- How long are the visitors’ stays?
- How old are the visitors?
- Where are the visitors from in the world?
- Do I have to pick the guest up from the airport?
- How much information will I be given before they arrive?
- Will the guest need their own key?
- What will they be doing during the day and on week-ends?
- Will I have to cook for my guest?
- Which is the most common meal package requested?
- What if I have plans on an evening and can not prepare a meal?
- Are students allowed to bring friends into my home?
- What happens if there are disagreements between us and our visitor?
- Am I liable if my guest has an accident in the house or is ill?
- Am I liable for income tax on earnings?
They will usually be short term on average between 2-3 weeks at a time. We also get requests for homestay accommodation on a longer term for students who are spending a gap year in London for example.
How old are the visitors?
Most of the visitors will be students aged between 18-25. We often place older visitors as the service is open not only to students but work experience providers and anyone generally wanting to visit London.
We work with varied London based education and work experience/internship providers. We will organise the accommodation for these institutions and so the students that you may host will be from around the world and not from one specific country.
No. Sometimes you will be asked to pick up your guest from a local meeting point and drop them back there on the departure day. You will never be required to collect the guest from the airport.
When we receive a booking request we will match requirements to the host families that we have registered with us. We will then call the individual families and give them the full details of the visitor. This will include information on nationality, gender, age, length of stay, reason for visit, any supplementary requirements. At this stage if you are happy with the profile we will make the booking and send you a confirmation in writing.
Yes. This is important and should mean that you are not restricted in having to be at home at a certain time to let them in.
If we take the example of a student studying English at a language school in central London, classes will normally start at 9am and the student will have to be ready and leave the house by 8am. Classes will normally finish at 1pm when the student will have lunch. In the afternoon there are organised (usually by the language school) activities that may involve sightseeing or sports for example.
On week-ends there are frequently organised activities such as trips to neighbouring cities. Often the student may organise to meet up with their new friends/classmates independently outside of class. The students are usually here on a short term basis so they will generally be looking to make the most of their time in London, explore as much of the city as possible and at the same time practise their English.
This example will vary depending on the nature and reason for your guest’s stay in London.
The visitors have various meal options for their Homestay. They can choose from self catering, bed and breakfast, half board and full board. We will ask you when we first meet at registration to tell us which of these you would be happy to provide. This will form part of the information that we use to match student to host family.
The most common package requested by students is half board which includes continental breakfast and evening meal. We have found that this is the most popular as it fits in best with the students’ timetable while they are here. Often their place of study will have a canteen where the student can buy lunch. Our most successful families are the ones who are in a position to integrate the student into the normal running of their household so that they are preparing meals for the family and the student together. Again, a guest’s choice of meal package will vary depending on the reason and nature of their visit.
Provided the meal is prepared earlier, it can be left for the student to be reheated on their return to the house.
We advise that on arrival the host family sit down with the student and run through some reasonable ground rules. These will be set by the family in line with the normal running of your home. The above question can be covered from day one within your ground rules. We would suggest however that the student should only invite visitors with the prior permission of the host family. For further advice on setting ground rules please do not hesitate to contact us.
The visitors are responsible young adults or older and we generally find that we have few problems between student and host family. In the scenario that you find yourself in a disagreement that can not be resolved please contact us as soon as possible and we will either try and mediate or move the guest to alternative accommodation should a resolution not be possible.
Our T&Cs also advise all visitors to London to take out their own personal travel insurance and will normally cover any such occurrences.
Under the government’s Rent a Room scheme no tax is payable unless you earn more than £4250 per annum through hosting. Amounts higher than this may be subject to tax depending on your personal circumstances. We advise you to seek independent advice in this scenario.