Home exchanges take place without economic transactions between members. The only required payment to begin exchanging with HomeExchange is the annual membership fee. Nevertheless, on HomeExchange, every home is different and there can be exceptions which include extra fees.
In order to guide you, here are the main principles we recommend for you to consider regarding extra fees on an exchange:
1. HomeExchange is like welcoming friends and family from around the world. As a host, you open the doors of your home to a family, a couple, or a guest of your choice. As a guest, you wouldn’t expect any kind of standard and “hotel-like” services. The homes you can find on HomeExchange are real homes, just like yours.
2. HomeExchange is not about imposing a fee like with a typical rental process. However, you can agree on asking for the help of an optional cleaning service. We understand that each home exchange is different and that, in some cases, cleaning fees are helpful and can make you feel more secure. HomeExchange will allow these additional cleaning fees as long as they respect and are consistent with the principles of home exchange.
What fees are permitted?
The only kind of fees allowed are cleaning fees. We understand that it's sometimes difficult to do home exchanges without some extra help (for example in second homes, the help of long-trusted people in charge of the home, etc). Or even that in the current situation with the COVID-19, some HomeExchangers prefer a professional cleaning service. You can find our recommendations to exchange with total peace of mind during this period here.
In every case, the amount should be reasonable given the location of the home, the size, and the length of the stay. These fees must be clearly stated in the home description and discussed in the conversation between members, always before finalization of the exchange. We also recommend you to consider the option of splitting the fees between you and your partner.
We advise members to find a way to pay the cleaning fees upon the guest's arrival at the home either by cash or a transfer (i.e. PayPal). In case either you or your exchange partner forgets about the agreed upon cleaning fees, you may exceptionally use the deposit and our team will assist with the transfer.
You love hosting in exchange for GuestPoints and your home is far away from your primary residence. You have a trusted person who helps with the cleaning of your second home. You are paying this person to deal with the logistics and the cleaning, and you ask your guests to participate in these fees, to help you to continue hosting as much as possible.
You are hosting 2 families in a row and you want to make sure that the cleaning is done before the second family comes to your home. As you don’t have enough time to check before the second exchange, you feel more comfortable if a trusted person helps you with the cleaning.
You and your partner decide together to opt for a professional cleaning for the exchange to provide both members with more peace of mind due to the COVID-19 situation.
In each of these cases, you would like to ask for some help from your guest to participate in the extra fees. Still, both members should be free to decide how to organize it, as friends or family would do.
Examples of fees we do not allow:
- Fees asked for welcome gifts/packages. HomeExchange is about welcoming members into your home and having a personalized and friendly experience. Welcoming is in the HomeExchange DNA.
- Fees for late arrivals or departures: our homes are not hotels. Communication between members is key with HomeExchange. You should arrange the details of your exchange in a way you feel comfortable with. If your guest is arriving late and it’s inconvenient, don’t hesitate to talk about that. You should find a solution together.
- Guests shouldn’t pay for the home to have access to the basics (such as cooking equipment, towels, sheets, etc.). When exchanging, homes should have all the basics for a comfortable stay. We do everything we can to make our guests feel at home!
- Other fees for the normal use of the home (electricity, heating, etc.). However, if the host knows that these costs could be too high, for any specific reason, the host should warn the guest in advance and ask them to be mindful in the use of the resources. If the host would like to ask the guest to help him/her with this high cost in these very specific cases, we suggest that both members discuss this together before the finalization of the exchange. For example, in some areas during winter (mountains, etc) the weather could be extremely cold and heating fees could be very high so in this case, both members can discuss and agree that the guest contributes a small amount for the heating costs.