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Renting your spare room 

Do you live in London, and if so do you have a spare room or two? If that’s the case you could earn some extra income by taking in students as short term guests in what is known as ‘Homestay’ or ‘Host Family accommodation. This is how you can begin renting your spare room.

What is Homestay?

Homestay is an alternative accommodation prospect for students studying short term or long term in a foreign country. The student guest may be on a gap year, travelling the world and seeking out new, positive life experiences. They may be studying at university or volunteering on a project while at the same time receiving invaluable, cultural experience as an element of their chosen courses or profession in their home country.

What does a host do?

As a host, you are in effect opening up your home and offering a safe base from where they can continue their life’s adventure. As a host to an overseas student, you can offer something which will be invaluable to them – a “home from home”. By sharing your home and your way of life, you may well be laying the foundations of a lifelong friendship.

Of course, as a host you will be paid for the time the student is staying with you. Dependent on the level of accommodation offered, the fees paid will vary.


Homestay is flexible – there are many different options that you as a host are able to choose from; fixed or flexible periods when you play host to an overseas student, short or long term. Homestay, for the visiting student, is an affordable accommodation alternative to staying in hotels. It is also an easy, reliable source of extra income for the host.

As a Homestay host to a foreign student, you are part of their education. You can show them around the area, help them find their feet and at the end of the day, offer a safe haven for them to come home to. In fact, the feedback from many students typically refers to the host as ‘an extended family’.

How do you sign up as a host?

Signing up as a host on a Homestay programme is a relatively straightforward process – you provide information about you, your home, the type of accommodation you can offer and what periods the room is available. If you can provide images of your home it helps students get an idea of what is available and if it appeals to them.

Mutually beneficial

As a host, you will benefit financially but also and perhaps equally important, you will learn from your guest as they in turn will learn so much from their stay with you.

For more information in to the world of Homestay and renting your spare room, please contact us to find out more.

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