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Stark warning to parents as Only My Share’s loss ratio increases by 350%

  • Only My Share warns of the dangers of joint and several liability clauses
  • Huge rise in payouts highlights the risk to parents
  • Withdrawal of pandemic-related government support creates even greater need for caution

Rent arrears protection service Only My Share has issued a stark warning to parents after a rising number of claims has seen its loss ratio increase by 350% over the past year. The company is hoping that parents can learn from its experience in order to protect themselves financially, particularly in the face of pandemic-driven government support beginning to fall away.  

“Many families are likely to be feeling the financial pressure as this year progresses. Yet many are also unaware of precisely what they are committing to when signing a tenancy agreement with a joint and several clause in it. With students already seeking accommodation for the 2021/22 academic year, we are keen to warn parents to be cautious.” Edmund Fulford, Relationship Manager, Only My Share

Under a joint and several clause, the tenant is liable for a housemate’s rent if that housemate doesn’t pay. This applies regardless of whether the tenants even know each other. Students looking to live in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and any parents who sign up as their guarantors therefore need to be on the lookout as they are also legally liable.

Only My Share, which is part of the Housing Handfamily, is an insurance-backed guarantee service that prevents individuals from being liable for their housemates’ rent, for a fixed cost of £99 per year for protection of up to £10,000. With the guarantee in place, if a landlord demands rent that another housemate owes, Only My Share steps in and makes the payment.

With so many students defaulting on their rent in the past year, Only My Share has come to the rescue time and again – hence the company’s 350% loss ratio increase. Relationship Manager Edmund Fulford comments:

“It’s been an expensive year for Only My Share, but the pandemic has also shown the strength and solidity of the brand. There’s a definite sense now that if we can get through everything that the pandemic has thrown at us then we can survive any challenges that the future may hold.”

Only My Share recently revealed a new partnership with, the UK’s largest online student letting agent. The company is also deep into partnership talks with two other companies, with announcements to follow in the coming months. According to Fulford, the last few months have been incredibly busy on all fronts. He concludes:

“Awareness of the dangers of joint and several clauses is growing, but at a very slow rate. We’re looking to fast-track that knowledge. The level of payouts that we’ve made as a result of the pandemic should demonstrate to students and their parents just how vulnerable their position is if they sign a rental agreement that includes a joint and several clauses. Only My Share can de-risk that vulnerability by £10,000.” Edmund Fulford, Relationship Manager, Only My Share

For more information, please contact Only My Share today on +44 (0) 203 887 2961 or visit

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Letting Agents: Only My Share is here for you.

Rent protection is incredibly important for landlords, renters, and guarantors. Only My Share is on a mission to remove the risk for everybody with one simple service. Our rent protection guarantee is easy to use, cost-effective, and offers renters in shared accommodation and their guarantor’s security and reassurance, alongside our bespoke
services for landlords who are looking to guarantee the rent and get help with rent recovery when other outlets fail. Only My Share is proud to already be working with some incredible partners, find out below how our service can benefit letting agents.

The problem Only My Share is here to solve.

So, why is rent protection so important? When tenants are living in shared accommodation, they sign a joint and several liability agreements. This means that they are not only liable for their own rent but also for the rent of their entire house should the other housemates not be able to pay their share. This in turn also means that their guarantors are liable too. Tenants could end up owing rent that isn’t theirs technically but is legally due to contractual obligations.

In the case that a tenant defaults on rent, the process of chasing payments and recovering them from tenants or guarantors is hard work, time-consuming, and often leaves landlords out of pocket. That’s where we come in to help. Only My Share’s block management product has been created with these issues in mind. Our service allows landlords to cover tenants that are up-to-date with their rental payments and fees across a single property or whole estate (depending on requirements). This means that both parties are offered full protection, provided with peace of mind, and that the rental process runs smoothly.

The benefits of Only My Share for Letting Agents.

Only My Share has a bespoke and incredibly beneficial service for letting agents. Our product keeps letting agents one step ahead in a competitive market by helping tenants rent with confidence and landlords guarantee their rent.

Our flexible model means that letting agents can offer great value, and get contracts signed quickly. Landlords are satisfied as they are fully protected against rent loss, and tenants are happy knowing that they aren’t liable if a housemate falls into rent arrears. In effect, letting agents recommending our service to landlords and tenants also improve their offerings as agents by helping landlords reduce their liabilities, covering tenants and guarantors affordably, and offering new products.

What’s included for letting agents?

Rent loss protection – It’s simple, but Only My Share guarantees that landlords don’t miss out if tenants can’t pay.

A simple procedure – Claiming on a rent guarantee is easy, there’s one simple form and then we’ll be in touch and the rest is left for us to cover.

Letting agents can offer a better service – Offering protection means a competitive advantage – client relationships and services are improved by providing our product.

You can count on us – With all problem cases, we are here to help with both rent recovery and rent guarantee.

One size doesn’t fit all approach – We’re aware that landlords have different tenancy agreements with their tenants. We tailor this to make sure that the plan is suitable for their tenancy arrangements.

There are no limits – Whether it’s a three-bed house in Bournemouth or a seven-bed house in London, our rent protection guarantee covers everyone.

Make a commission – By reselling our products to landlords, letting agents can improve services, and earn a commission.

How it works for letting agents.

Letting agents act as an introducer of our services to their landlords, using focused marketing material which is provided. This means that letting agents can up-sale their offering, improve client relationships and get contracts signed quicker. By offering policies to landlords, letting agents earn a commission, making our scheme a win, win for

Only My Share has tailored plans for letting agents, it’s very quick and easy to get involved and start offering our services. We put together a bespoke plan for each agency, including a commission structure and anything else that is required. Letting agents then recommend our services to tenants and landlords, it’s really as easy as that.

To find out more about how Only My Share can help letting agents, please drop us an email at and one of our team members will be in touch as soon as possible.


Rent Protection: The Top 5 Things To Look Out For In A Rental Contract

Finding the perfect student house can always be stressful, however, a tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract and should never be entered lightly. It’s important to take your time, do your research and communicate any questions or concerns you may have before signing. Rent Protection is Only My Shares top priority.

If it’s your first time renting, the process and terminology may seem confusing initially, but Only My Share is here to help. From guarantors and agreements to deposits and rent protection, we’ve pulled together the top 5 things to look out for before signing on the dotted line.

Back to basics: What is a tenancy agreement?

A tenancy agreement is a contract between yourself and a landlord. This contract sets out the terms and conditions of your tenancy and allows you to live in the property as long as the agreed rules are followed and you pay rent.

Know your type of tenancy agreement.

Often, students will be renting as a group of sharers. Student lets usually involve an assured shorthand tenancy agreement for 12 months. There are also two main types of tenancy agreement that may be offered to a group of students:

• Individual contract: This is between each individual tenant and the landlord.
• Joint tenancy agreement (most common): The whole group is responsible for collective rent payments and the property.

It is important to understand the difference between the two and understand which will work best for you before agreeing to your contract.

Joint and Several Tenancy agreements.

Most students and sharers will choose to live in a joint tenancy as they’ve met a group of friends that they want to live with, or are looking to meet new people through a house share. However, entering any kind of contract will always come with risks.

With joint and several tenancy agreements, when you sign the same contract as other people in your house, you are responsible for not only your individual rent but also the collective rent of the whole house. This means that if someone leaves the house early or chooses not to pay rent, you or your guarantor would be liable. Find out more about Joint and several liabilities here.

Luckily, Only My Share is an affordable rent arrears protection service that stops this risk with one simple-rent protection guarantee. With just a one-off payment of £99 you can have peace of mind that, should one of your fellow sharers find themselves unable to make a rent payment, you and your guarantor will not be left to foot the bill. Find out more about our rent protection services here.

Secure a Guarantor.

As a first time renter and student, landlords will often require a guarantor. A guarantor is usually a parent or guardian (often required to be a UK homeowner) who will agree that in a worst-case scenario, they will cover your rent payments. Before entering your agreement, it’s important to have this discussion and be prepared.

It is very common for students and sharers to find themselves in a situation where they are unable to find someone who meets the requirements of a guarantor. If you find yourself in this position, you should check out our sister company Housing Hand, which is a rent guarantor service. Find out more here.

Deposit Protection Schemes

When renting a property, you will be required to pay upfront usually 1-6 weeks worth of rent. This is to cover for late rental payments or in case of damage to the property. The law states that all deposits that are taken by landlords must be put into a government-backed deposit protection scheme within 30 days.

Students will often get a large portion of their deposits taken from them at the end of their lease. This is due to damage, but sometimes landlords will try and get more than what is owed. However, you are entitled to get this money back, and this is where the deposit protection scheme comes in – so it is vital to make sure this is in place before your agreement.

Read the small print

This may seem like an obvious point, and a tedious task considering the length of the average tenancy agreement – however, this is one of the most important parts. Here are some of the main points to look out for:

• Double-check the rental amount.
• Check the start and end date of the tenancy is correct.
• Read the terms and conditions/obligations carefully (what you are and are not able to do during the tenancy).
• Agreed repairs – make sure anything that needs fixing before your move-in date has been pre-agreed here.
• Furnishings – ensure that any furniture that comes with the property is stated.

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Only My Share was in the Telegraph!

We were featured in the Telegraph in an article about the “Dangers of Joint Rental Contracts” , this issue is becoming even more prevalent especially in the last 12 months. As renters are increasingly uncomfortable with taking on additional financial responsibilities, with the ongoing uncertainty in the marketplace, renters and their guarantors are taking every precaution they can. 

The article highlighted case studies about tenants and their parents who have been chased for hundreds of pounds after horror story housemates have failed to pay their share of the rent, which is becoming the norm more than ever before. 

James (who asked to use a pseudonym) was a customer who contacted Only My Share, shared his story with the Telegraph.  He was in his final year of University and along with three of his housemates was being chased for £800 of outstanding rent by their landlord after the fifth person they lived with failed to pay. 

The fifth housemate was non-contactable as he had just upped and disappeared after they finished their exams and he stopped paying his share of the rent. James and the rest of the housemates were in a predicament as they did not have the funds to pay. Their parents, who were their guarantors had to step in and pay £200 each, to cover the arrears. There was also additional charge as damages to the property exceeded their deposit, once again the parents had to pay for the fifth housemates share of the amount. 

James’ is just one story that highlights some of the issues that can arise when people fall into rental arrears and the implications this has on their housemates under a Joint and Several contract. There are many others who have experienced similar or have been in worse situations than James, to read the full article on the Telegraph click here.


Record-breaking period of sales at Only My Share

During one of the most turbulent times in our shared history, Only My Share experienced a record period of sales, an 82% increase between March and September 2020 in comparison to the same period for 2019!

Why was this?

This steep rise in demand for joint and serval liability cover for tenants and landlords, just shows that during the COVID pandemic renters are becoming increasingly more conscious regarding their financial future and liabilities. 

For instance, as students have returned back to University many of which would be living in HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) properties where they would have signed a tenancy agreement with a joint and several liability clause. In the past their guarantors, typically parents would be signing the contract more often than not questioning the other guarantors’ finical history and the increased liability they would be undertaking. 

But in the current climate, everything is under scrutiny, guarantors do not want to be potentially liable for thousands of pounds of somebody else’s’ rent. This is driving demand for Only My Share. 

With increased sales and traffic to Only My Share, it interesting to note that 44% of the user traffic is aged between 25-44 highlighting that OMS is a cross-generational product for the emerging “generation rent”.

As the pandemic continues, the need for financial stability and security is increasingly apparent for tenants, guarantors and landlords alike.