If you are a student you will more than likely need a guarantor to be able to privately rent accommodation.
Where a guarantor has entered into an agreement, this means that in the event of a tenant being unable to meet their obligations under the tenancy agreement, whether it is for overdue rent, damage to the property or whatever, the Guarantor is legally bound to accept the liabilities on behalf of the tenant.
Use of a Guarantor is like an insurance policy for the landlord or lettings agent against the tenant defaulting on the rent. Like with most types of insurance, the number of claims against guarantors has risen in recent years, so the requirements for being a guarantor are getting somewhat tougher. Nowadays, a guarantor must usually be a homeowner that does not fail a credit inquiry and is therefore probably in regular employment. A person would not provide much of a guarantee if they were themselves unable to make a payment should the circumstances require it.
Usually, a student’s guarantor will be the wage earning parent or a family member.