Hapipod can open up a world of ideal homesharers, but we are an introduction and matching site only for potential Hosts and Homemates. Anyone you connect with on the site has passed a robust ID verification, money laundering and negative media check, but there are a number of further steps you must take to check the suitability of potential candidates.
Here we give you a comprehensive set of guidelines on setting up a homeshare. All these measures help maximise the likelihood of successful arrangements, but it is ultimately up to each member to undertake these checks, agree fees and activities, manage expectations, and get along. Hapipod does not monitor homeshares once organised and cannot be liable for their outcomes.
Section 10 is a checklist that summarises a Host’s legal responsibilities when taking in a Homemate.
Please read through these carefully.
This check requires a one-off, non-refundable £20 fee. If you fail you can challenge it, but Hapipod reserves the right to uphold it. A fail means you cannot connect with other users, and have the right to remove your profile.
The process is technology-based. You’ll need a camera on your computer or phone and the facility to upload documents as jpegs or pdfs. You may need a little help with it, or sometimes to repeat parts of the process, but it is worth it!
This is how the process works:
For your safety only verified members who have passed this test can view your full profile information, contact you or reply to your messages.
DBS Certificates (Disclosure and Barring Service) are criminal record checks showing any unspent criminal convictions or cautions held on police records. This is an important measure of someone’s safety risk. Everyone is asked to indicate if they have one. A foreign national may wish to provide their equivalent national certificate.
If someone indicates they have a DBS certificate or online certification number the fingerprint on their profiles will be shown in green. You must still verify it for yourself as follows:
We advise everyone to either select someone who says they have a DBS certificate using the relevant search filter, or to ask a person of interest to apply for one.
Anyone can apply for a basic DBS certificate here. There is a £23 fee.
It is most important that everyone in our Hapipod community feels comfortable using our site, and our Code of Conduct is very clear on the rules for internal messaging, community groups and the homeshares themselves. If at any point you feel someone is being abusive or exerting undue pressure on you, please report this to us straight away at firstname.lastname@example.org We would advise you to use our internal message system to communicate with other users until you feel ready to give your email address to someone, such as when you want to be sent a copy of their DBS certificate, ID document or references.
Character references can help build a picture of someone’s personality. Hapipod recommends Hosts to request 3 references from a potential Homemate including at least one professional one, but you need to verify them yourself to check their authenticity via email and/or phonecall.
Until Covid is successfully overcome, certain people with health vulnerabilities may be concerned about whether the person they are sharing with has been vaccinated. This doesn’t have to preclude you from finding a homeshare companion. Hapipod offers the opportunity to indicate on your profile whether you have been vaccinated (the icon is then shown in green), and to search using that filter. You will still need to assess the validity of someone’s claim by asking to see documented proof.
In making your final selection from your shortlist of candidates, before agreeing a contract, Hapipod recommends 2 stages of interview, in advance of which you should draft a thorough series of questions to make sure you cover off all important topics:
Both Hosts and Homemates should make final judgments on suitability based on careful assessment of all the information available, and ideally with a second opinion from a family member or friend.
Hapipod’s contract template is available to download free of charge to subscribers, and is designed to be adapted and tailored for both parties’ mutual arrangements. Hapipod recommends you seek your own legal advice on it to ensure it suits your particular circumstances. Hapipod strongly advises you utilise a written contract rather than relying on verbal commitments.
Hapipod has no involvement with individual homeshares. It is up to the parties to manage expectations during homeshares and make them work. Most will be fine as they are based on thorough background checks and mutual trust created through good communication in advance of the agreement. If you are a Host living alone, you should have a family member or friend to help you decide on a homesharer and keep an eye on your situation, to help terminate the contract in the unlikely event that things don’t work out as you hoped. Everyone should have a personal contact to turn to as a basic safeguarding measure.
Or, if you’re a Homemate who feels a Host is asking you to undertake tasks not previously agreed that may be unreasonable or inappropriate, or behaving in a way that makes you feel threatened or uncomfortable, you should give notice as soon as possible, find a new homeshare and let Hapipod know at email@example.com. Our Code of Conduct is clear and Hapipod reserves the right to ban from the site anyone suspected of acting inappropriately.
If either a Host or a Homemate wants to end a homeshare early they must give reasonable notice to terminate. The suggested notice in Hapipod’s template Homeshare contract is one week which is the minimum period that can be given. Hapipod recommends notice is always given in writing, and it is often helpful to get someone help you to prepare and give the notice.
There are a number of checks and measures that Hosts are legally obliged to complete if you take in a Homemate, all of which ensure your own home safety as well. We explain them below: