Whether you are searching for a home or a tenant, we want you to find what you need. We’ve compiled some valuable information to help you find the perfect match for a home rental or home exchange opportunity (including house sitting or home sharing).
Getting Started on SabbaticalHomes.com
Register at No Charge
Take a few minutes to register with us. Not only is registering free, it allows you to set up a profile that includes information about you and what you’re looking for so you will find the match that is right for you. Registering is especially important because only members of SabbaticalHomes may send messages to other members.
Send Thoughtful Queries
If you’re searching for a home or contacting a tenant, be sure to include information about yourself when sending a query to a potential match. Let them know how long you’re looking for accommodations.
One-line emails that merely inquire about dates or prices and offer no personal information are unlikely to get a positive response. Remember that most people using SabbaticalHomes are not businesses, but real people. Be sure to respond to messages in a timely manner.
Save Your Searches
Once you’ve registered, you can save listings that interest you, store inquiries about your listing, and save entire searches. It’s easy to find your favorites when you log back in. You can even add notes to yourself about your favorite searches, home or tenant listings.
Finding the Right Match
Ask Relevant Questions
Find out a bit about your potential match’s professional background. If you are searching for a tenant, be sure to make sure the person is someone you would be happy to have staying in your home. It’s also important to clarify how the rent will be paid and ask other pertinent questions, such as if they are willing to forward mail from time to time, tend to the home and garden, and so on.
If you are looking for a home, setting up a live chat or video conference will help both you and the potential host make sure that you are first and foremost, comfortable with each other as people. If you have decided it’s a good fit, move on to asking specific questions of a potential host or landlord on topics ranging from payment preferences to pet policies to how you should handle any minor or unexpected home repairs.
Research Members and Check References
Renting from fellow academics helps ease the understanding of what will be appropriate and needed. Even if some of our members are not academics, everyone on the site is expected to act responsibly and respectfully. And our new Trust Score feature will go a long way in identifying reliable members. However, it is very important to do some work upfront to make sure the SabbaticalHomes member is legitimate.
Trust your Instincts
“Trust your intuition and look for what’s right for you.”
– SabbaticalHomes member, Deike Peters
You can do all the screening in the world, but sometimes your instincts are the best judge of character. You may feel that there is something off about a tenant or homeowner who otherwise looks like a good match on paper. Trust your screening, but do not ignore your gut.
Discuss the home and weigh in on pragmatic considerations such as accommodation spaces, furnishings and proximity to town (restaurants, libraries, parks, etc). You may also want to ask questions such as how well stocked the kitchen is (will you need to provide your own Keurig machine?) to the availability of kids’ toys, towels and bedding. If you are letting your home, be sure to specify if furnishings/home items can be moved around and where to store items if need be.
Prepare a Contract
One of the benefits of being a SabbaticalHomes.com member is the good faith in knowing that your matches will be like-minded and professional. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to cover your bases: prepare a contract, plan for a security deposit, and agree to validate the contract only after the deposit clears the bank. An agreement that details the number of persons in the rental, payment due date, late fees, pets, smoking regulations, renter’s insurance requirements, etc., can help to prevent confusion and miscommunication down the line.
Get a head start with our Home Rental, Home Exchange, & Vehicle Use Agreement Guidelines.
Enjoying the Relationship
Announce the Match
Members announce a match each time you have had a conversation with another member, checked references and finalized housing arrangements. Some people prefer to wait until after their stay is complete to announce a match but others like to take care of it before they travel.
Matches and Reviews go hand in hand, and help show other members that you are honest and upfront when making housing arrangements with others.
Leave (and Read!) Reviews
Leaving and receiving reviews is an important way to build your reputation as a SabbaticalHomes member. Be honest and clear about your experience with other members and help build the integrity of our community. Reviews appear in several places on SabbaticalHomes.com such as the reviewee’s and your public profile.
Members earn Trust Points for writing reviews and members with positive reviews will also receive Trust Points. Be sure to read the reviews of any member with whom you intend to enter into an agreement.
Enjoy the Relationship
After the initial match, many members stay in the same accommodations year after year and build lifelong friendships. So, enjoy getting to know other people around the world as you look for the right match; who knows, maybe one of you will be featured in our Member Spotlight series on our blog one day!
“It is gratifying to know that we have successfully hosted so many university academics and professionals. Many have become returning guests, as they recognize how special our home and Clerkenwell is as a London base. We have enjoyed meeting such fascinating people and have made many friends as a result of SabbaticalHomes.”
– SabbaticalHomes member Derek Muir