FAQ’S for Housemate

  • What are the advantages of being a Helpful Housemate? The rent is ‘lower-than-market’ in exchange for you being happy and able to provide a few hours per week of practical support/ company. Moreover, many Housemates tell us they enjoy the feeling that they are enriching their Host’s life by being there.
  • 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 a lower-than-market-rent and offers their Host up to 5 hours a week of low-level practical support and/or company. They also advise their Host when they are going away. There is a detailed agreement in place which includes “house rules” and expectations.
  • What are the fees and charges to the Housemate? The Housemate pays nothing to Helpful Housemates. The Housemate will directly pay their Host the agreed monthly rent for the accommodation, typically between £300 – £600, depending on location and the nature of the accommodation.
  • What if I don’t get on with the Helpful Housemate/Host? It is important that both parties feel comfortable with the arrangement. We encourage them to meet at least once before commencing the arrangement 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.
  • Can I have guests to stay overnight? As a general rule there is no overnight guest policy. Some Hosts may allow the occasional guest to stay overnight in the Housemate’s room but this would need to be mutually agreed in advance. It is the Host’s decision and we ask Housemates to respect their wishes.
  • Can I have a guest to visit during the day? Only with prior permission; it must be discussed and agreed with the Host before any guests are invited to the property.
  • Will I still have my privacy as a Helpful Housemate? Yes! This is essentially your home, for which you are paying rent, meaning you are free to go to work and socialise out of the house as you would in any rented accommodation. The Host can ask for up to 5 hours/week of light help around the home and/or company. They should not disturb you in your room, unless there is an emergency. However, a higher degree of communication is important in a Helpful Housemate arrangement as opposed to a normal rental; for example, you would need to tell your Host in advance if you are planning a holiday so that they are aware that you will not be available to assist for that period.
  • Do I need to contribute to utility bills? Some situations are inclusive of bills; others require an additional contribution. This will be indicated on the details of the specific Opportunity.
  • Do I need to pay a deposit? This is at the discretion of the Host; however we do encourage Hosts to charge one month’s rent as a refundable deposit. Any deposit is paid directly to the Host and payable before move-in.
  • Can I bring my own furniture? As a rule the bedrooms are fully furnished; however we suggest that if you have a piece of furniture you would like to bring, this should be discussed with the Host before any agreement is made.
  • Do I have to sleep in the property every night? No! As you are paying rent you are free to come and go as you please; we just ask that you let your Host know if you will not be returning any night so they know they can bolt the door without locking you out.
  • Is there a legal agreement in place? Yes! Helpful Housemates draws up a licence agreement between you and your Host.

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