12 March 2018
As the first and leading guarantor service, Housing Hand turning five marks the affirmation of a valued new service and the importance of the international student market in the UK.
As we wish a very happy fifth birthday to Housing Hand, it is worth reflecting on how their success is representative of a wider influence on the student housing market. This is evident in their 60,000 plus applications to date and more importantly the fact that they work directly with the majority of higher education institutions and over 3,000 accommodation providers across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
In the UK, the majority of letting agencies, landlords and private halls frequently ask students to provide a UK-based Guarantor as a condition of renting a property. A Guarantor agrees to take on the financial liability of all rent legally owed by the student to the accommodation provider. If students cannot provide a UK-based Guarantor, they may have to pay their rent in advance, which can be as much as the full 12 months rent. Paying a substantial amount of money in advance can cause additional stress and pressure for students who are unable to provide a qualifying Guarantor. Housing Hand will stand as UK rent guarantor from just 8 monthly instalments of £42 or alternatively, tenants can save 15% with a single payment. The award winning service offers fully comprehensive cover of rent, damages and dilapidations for international and UK students as well as working professionals.
Part of Housing Hand’s success can be attributed to the popularity of international students coming to study in the UK. It may not come as a shock to many working in the Higher Education industry that Universities UK International (UUKi) found that the UK welcomes the second largest volume of students from abroad, behind the United States which have a much higher capacity available and most of the top-ranked universities (2017). In addition to this, Universities UK International found that the UK was the most recommended destination to study by both undergraduates and postgraduate international students.
Given the information above, it is hardly surprising that the number of international students coming to the UK have increased over the past decade. In the 2017 paper “Patterns and Trends in Higher Education”, UUKi stated that despite the fact that 79.9% of students in UK Higher Education Institutions are from the UK, the proportion from the rest of the world has increased by 4.9% from 2006-2007 to 2015-2016.
Housing Hand have not sat back and relied on the increasing demand for a UK based rent guarantor. They have grown by adapting to the increasing demand from UK nationals with previous credit issues, creating a monthly payment plan to help reduce upfront costs and accepting working professionals such as international university staff who make up 29% of the UK’s academic staff (UUKi 2017). As a company, they have branched out to cover the demand and ensure a high degree of customer experience, demonstrated by a consistently high rating of 4.5 stars on Trustpilot, by increasing their staff tenfold, as well as expanding their companies reach internationally with partners based in Europe, Middle East, South Asia and the Far East.
By working closely with Universities and higher education institutions Housing Hand can assist departments and Students Unions in helping students secure the accommodation of their choice without the stress or financial struggle of paying all their rent in advance. Housing Hand provide support to various departments within the University from Student Welfare/Advice, Accommodation department to the International Office and Student Union services by working in partnership with them to help inform UK and international students of their options, financial liability and legal requirements when renting in the UK. Each partnership is tailored to suit the University and their various departments to ensure the students receive the best service whilst lightening the admin, resources and time burden placed upon Universities. Their partnerships are always free for the institution involved and vary purely on the level of support required.