FAQ for Sharers
Is homesharing right for me?
Homesharing suits people with less busy social lives – people who prefer to spend most evenings at home. (You are expected to be home at least three evenings a week.) If you like older people and are willing to help out around the home, homesharing gives you the opportunity to save money whilst living in a friendly environment with someone who’ll be pleased to have your company.
During the daytime you carry on as usual with your paid employment or studies.
What is expected of me?
When interviewed, you tell the Coordinator what you are prepared to do for your Householder. The Coordinator 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 companionship. 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.
What about visitors?
In general, no overnight visitors, though the Householder will likely agree to you having a friend visit for coffee or a meal from time to time – and some even encourage you to. You’ll be living in someone’s home so need be careful not to offend their sensibilities.
How does the matching process work?
After your initial telephone enquiry you will be invited to meet the Coordinator 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 ‘Enhanced Disclosure’ from the Disclosure & Barring Service – 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 Coordinator will arrange for you to meet a suitable Householder. The introduction to the Householder will take an hour or so. It is an opportunity for each to decide whether or not they want to share.
What happens if things don’t work out?
We take 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 Coordinator stays in touch, so if there are problems which can’t be resolved between you and your Householder, do let her know. Sometimes the agreement needs modifying to clarify expectations.
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 six months. In our experience, most matches last for over a year. 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.
Is there a contract?
The Coordinator 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 six months, though some last for years.
How much does it cost?
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.
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.