Pending A level results and rising room costs drive interest in Only My Share’s housemate rent arrears protection

Pending A level results and rising room costs drive interest in Only My Share’s housemate rent arrears protection

United Kingdom
  • 54% of all students rent their homes privately (Save the Student)
  • Over 500,000 HMOs in England alone (National HMO Network)
  • Room rents up 11% over past year (Ideal Flatmate)

With A level results due out in just a couple of days, the question of student accommodation is uppermost in many parents’ minds right now. 54% of all students rent their accommodation from private landlords and estate agents, according to Save the Student. Many of them live in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), of which there are more than half a million in England, based on National HMO Network figures.

For students and those who act as guarantors for them, renting a room in a shared home like this carries a particular risk: if one housemate doesn’t pay their rent, the others (and their guarantors) may end up liable for their share. That’s why rent arrears protection service Only My Share exists.

“There are countless cases of students and their guarantors having suddenly become liable for monies owed to HMO landlords as a result of other tenants not being able to pay their rent. Only My Share seeks to protect students and their guarantors from being in this situation so that they can have peace of mind and enjoy their university experience to the full.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Only My Share 

The problem of rent arrears is widespread. The National Landlords Association reports that 32% of landlords have suffered from rent areas, while court order eviction rates and rental default claims are rising. Meanwhile, the LIN reports that 25% of tenants fear that they will fall into rent arrears.

Against this worrying backdrop, Only My Share provides up to £10,000 of housemate rent arrears protection for just £99 per year. When tenancy agreements are ‘joint and several,’ all tenants are equally liable for each other’s obligations under the contract. However, if a housemate fails to pay their rent, Only My Share will stand as a guarantor in order to protect others from becoming liable for that housemate’s share.

With a simple, online application and payment process, which has been streamlined as part of the company’s new website, Only My Share makes it easy for students and their guarantors to enjoy far greater peace of mind.

“Issues around providing rent guarantors can be a real source of stress for students. With little to no credit history, many have to rely on their parents to act as guarantors. While many parents are happy to do so, they are less keen to sign up to potentially cover their child’s housemates’ rent as well – and with one in ten students dropping out in their first year, that risk is far from insignificant.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Only My Share 

The average yearly student rent is £6,792, according to 2018 figures from Save the Student, while Cushman & Wakefield report that private rental sector increases are outstripping those of university bed spaces, at 3.0% and 2.6% respectively from 2017/18 to 2018/19.

Only My Share is part of the Housing Hand group. Housing Hand provides a UK rent guarantor service, while Only My Share protects the guarantor… and the tenant.

“We discovered, through running Housing Hand, that there was a necessity for a separate service that worked with those at risk of paying another’s rent arrears. We created Only My Share in order to fill that gap, ensuring that as many students’  needs as possible are met through the Housing Hand group.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Only My Share 

Only My Share is also available to others who rent accommodation in HMOs, with a commission structure in place for letting agents that are keen to see their constituents benefit from the scheme. Outside of the student sector, room rates are also rising, with Ideal Flatmate reporting an increase of 11% over the past year. London’s rooms are the most expensive, at an average of £745 pcm, followed by Glasgow (£588 pcm) and then Bournemouth (£575 pcm). The organisation projects further rises over the remainder of 2019, with high demand and insufficient stock fuelling the increases.

 

For more information please contact Only My Share today on +44 (0) 203 887 2961  or visit https://www.onlymyshare.com/