If you have one or more spare bedrooms in your London home, or are suffering from empty nest syndrome, then why not become a host or host family? It’s not just a way to earn some extra money – it can be an enriching experience and you can make friends for life from all over the world. Here are the steps prospective host families need to follow to make sure it’s the right decision.
Step by Step Process for Hosts
Determine profile of guest
First of all you need to decide what type of guests you are willing to welcome into your home. Age is important – if you allow under 18’s then you will have to follow safeguarding policies and prepare for the guests to be less independent. Popular profiles include foreign students, interns, business travellers, tourists. There are different agencies which promote certain guests.
Determine preferable length of stay
Homestay accommodation varies hugely, so you need to decide if you would like to have long term or short term guests. What is your ideal length of stay? Also, do you want regular stays so you have a guest as often as possible, or would you rather have some time off in-between hosting?
You should do plenty of research about host requirements before deciding whether this is the right step to take. Make sure you are happy with the expectations of your guests – mostly overseas students – and check that your house will fit the accommodation requirements of homestay providers. You should also research the different homestay agencies to see which are registered with industry bodies and would be a perfect fit for you.
Prepare for inspection
Once you have found a homestay provider you are happy with, it’s time to register and await the inspection. If your application is successful then somebody from the agency will visit you in your home, to inspect the property and assess your suitability as a host. They will also take photographs of your home to show prospective guests. Make sure the rooms are looking presentable so the photos show your property at its best, and prepare a list of questions to ask the representative.
Welcome your first guests
If everything goes to plan, you will pass the inspection and your property will start to be advertised as a homestay to prospective guests. You could be welcoming a student or tourist within a couple of weeks!