Q&A – Guests
Got questions? Unsure what to expect? Browse this page to see if we have an answer for you:
What exactly is a “host house”?
- The host houses are all private households that have made spare rooms available to us, for use by Mybedpost guests on a per-night basis. Some houses have one room for us, some have two, and some even more.
Where are the host houses located?
- Here is the full list of towns/suburbs where we currently have rooms (you can see the locations on the map below – zoom in and move around freely; click on the map markers to see the place names):
- Welling/Bexleyheath (our main hub in south-east London, just half an hour by train from central London), postcode DA16 and DA7 (9 rooms) [the main host house in Bexleyheath is also home to three dogs, which may or may not be relevant to you]
- Clapham (London), postcode SW4 [our most central location] [NOT AVAILABLE during the Covid-19 crisis]
- Kenley/Croydon (south London), postcode CR8 (2 rooms) [closest for Gatwick access]
- Eastcote (west London), postcode HA5 [best for access to Heathrow; homebase service option n/a]
- Epsom (south London), postcode KT17 (3 rooms)
- Colchester (Essex), postcode CO2 [home to a lovely Labradoodle]
- Jamestown (near Glasgow), postcode G83
- Stourbridge (next to Birmingham), postcode DY8 [suitable for cat lovers – 4 cats live here] (2 rooms) [NOT AVAILABLE during the Covid-19 crisis]
(if you see a small box on the map saying “undefined”, instead of a place name, just close that box)
Can I see the rooms before I decide?
- Sure, scroll to the bottom of this page for photos.
How long is the arrangement for?
- The aim of the arrangement is to provide a fixed long-term base for guests. The arrangement is therefore open-ended, for as long as you need it. Should your host eventually decide to stop offering the service, you will have the option to move to a different host.
Am I tied to just one host house?
- Not at all. Sometimes it may be more practical to use a different host house from your usual one, in which case you’re most welcome to do that.
What if I don’t need a permanent base? I just need an occasional place to stay.
- No problem – occasional guests are just as welcome. Just tell us when and for how long you need a room, and we’ll place you with a friendly host.
How long can I stay on any one visit?
- Since it will be your home base, you can stay for as long as you need, subject to availability and the applicable room fee per night of course.
How do I make a booking?
- When you know the dates of your next break, inform MyBedPost and we will make the necessary bookings. If your scheduled dates change, let us know as soon as possible so that we can update and manage the bookings. At present you can communicate with us by phone, Whatsapp, SMS, email, and via forms on this website:
- First-time guests are required to pay a deposit of one night’s accommodation fee, at the time of booking. The balance may be paid any time before your arrival. Should you subsequently need to cancel the reservation, the deposit is refundable, as long as you cancel more than 24 hours beforehand.
What if I need to cancel a reservation?
- We know that a carer’s schedule can change at short notice, so we appreciate that sometimes you may need to cancel a room booking. Just let us know (by email, text message or phone call) as soon as you become aware that you need to cancel. This will avoid unpleasant experiences on all sides.
- If you’ve already paid for your intended stay, don’t worry, you won’t lose your money. We’ll simply carry it forward as credit for your next visit.
- However, cancellations require at least 24 hours notice. If you cancel less than 24 hours before your original arrival time, a one-night fee applies, since we are unable to make the room available for another guest for that night.
- Not turning up for a reservation, or walking out of a reservation without notice, does not constitute cancellation, and hence no refunds are issued in such circumstances.
What can I expect for my money?
- There are two components to the service: A room where you can stay between work placements, and a “home base” service, which allows you to store your main suitcase at the host house, so that you can travel light between clients, and to receive your mail there.
- The room: This includes:
- The room itself, and a shared bathroom. Some rooms may come with an en-suite bathroom.
- Your personal bed linen and towel.
- Use of the kitchen for preparing your own meals.
- Ingredients for making breakfast, i.e. tea, coffee, bread etc.
- The “home base” service: This is an optional add-on service for regular guests, i.e. guests who regularly return to a specific host house. For a monthly fee of £15, you can
- store one suitcase at the host house, enabling you to travel much lighter between clients, and
- use the host’s address as your UK postal address. Any mail that arrives there for you is kept safely until your next visit.
- NB: The home base service DOES NOT entitle you to use a host’s address for electoral roll purposes, or to list it as your permanent UK address. It is intended purely for postal purposes. If you are eligible to vote in British elections, you must use your ordinary foreign home address for this purpose.
- We offer 3 types of rooms, namely:
- Grade A-Plus, a large/good-sized room with TV, plus its own bathroom: £37 per night.
- Grade A, a large/good-sized room with TV: £32 per night. The majority of our rooms are this grade.
- Grade B, which is either designated as “small” or lacks a TV, or both: £28 per night.
- Note, however, that for bookings of just a single night you need to add £5 to the listed rates, in recognition of the greater workload for hosts in preparing the room for a new guest after just one night.
- The room types that are available at each host house are shown in a table on the reservation forms. Please do not request a room type that doesn’t exist at your selected host, as we have lost our magic wand.
- If you intend to bring a partner who will share the room with you, please enquire.
- The fee for the optional “home base” service is £15 per month. This is payable by monthly standing order. (A once-off Joining Fee of £15 applies when you register for this service, and one month’s notice for termination)
How should I pay for this service?
- All payments for accommodation and home base provision must be made to MyBedPost, and not directly to the host.
- Payments for accommodation must be made by bank transfer for each visit period, as follows:
- Prior to your arrival, payment for the number of nights that you expect to stay. Because demand for rooms is high, we suggest that you pay as early as possible, in order to secure your reservation.
- First-time guests are required to pay a deposit of one night’s accommodation fee, at the time of booking. The balance may be paid any time before your arrival. Should you subsequently need to cancel the reservation, the deposit is refundable, as long as you cancel more than one day beforehand.
- Should your stay need to be extended, as a result of a change in your work schedule, you simply top up the payment at that point.
- Should your stay be shorter than expected, as a result of your being sent to a client sooner than expected, any overpayment will be carried forward as credit to your next stay.
- The fixed monthly fee for home base provision is payable at the beginning of every month by standing order.
- If, for whatever reason, you elect to pay in cash, we have to levy a surcharge of £10 per payment, to cover the bank’s charge for depositing cash, and our additional work. The same applies if you deposit cash over the counter in a bank branch, as the bank will charge us for that.
- In exceptional circumstances it is possible to pay via Paypal. However, since Paypal charges us a fee for this service, we have to levy a surcharge of £10 per payment.
- If you are using the “home base” service, the monthly fee for this is payable by standing order on the first day of each month.
Will I get a receipt for payments?
- When paying via electronic banking, a receipt is not necessary, since it will be shown on your bank statement. Hence we don’t issue them.
Will I have internet access?
- Yes, all host houses have internet.
Can I do my laundry?
- You may use the host’s washing machine for your personal laundry for a small fee, currently £2 per machine load. If you use the tumble dryer (where available), it counts as a separate machine load. This is payable directly to the host.
What will the general house rules and conditions be?
- Breakfast: Your host is not expected to make breakfast for you, but will provide the basic ingredients for you to make your own breakfast, such as tea, coffee, sugar, milk, bread, jam and some cereals.
- Other meals: Your host has no obligation to provide meals for you, but you will have the use of the kitchen to prepare your own meals (within reasonable limits, and subject to you cleaning up after yourself), should you wish.
- Linen: You will have your personal bed linen and towel on each visit.
- Your personal laundry: You may use the host’s washing machine for your personal laundry for a small fee, currently £2 per machine load. This is payable directly to the host.
- Smoking: A strict no-smoking policy applies to all houses. Smoking in outside areas is subject to the host’s personal house rules. Anyone found to have smoked inside a host house (with or without windows open) will be asked to leave immediately and banned from any future use of this service. If asked to leave before the scheduled end of your stay, payments for any thus cancelled nights will not be refunded.
- Breakages: If you accidentally damage something in the host household, it will of course be your responsibility to pay for repair/replacement.
- Injuries: Hosts cannot accept liability for injuries to guests on their premises, unless it is a clear case of gross negligence on the part of the host.
- General: The hosts are all private households and may thus have unique house rules that they will make you aware of. We ask you please to respect those, just as they will respect your privacy and do everything in their power to make your stay enjoyable. Non-compliance with house rules may result in the same sanction as outlined under “Smoking” above.
Will my host provide meals for me?
- No. The host’s obligation is limited to providing basic ingredients for you to make your own breakfast, such as coffee, tea, milk, sugar, bread, jam and some cereals.
Will I have fresh linen every night?
- Not for every night, but the linen will be changed for each visit. To keep the host’s laundry amount to reasonable levels (remember that they cater for several guests), they may store your linen between visits, as long as it is washed at least once a month.
What happens if there is a clash of dates?
- Your host caters for several guests like yourself, and the rooms are scheduled according to the demand for them. Since your work dates are not regular, there may occasionally be a clash in demand for your room. If the clash cannot be resolved in time for your arrival, you will be offered an alternative room situated as close as possible to your normal base. The scheduling of visits and resolving of clashes are managed centrally by MyBedPost.
What happens if I leave the UK for a few months? Do I have to continue paying for the address service if I’ve taken up this option?
- If you leave your main suitcase in the UK, the normal storage service will continue and hence require payment.
- However, if you take your suitcase with you, there will be no fee during your absence. Simply notify us of your absence and put your monthly standing order on hold.
How do I complain if there is a problem?
- If you exerience any problems at your host house, please inform us promptly so that we may attend to it. Unreported problems remain unresolved, as we’re not aware of them.
Can I make private arrangements with hosts or former hosts for accommodation and/or storage?
- No. All arrangements must be made through Mybedpost. With regard to former hosts, note that they are legally prohibited from continuing to host carers privately. By making private arrangements with such hosts, you would be creating legal difficulties for the hosts, and making yourself a candidate for blacklisting across all our hosts.
Did we answer all your questions? If you didn’t find the information you were looking for, please feel free to contact us.