As the founder of SabbaticalHomes.com, I enjoy taking an active role in the academic traveling community we’ve created over the years. I enjoy seeing what our members are up to and hearing about their travel experiences. When I received this particular heartfelt email from a member, it struck me, as it so succinctly sums up what we strive to do here at Sabbatical Homes–share our spaces with like-minded individuals and develop friendships. I wanted to share it with you:
I have been renting my London flat through sabbaticalhomes.com successfully for nearly 8 years now to guests who have come from all over the world. It is in a quiet well-maintained house, which is partly let to long-term tenants and in part our home. We have friendly relations with our long-term tenants. The sabbatical homes flat is my base when I am in London furnished with some family antique furniture, paintings, sculptures, and books, so it is important that those who come to stay are considerate and appreciative guests both within the flat and also considerate of their neighbours. This has always been the case, with some people returning a second time. On one occasion my husband and I rented out the London flat to an academic from New York who had rented her own flat out through sabbatical homes while we then rented a flat in Paris through sabbatical homes. We were all happy with the experience. We make new friends from all over the world. As a lifetime Londoner, I enjoy hosting and helping our tenants, who I think of as “guests”, discover the city by providing information, books, guides, maps. But with some guests, we have discovered particular affinities and I have taken them on walks on nearby Hampstead Heath, to exhibitions and shared meals together.
The sabbatical homes website is clear and straightforward to use and the network that it helps to create makes it more likely that one will find a suitable tenant. I also adhere to the very important advice given by sabbatical homes, that one should check references and be certain of the identity of any prospective tenants. I always exchange as much relevant information with prospective tenants before agreeing to any rental. Renting a home and parting with the money for such a rental when the two parties will meet for the first time when the keys to the flat are handed over is a potentially hazardous situation for both parties, so it is vital to create a situation of trust and I think that sabbatical homes help to avoid some of the pitfalls through its system of cross-reference.
If you’re interested in seeing more of Rea’s work, she will be having an “Open Studio” in her Brighton studio, doing a mini-retrospective of her career. Use the contact page through her website for details.
I hope to hear your success story next!
Founder on the Move is a series written by Nadege Conger, Founder of SabbaticalHomes.com. She created the site in 2000 to help academics worldwide pursue their research by providing a home exchange and rental website. Connect with Nadege on Facebook.