely has its own issues), or even back home!

Or is this no more of a concern than with UK tenants?

Demanding attitude is more of a concern with locals, from our experience. As well as playing the system. Foreigners have a purpose and clear reason for being here and usually are too busy to play any games. Also, they feel less entitled and in general are more pleasant to deal wtih.


We’ve just rented a flat to an Eastern European who themselves offered to pay 6 months in advance. We didn’t have to ask. Not to mention that they’ve been in the country for several years, have settlement status and could provide documents for everry single check to pass with flying colours. I’m not even sure we’d be asking for 6 months’ rent in advance, but they volunteered. They didn’t need prompting and provided all docs, then paid deposit, then signed the TA very fast. Majority of locals didn’t make much effort to answer the questionnaire, if at all.


I’ve had several overseas tenants with zero UK financial footprint. Rent up front (11 months) and then last month paid on regular schedule in case tenancy goes periodic. Referencing difficult unless they are here to study with a recognised institution or have employment contract. Guarantors only worth having if they are UK based and they have tangible and provable UK assets which cover the rent as well as their own living expenses.

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Open Rent will only accept a max of £12,000 rent in advance, so depending on your monthly rent you might not be able to ask for 12 months in advance. Also asking for any rent more than 1 month in advance needs a custom made contract which OR do not endorse. They don’t stop you from doing it but they give you a warning that you are going outside their normal parameters if you choose to continue and may lose some of their protections. Still the only way with a foreign student whose guarantors are not UK nationals though.

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I believe the issue here is about students in particular, not overseas tenants in general.

With tighening legislation, we’ll be forced to ask rent in advance from all overseas tenants. It’s unfortunate because many can’t do it.

With tightening legislation, tenants will be able to give notice at any point after day 1 and the balance of the 12 months rent youve taken will have to be refunded. Large advance rents are not really a solution to anything when it can take almost a year to evict a tenant who doesnt pay when the period expires.


tenants will be able to give notice at any point after day 1

Let’s agree that your scenario is highly unlikely and will only happen if something is seriously wrong with the place and was missed during the viewing or LL has mislead T.
What’s your solution? Guarantor or insurance? Not worth it for us, especially not insurance.

International students often have money set aside from parents for rent and and for their courses. I don’t advise rent in advance for UK tenants as they often pay it to avoid awkward issues appearing in referencing - but in this case it is probably more useful than the usual referencing agencies. Use a bit of common sense !

So helpful thank you

Thanks - very helpful

Thanks, I’m very grateful to you all. I actually think it will now be a UK based international professional with an international guarantor with a verifiable excellent job, but I’ll ask for 4 months upfront.
Thank you all.

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Yes Bnng on Mark! You have hit the nail on the head.