Frequently Asked Questions – Sharer
Homesharing is a lifestyle choice, not for everyone, as it’s more suited to mature, reliable people. As a Homesharer you need the energy and commitment at the end of your working day to spend some of your evenings and weekends engaging with the Householder and helping out.
When interviewed you tell the Co-ordinator what you are prepared to do for your Householder. The Co-ordinator will then match you with a Householder who is looking for that kind of support. You are asked to give the Householder ten hours of your time each week, and perhaps half of that is spent giving company. That’s why we ask you to be in the home at least three evenings each week. Sharers may be asked to keep the kitchen and bathroom clean and tidy, vacuum, wash floors where appropriate, change bed linen, do the laundry, and perhaps do some shopping, cooking or gardening. Sharers are never asked to provide personal care.
Every match is different, depending on the needs of the Householder and the abilities of the Sharer.
As a Sharer you have a day off every week (when nothing is expected of you from the Homeshare perspective) as well as up to five weeks of leave over the course of the year (no more than two weeks at any one time). We ask you to give the Householder, their family and Homeshare West plenty of notice when booking holidays and weekends away, so that alternative arrangements can be put in place to cover your absence.
In general, no overnight visitors, though the Householder may agree to you having a friend visit for coffee or a meal from time to time – and some even encourage this. You’ll be living in someone’s home so need be careful not to offend their sensibilities.
After your initial telephone enquiry you will be invited to meet the Co-ordinator for a face-to-face interview. Subsequently, if you want to proceed, your references will be taken up. You will be asked to supply an ‘Adult Enhanced Disclosure’ from the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) – Homeshare West will sponsor your application.
(Please be aware that neither you nor the Householder will have access to the references. The DBS will post your disclosure to you.)
On receipt of satisfactory references, the Co-ordinator will arrange for you to meet a suitable Householder. The introduction to the Householder will take a couple of hours. It is an opportunity for you to decide whether or not you want to share.
We take great care to match you with your Householder which means we have a high success rate. Clear communication from the outset usually prevents problems developing. The Co-ordinator stays in touch, but if there are problems which can’t be resolved between you and your Householder do let us know.
Both parties are asked to give a week’s notice during the first month. If things work out well during this trial period you are expected to stay for at least a year. In our experience most matches last much longer. The length of the match depends upon the changing circumstances of both parties. After the trial period one month’s notice is expected regardless of who ends the match.
The Co-ordinator will draft an agreement between you and the Householder specifying the tasks you have agreed to carry out and common-sense arrangements for sharing the house.
It states the notice periods – one week during the first month and one month thereafter. It is expected that the match will last at least a year, though most last much longer.
There is no registration fee. When your match starts, and for the duration of your stay, you are asked to make a payment of £150 each month to Homeshare West, payable in advance. You may be asked to contribute towards utility bills and Council Tax if the Householder loses their Single Person Occupancy Discount.
Homeshare West is a not-for-profit organisation with no funding from external sources. Our continuing existence depends upon the ability to cover our costs.