Rent guarantor scheme

This scheme has been provided to help students to secure accommodation which may be unavailable to them because a UK-based rent guarantor is required.


The scheme is open to the following groups of students;

New and continuing UK, EU and overseas students where a UK guarantor is not available. 

The University is prepared to act as Rent Guarantor for rent payable under a Short Assured Tenancy or Private Residential Tenancy if you do not have a UK guarantor and:

  • Are able to demonstrate that you have finances in place to meet your rent payments
  • Do not have any outstanding debt with Heriot-Watt University
  • Are able to progress to the next stage of your studies (continuing students only)
  • Are able to provide a satisfactory accommodation reference from the University accommodation service or the landlord you previously rented from (this does not apply to new students)

The rental guarantee will only support the applicants share of the rent, it will not cover the rent for other tenants unless they have also applied to the scheme and have been approved by the University.

Our rental guarantee will be voided if you are suspended or withdrawn from your studies, you do not take up your accommodation or you decide not to study at Heriot-Watt University.

What does the scheme cover?

The scheme covers rent only, not bills or repairs, we limit the amount we guarantee to £900 per month.

We will cover rent for a maximum of 9 months (one academic year), students need to re-apply to the scheme if you wish to remain in the property after 9 months.

How does the scheme work?

You pay rent directly to your landlord or agent as normal. If you find that you are unable to pay your rent for whatever reason you must notify the Global Student Office via the Student Portal stating the reason why you cannot pay, how much is due and when this needs to be paid. Please go to FAQs and then search for ‘Accommodation in the UK’.

If the University is required to pay rent on your behalf, debt will be added to your student account and you will be required to repay this over an agreed time, failure to repay the debt may impact on your ability to graduate from Heriot-Watt University at the end of your studies. 

How to apply for the scheme?

You will need the following to hand when submitting your application:

  • Evidence that you have funds in place to pay your rent, e.g., last 3 months bank statements from you or your parents or student loan letters
  • A reference letter from your previous landlord or letting agent if applicable
  • Dates of the proposed tenancy
  • Terms and conditions of the lease or contract detailing your name and the address of the property you propose or will be renting.

Please note that all of the supporting documents indicated above are required for your application to proceed.

To apply for Heriot-Watt University Accommodation Guarantor scheme you can submit a Rent Guarantee Application form. We aim to respond to applications within a few days of receipt. 

Important note for students

Heriot-Watt University can only act as a guarantor if the letting agent or landlord can accept our agreement letter. We cannot process a rent guarantor scheme application if we are required to sign any other documentation or complete the landlords or agents own paperwork.

If you do not meet our eligibility criteria

If you do not meet our eligibility criteria for this scheme you can contact the Advice Hub for more information on accommodation and finance advice.

Information for landlords and letting agents

Thank you for your interest in our Scheme and for assisting our students to obtain private tenancies. We are aware that not all letting agents and landlords are familiar with how the University's Rent Guarantor Scheme works. The process for successful applicants to this scheme is that once an applicant is approved, we would send a letter to the relevant landlord/letting agency to confirm the University can act as a guarantor for rent only for a time limited period; up to a maximum of 1 year*. 

Unfortunately, we cannot complete guarantor forms and/or sign leases and this is because it would be the University acting as guarantor for successful applicants, not an individual member of staff. 

If you have any questions about the Rent Guarantor Scheme please contact Peter Scott at for further information.

*with the option for applicants to reapply to the Scheme the following year if they wish to continue in their tenancy and are still eligible.