We encourage hosts to think carefully about their responsibilities. You will be keeping a watchful eye on someone who needs your help. Hosting offers rich experiences, but it comes with a high level of commitment and responsibility
Here are some ways you can be a responsible host.
When you meet with the senior, be honest about what you are comfortable with and what your availability will be. In general the role of a host is general support and supervision. If there is anything that is asked of you that you are not comfortable with clearly notify the senior and (if applicable) their family. If there are any issues, please contact Room2Care.
Indicate local emergency numbers and the nearest hospital. Provide a clear emergency contact number for yourself, as well as backup, for easy senior reference. Also make clear how you should be contacted if the senior has questions or issues arise.
Make a first aid kit easily available.
Ensure you have a functioning smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector, and that your property meets government safety guidelines for your area (e.g., International Building Code). Ensure you provide a functioning fire extinguisher and complete required maintenance.
Ensure you have a clearly marked fire escape route, and post a map in your home.
Always be mindful of your seniors' privacy. Fully disclose whether there are security cameras or other surveillance equipment at or around your listing. Make sure you are aware of and comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws.
Go through your home to identify any areas where seniors might trip or fall and either remove the hazard or mark clearly. Fix any exposed wires. Ensure stairs are safe and have railings. Remove or lock up any objects that may be dangerous to your seniors.
Ensure your home is properly ventilated and that temperature control is clearly marked and functional. Ensure seniors are clear about how to safely use the heater.
Ensure you relay your building's common area rules to your senior. You may want to even notify your neighbors that you will have seniors, and remind seniors not to bother your neighbors (e.g., don't knock on their door or buzz them to let you in).
If you don't allow smoking, we suggest posting signs to remind seniors. If you do allow smoking, ensure you have ashtrays available in designated areas.
Ensure you relay parking rules for your building and neighborhood to your senior.
Remind seniors about keeping noise down. You may want to consider whether you allow babies, pets, or parties. Develop a policy about seniors inviting other people over, and ensure your seniors are clear about your 'party policy.'
If you allow pets, ensure seniors are educated about things like local parks and local customs (e.g., cleaning up after your dog). Have a backup plan in case a senior's pet upsets the neighbors (such as the number of a nearby pet hotel).
To avoid surprises, you may want to include the information covered above in your House Rules in your Room2Care.com listing profile.
Whom should I notify that I'm hosting on Room2Care.com?
Check your HOA or Co-Op Board regulations to make sure there is no prohibition against subletting--or any other restriction against hosting. Read your lease agreement and check with your landlord if applicable. You may consider adding a rider to your contract that addresses the concerns of these parties and outlines the responsibilities and liabilities of all parties.
If you have roommates, consider a roommate agreement in writing which outlines things like how often you plan to host, how you'll ensure seniors follow House Rules, and even whether you'll share revenue if that makes sense for you.
Consider whether you should notify your neighbors about your plans to host, along with your plan for how to make sure your seniors are not disruptive.
If you live in public or subsidized housing there may be special rules that apply to you. The manager of the property may be able to answer questions about this.
What local regulations apply to me?
Ensure you look up any local taxes or business license requirements that may apply. This may include things like hotel/transient occupancy tax, sales, and other turnover taxes such as an income tax.
Permits or Registrations:
Ensure you look up any permitting, zoning, safety, and health regulations that may apply. The governing authorities that regulate the use and development of property in your area may have useful information on such regulations.
Rent Control/Rent Stabilization:
If you live in rent controlled or stabilized housing, there may be special rules that apply to you. Contact your local Rent board to ask questions about this topic.
Your State’s Regulations
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What insurance should I get to cover my home?
Room2Care.com offers you our Host Guarantee, but note this does not take the place of homeowners or renters insurance.
Review your renters or homeowners policy with your insurance carrier to make sure you have adequate coverage.
Ensure you have adequate liability coverage as well as property protection.