PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 January 2015
Home-exchange expert Lois Sealy, of Home Base Holidays, answers the most common questions about the process of home-exchange for anyone thinking of trying it
Q. What is a home-exchange?
A. It’s an agreement between two parties to swap homes rent-free for a set period. Exchange partners might live across the country or across the world. Homes may be similar or totally different. What matters is that both parties are happy with the arrangements set out.
Q. Who can take part in a home-exchange?
A. Anyone with a home can take part. If you rent, make sure you get permission from your landlord.
Q. What if my house is on the humble side?
A. Most people are simply looking for a base for their holiday that’s large enough for their family. You don’t have to exchange like for like, but do be honest in your description of your home and facilities.
Q. If I don’t live in a tourist area, will people want to swap with me?
A. Many people want to avoid tourist areas. The trick is to look at your local area from a visitor’s viewpoint and give them information on attractions, local events, shops and restaurants.
Q. Am I limited to the number of swaps I can do?
A. You can arrange as many swaps as you wish. Some members arrange weekend breaks, as well as longer holidays too.
Q. Who pays the bills?
A. Members usually continue to pay their own household bills. Most agree not to use a landline phone for outgoing calls, and instead use their own mobiles. If there are additional bills during an exchange, members might agree in advance who will be responsible for the extra payment charges incurred.
Q. What support is there for home-exchangers?
A. Home-exchange is a ‘do-it-yourself’ holiday, so you get to know each other through regular contact and correspondence. Companies like ours provide support such as a check-list to take you step by step, from making your initial enquiries through to confirming your actual arrangements, and how to leave a home at the end of a swap. We also have helpful exchange-agreement templates, a monthly newsletter and a regularly updated blog, and help is available by email and phone.