FAQ’s for Hosts

  • Where is the Helpful Housemate service offered? Helpful Housemates is currently available in Greater London, mainland UK cities and large towns.
  • Why isn’t Helpful Housemates offered in more rural locations? We judge each potential homeshare individually, and we do not automatically rule out a more rural location, but we like to be realistic about the chances of finding a Housemate.
  • What type of ’help’ does a Helpful Housemate give? A Housemate can do simple jobs such as assisting with technology, shopping, changing lightbulbs, opening jars, vacuuming or light gardening.
  • What if I want company as I am lonely? A Housemate can cook and eat a meal with their host or have a cup of tea together on a regular basis as part of the arrangement.
  • Can a Helpful Housemate help me get dressed? Housemates are available to offer practical help and/or be a companion for a few hours a week; they are NOT to offer any personal care, which includes dressing and administering medication.
  • Are Helpful Housemates trusted? Yes, we ensure that all potential Housemates have a clear, up-to-date criminal records check (DBS). We interview and reference-check potential housemates before putting them forward to you. We also complete a credit check.
  • What are the fees and charges to the Host? The Host pays: a one-off registration fee of £60 inc VAT, followed by a one-off completion fee of £360 inc Vat. When the Housemate moves in, we charge a monthly retainer fee of £36 inc VAT for the duration of the Housemate’s stay.
  • Why am I paying a month retainer as a Host? We have over 16+ years’ experience facilitating Homeshare arrangements and are on hand during office hours to offer advice. Often a little niggle can be addressed and resolved with our support.
  • What type of people become Helpful Housemates? Housemates are over the age of 21 and are usually working or studying. They are responsible and friendly; they appreciate the opportunity of affordable accommodation and welcome making a new friend.
  • Will I still have my privacy ? Yes! We suggest you find a time each week to discuss with your Housemate when you might need some help or company; apart from those times agreed for the support, you should both feel free to live your own lives.
  • What if I don’t get on with the Helpful Housemate/Host? It is important that both parties feel comfortable with the arrangement. Prior to move-in, we encourage they meet at least once to see how they get on. On the rare occasion that one or both parties decide that they are incompatible or the situation isn’t suitable for them, the agreement can be terminated with a minimum of 28 days notice.
  • How is a Helpful Housemate different to a lodger? A lodger pays full market rent and is free to come and go at will; they have no obligation to offer any support or company. A Helpful Housemate pays lower-than-market-rent and offers up to 5 hours a week of low-level practical support and/or company. They are also requested to advise their Host when they are going away. The detailed licence agreement includes “house rules” and expectations.
  • What kind of rent can I expect to receive? The rent received will normally be between £300-£600 p.c.m. depending on location, room size and condition, and other facilities. The Helpful Housemate Team will advise on a suitable rent which usually includes bills.
  • Why use Helpful Housemates? Helpful Housemates is run by the team behind Share and Care Homeshare which is the largest Homeshare organisation in the UK. We have an excellent track record of making happy matches and are experts on interviewing and carrying out relevant checks including references, Right to Rent, ID, Credit Checks and DBS checks. We draw up a comprehensive licence agreement to cover all aspects of the arrangement.

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