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Only My Share flags up growing concern, as 1 in 5 guarantors baulk at rent responsibility 

Rent arrears protection service Only My Share has reported a 38% month-on-month uplift in sales, as confidence returns to the student rental market once more. Students confirming that they will be renting for the 2021/22 academic year have also driven a 48% uplift in sales compared to the same period last year.

However, the company has also flagged up a growing area of concern. Student letting agents are reporting that around one in every five guarantors is now disputing the element of the tenant’s guarantor agreement that holds them jointly liable for the rent.

Edmund Fulford, Relationship Manager, Only My Share, said:

“Many students rent in Houses of Multiple Occupation, known as HMOs. Under a joint and several liability clause in a tenancy agreement, if one tenant doesn’t pay their rent, everyone else becomes liable for it. With awareness of this growing, along with a fragile economic backdrop, there is an increasing reluctance by many individuals to sign up as guarantors.”

Agents are reporting having to spend hours on the phone explaining joint and several liability clauses to potential renters and their guarantors. Others have been forced to remove such clauses from tenancy agreements altogether.

Only My Share, which is part of the Housing Hand family, has been working closely with agents to deliver a solution. The company’s rent arrears protection offering means that the tenant – and their guarantor – will not be liable for a housemate’s unpaid rent. It is a game-changer for many renters as it delivers peace of mind. For the agents seeking to house them, it means more contracts being signed and a faster process of doing so.

Ryan Hough, Head of Marketing, studenttenant.com, said:

“We're really happy to be working with Only My Share. We have been able to offer our student tenants and their guarantors an extra service which provides peace of mind.

“The service is especially helpful for tenants moving into HMO properties. Some tenants and their guarantors can be nervous about signing joint and several liability contracts due to the potential financial risks if another housemate defaults on their rental payments - and OMS is a brilliant solution to this problem.”

Only My Share’s partnership with studenttenant.com, the UK’s largest online student letting agent, is one of a number of arrangements that has opened up rental arrears protection to renters across the UK in the past few years. In the past year in particular, agents have noted an increasing number of guarantors who are keen to sign up for Only My Share’s service when signing the guarantor agreement.

Edmund Fulford, Relationship Manager, Only My Share, said:

“There are two key factors at play here. One is the wider economic picture that has resulted from the pandemic. Income insecurity is giving many people pause, whereas previously they would have just signed on the dotted line. But we are also working hard to raise awareness about joint liability. We’re working with universities and student unions in order to make students – and their guarantors – more aware of what it is that they are signing up to when they rent rooms in HMOs.”

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