Q&A – Hosts

Got questions? Unsure what to expect? Browse this page to see if we have an answer for you:

In which areas are spare rooms needed?

  • At present we are looking for hosts mainly in the Greater London area, particularly in transport zones 1-4. If you are not in this area, don’t let this put you off – we expect to expand to more cities as demand spreads. So please do register your interest by filling in the form, to be among the first hosts in your area.

What sort of guests will I receive?

  • Your guests will be care workers from abroad who work as live-in carers for vulnerable clients. They work through care agencies, and are placed with different clients on a rotation basis, typically for two to four weeks at a time. In-between their placements, they need somewhere to spend a couple of nights. This is where you come in.

Can I trust my guests?

  • As your guests are care workers who work with vulnerable people, they have all been DBS-checked (formerly called CRB), after undergoing a rigorous selection process.

How long will a guest typically stay?

  • On average, a guest will visit you once or twice a month, and spend between one and six nights at a time. Some have been known to stay for longer.

What will my duties be?

  • Your room will function as a regular base for your guests, where they can opt to store one suitcase. For this part of the service you will receive a fixed monthly fee from each guest that opts for this service.
  • Breakfast: Hosts are not expected to make breakfast for guests, but rather to provide basic ingredients for guests to make their own breakfast, namely tea, coffee, sugar, milk, bread, jam and some cereals.
  • Other meals: Hosts have no obligation to provide meals for guests, but to give them reasonable access to the kitchen for meal preparation.
  • Laundry:
  • Linen: Hosts are expected to change the bed linen and towel for each guest. To keep the laundry effort reasonable, it is acceptable to store each guest’s linen between visits, for up to one month.
  • Guests’ personal laundry: You are not expected to provide a laundry service for your guests. However, should a guest request to use your washing machine, you are entitled to charge a small fee, e.g. £2 per machine load. The same applies to the use of a tumble dryer, if you have one.

Do I have to provide meals for my guests?

  • No. We only ask you to provide some basic ingredients for your guests to make breakfast, such as coffee, tea, milk, sugar, bread, jam and some cereals.
  • Some guests may wish to prepare simple meals in your kitchen, which usually means heating something in the microwave.

Do I have to provide fresh linen every night?

  • No, but for obvious hygiene reasons you need to change the linen whenever a new guest arrives. To keep your laundry to reasonable levels, you may store each guest’s linen between visits, as long as you wash it at least once a month.

What happens if there is a clash of dates?

  • Since we don’t control the dates when the guests will need the beds, there may occasionally be a clash in demand for your room. In such cases, one guest will take the room as usual, and any others will be placed with alternative hosts who have spare capacity on those days. The scheduling of visits and resolving of clashes are managed centrally by MyBedPost.
  • By the way, if you have more than one room available, clashes are less likely to occur, and you will benefit from a higher occupancy rate.

How will I be paid?

  • Your guests will make payments for accommodation and home-base provision (suitcase storage) to MyBedPost. You will receive payments from MyBedPost twice a month, once in the middle of the month and once at the end.

Will I have to pay tax on the income from my spare room?

  • By law you should declare this income to HMRC. The actual amount of tax depends on your total income. However, if your room income is channelled through a member of your household who does not have any other income, it will probably fall within the tax-free allowance.
  • You may also be aware of HMRC’s Rent-a-room scheme, in terms of which a certain amount of rental income from rooms is tax-free (currently it is £7500).

 

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