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Homestay Privacy Policy


Data controller: HFS London Limited, Registered in England & Wales. Reg No. 06822434.

Registered Offices: Studio 28, Clipper House, 33 Trinity Buoy Wharf London, E14 0FJ.


In the provision of our homestay services, HFS London collects and processes personal data relating to homestay hosts (“host families”) and students (or other homestay guests). HFS London is committed to being transparent about how it collects and uses that data and to meeting its data protection obligations.

What information does HFS London collect?

HFS London collects a range of information. This includes but is not limited to:

  1. Homestay Hosts (“Host Families”):
  • Personal information about residents in homestay, including about any children and frequent visitors to the home. This is provided by you during the registration process via our host application (or enquiry) form, email or subsequently via dialogue after registration with us.
  • Information recorded during the home inspection visit, such as identify documentation, feedback on suitability to host students and the make-up of the accommodation. This also includes photographs of accommodation (student room(s) and communal areas including exterior of the home).
  • Bank details in order to make payments to hosts for students or homestay guests placed with them.
  • Changes to your home (e.g additional bedrooms available or changes to your guest preferences) as indicated by you or as obtained during subsequent re-inspection visits.
  • Feedback (including complaints) from homestay guests or educational clients.
  1. International Students/Homestay Guests
  • Personal information such as name, gender, nationality, contact details (mobile number and email address), purpose of visit to UK, special requirements (such as medical issues or dietary needs) and other accommodation preferences.
  • Visa information for students requiring a UK visa.
  • This information is provided by you during the application process via our homestay application (or enquiry) form, email or in subsequent dialogue with us.
  1. General
  • Equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health and religion or belief.
  • Statistical and other analytical information collected on an aggregate basis of visitors to our website. This non-personal data comprises information that cannot be used to identify or contact you, such as demographic information regarding, for example, user IP addresses, browser types and other anonymous statistical data involving the use of the website.
  • This website places and accesses certain Cookies on your computer. HFS London Limited uses Cookies to improve your experience of using our site and to improve our services. HFS London Limited has carefully chosen these Cookies and has taken steps to ensure that your privacy is respected at all times. All Cookies used by this website are used in accordance with current UK and EU Cookie Law.
  • You can choose to enable or disable Cookies in your internet browser. By default, most internet browsers accept Cookies but this can be changed. For further details, please refer to the help menu in your internet browser. You can choose to delete Cookies at any time, however, you may lose any information that enables you to access the website more quickly and efficiently including, but not limited to, personalisation settings.  It is recommended that you ensure that your internet browser is up to date and that you consult the help and guidance provided by the developer of your internet browser if you are unsure about adjusting your privacy settings


HFS London may collect information in a variety of ways. For example, data might be contained in online application or enquiry forms or collected in person (through host family inspection visits for example).

HFS London may also collect personal data about you from third parties. For example, where a host family has expressed an interest in hosting students aged under 18, we may seek (i) personal or past employment references and/or (ii) information on past convictions, cautions, reprimands etc from criminal records checks (e.g DBS).  Similarly, where a student or homestay guest has contacted us directly we may request confirmation of enrolment/employment from their place of study/work here in the UK.

HFS London will seek information from third parties only once you have consented to HFS London doing so and will inform you that it is doing so.

Data will be stored in a range of different places, including on your application records, in our internal CRM systems and on other IT systems (including email).

Why does the HFS London process personal data?

HFS London needs to process data to be able to provide its homestay services. HFS London provides a student to host family matching service on behalf of language schools, universities and international “study agents” and requires personal data from homestay hosts and from homestay guests in order to carry out this service.

HFS London has a legitimate interest in processing personal data and for keeping records during the provision of its homestay services.

Where HFS London processes other special categories of data, such as information about ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health or religion or belief, this is for equal opportunities monitoring purposes.

Where host families wish to host students aged under 18, HFS London is obliged to seek information about criminal convictions and offences. Where HFS London seeks this information, it does so because it is necessary for it to carry out (i) its legal obligations (ii) its obligations to the British Council as well as (iii) providing an adequate matching service to students of this age group to educational clients (language schools, international “study agents” and students).

HFS London will use your data for the provision of its homestay services. We, and/or our authorised agents may from time to time inform you by telephone, letter, email or post of newer services, special offers, discounts, competitions and promotions.

This website may, from time to time, provide links to other websites. We have no control over such websites and are not responsible for the content of these websites. This privacy policy does not extend to your use of such websites. You are advised to read the privacy policy or statement of other websites prior to using them.

Who has access to data?

Your information may be shared internally and with certain third parties for the purposes of providing our homestay service. This includes, but is not limited to, our (i) Management Team (ii) Accommodation Officers, (iii) Administration Team, (iv) Home Inspectors, (v) Educational Clients (Language Schools, Universities, International “Study Agents”) (vi) Students or other homestay guests  (vii) British Council inspectors carrying out an inspection of HFS London, (viii) IT staff if access to the data is necessary for the performance of their roles, (ix) taxi transfer companies (where the student requests a transfer)

Whereas HFS London will share your data with educational clients (Language Schools, Universities, International “Study Agents”), we will not make your data publicly available online, or use it for marketing purposes, without your prior consent to do so.

However, HFS London will create an online profile for each homestay host which is searchable via a closed online search system, accessible to HFS London and authorised agents (Language Schools, Universities, International “Study Agents”, and students or other homestay guests wishing to book a homestay). HFS London will give access to our online search system only to these authorised agents, and it will not be made publicly available online without the host’s advance permission.

This profile will include information including basic details about the property and residents of the homestay, photos of the home taken by our Home Inspectors at the home inspection or voluntarily provided by the homestay host. This profile is anonymised and does not include information such as your exact location or address, name, or contact details.

Information such as the host’s name, address and contact details, are only supplied to the Educational Client, Study Agency, Student or Homestay Guest when a booking is confirmed. The host will also be sent a copy of the booking confirmation at this stage, so they will see which data is being shared.

As our (i) students/homestay guests and (ii) overseas “study agent” clients are based internationally, your data may be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA) in the normal provision of our homestay services.

HFS London routinely shares your information with the British Council inspectors carrying out inspections of HFS London. When required to do so to meet legal obligations, we share your information with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in order to complete criminal records checks. We will only share this information once you have consented to HFS London doing so and will inform you that we are doing so. HFS London does not routinely share your information with any other statutory or regulatory bodies such as the police, local councils, social services unless expressly required to do so to meet legal obligations.

How does the HFS London protect data?

HFS London takes the security of your data seriously. It has internal policies and controls in place to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed, and is not accessed except by our employees or relevant third parties (as above) in the proper performance of their duties.

For how long does HFS London keep data?

We will only process your personal data where we have a legal basis to do so and retain your personal data for as long as is necessary to provide our services to you and for record keeping thereafter.

Changes of business ownership and control

HFS London Limited may, from time to time, expand or reduce its business and this may involve the sale or the transfer of control of all or part of HFS London Limited.

Your data as provided by you will, where it is relevant to any part of our business so transferred, be transferred along with that part and the new owner or newly controlling party will, under the terms of this privacy policy, be permitted to use the data for the purposes for which it was originally supplied to us.

We may also disclose data to a prospective purchaser of our business.  In these circumstances, we will take steps to ensure that your privacy is protected.

Your rights

As a data subject, you have a number of rights. You can:

  • access and obtain a copy of your data on request;
  • require HFS London to change incorrect or incomplete data;
  • require HFS London to delete or stop processing your data, for example where the data is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing; and
  • object to the processing of your data where HFS London is relying on its legitimate interests as the legal ground for processing.

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact [email protected]

What if you do not provide personal data?

You are under no statutory or contractual obligation to provide data to HFS London during the registration or application stages or at any time thereafter. However, if you do not provide the information, HFS London may not be able to process your homestay application properly at all, nor provide our homestay service to you.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

Any changes to this privacy policy will be posted on the website so you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any time we decide to use personal data in a manner significantly different from that stated in this privacy policy, or as otherwise disclosed to you at the time it was collected, we will notify you by email and, where required by applicable law, we will obtain consent to changes before those changes come into effect.

Questions or Comments

If you wish to contact us to discuss any matter in relation to this privacy policy or our processing of your personal data, please feel free to contact us by email at [email protected]

Exclusion of Liability

HFS London Limited and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents and employees, from and against any claim, liabilities, damages, losses and/or expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable legal and accounting fees, arising out of or in any way connected with: (i) any claims made by Customers; (ii) the provision of accommodation by a Host Family; and (iii) use of this website and/or the services, arising out of our in connection with the use of any personal information relating to you in accordance with this privacy policy and your consent.

Governing Law & Jurisdiction

This agreement will be governed by and interpreted according to the law of England and Wales. All disputes arising under the Agreement will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts.