With A-level results due to be released throughout the country this week, many students and parents will also have their minds set on sorting student accommodation.
Save the Student highlights that 54% of all student accommodation is with private landlords and estate agents. Many of these are Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), of which there are over 500,000 in England, according to National HMO Network figures.
Only My Share, part of the Housing Hand group, points out that for students and those who act as their guarantors, renting a room in a shared home like this carries a particular risk: if one housemate doesn’t pay their rent, the others (and the guarantors) may end up liable for their share.
Terry Mason, Group Operations Director of Only My Share, says: “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.”
This problem of rent arrears is widespread. The National Landlords Association (NLA) reports that 32% of landlords have suffered from rent rears. Court order evictions rates and rental default claims are also rising.
Terry continues: “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.”
2018 figures from Save the Student show that average yearly student rent is £6,792. Cushman & Wakefield report that private rental sector (PRS) increases are outstripping those of university bed spaces, at 3.0% and 2.6% respectively from 2017/18 to 2018/19.