Furloughed and unemployed parents are turning to rental guarantor services to support their student offspring during the Covid pandemic.
Housing Hand reports a 12% increase in the number of UK students using its service from November 2019 to November 2020, which it believes was partly fuelled by the lower ‘grade boundaries’ offered by universities following the A Level grading controversy last summer, and a consequent surge in students.
The rental guarantor service says it’s also likely that many parents and guardians who aren’t currently working are turning to Housing Hand to secure their children’s rental properties, while it predicts that even those still working might want to avoid acting as guarantors themselves, in case their situation suddenly changes.
However, there was a drop-off in international students using its service during the 12 months, reports group MD Jeremy Robinson, who says this aligns with wider trends across the industry.
“Between travel restrictions, lockdowns, a shift to online learning and Brexit, international appetite for UK higher education has been impacted significantly,” he says.
“This is why we’re seeing such low occupancy rates in London for purpose-built student accommodation right now. It will be interesting to see the impact that all of this will have on the January intake.”
Group operations director Terry Mason (pictured) adds: “Just as many renters may be facing personal economic uncertainty, so too are their parents. This is why professional guarantor solutions are so prized by landlords and letting agents right now.”
Other parts of the private rented sector are also experiencing shifts in rental patterns, according to Housing Hand, which saw an 8% rise in the number of international working professionals that it guaranteed between 2019 and 2020.