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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 StudentTenant.com, 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 https://onlymyshare.com/

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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
everyone.

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 visit our website, give us a call on 0203 887 2961 or drop us an email at info@onlymyshare.com and one of our team members will be in touch as soon as possible.

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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.

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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.