Congratulations! You have a new Guest moving into your home.
Establishing clear house rules and expectations while doing a thorough walk-through is the key to creating an enjoyable home sharing arrangement. Here are 10 items that you should discuss with your Guest prior to settling in.
Download and print our Move-in Checklist to get started.
1. Contact details
Complete the contact details on page 1 of the Move-in Checklist.
Preferred contact details: What method of communication is preferred? Phone call, text, or messenger app?
Emergency home repairs: Who should the Guest contact if there is an emergency and the Host is not available? Examples include broken water lines, failure of the furnace/heaters, or any major problem.
Emergency contact: Who should the Host/Guest contact in the event of an accident or sickness?
2. Home Safety
Review the location and instructions for use of the safety equipment and alarms in the home. Make sure to check the batteries in your smoke/carbon monoxide alarms. Discuss what you should do in the event of a fire, where to exit and where to meet as a muster point.
3. House Rules
Discuss the house rules and building rules if in a strata. Hosts should walk around the home with the Guest while explaining the rules so you can show how things should be done.
4. Shared Items
Discuss what items will be shared in the house and how the costs will be shared fairly. Some hosts may include reasonable use of shared items in the price of rent, others may buy shared items together and share the cost. If you do not want to share certain items it should be communicated clearly.
5. Cleaning and Organizing Rules
Hosts should establish what their standard is for cleanliness and organization in the home. Walk around the home as you review each point and show the Guest how each area should be cleaned. Some international Guests may require extra instructions.
6. Kitchen – food and meals
It is important to discuss any food allergies or sensitivities among all members of the household. Hosts are responsible for ensuring the Guest has space in the fridge, freezer, and pantry to store their food. Hosts should review use and care for appliances and cookware in the kitchen.
If you would like to share meals you should discuss when this might occur and how you will share responsibilities and preparation of food.
7. Conflicts and Communication
Most problems within shared living arrangements can be prevented with clear and timely communication. As you go through each point develop a plan of how you will communicate and resolve the problem.
Review the 6 points in the Move-in Checklist. If you have any special considerations or issues that annoy you, you should discuss those now.
8. Move-in Inspection
Complete page 3 of the Move-in Checklist. When completing the damage inspection you must take photos of any damage at move-in and move-out, this is required to file for a damage claim when the Guest moves out. Add an extra page to the damage inspection if required. Guests must initial the inspection list at move-in and move-out to acknowledge the condition. If no damage is visible write “none” in the notes section.
9. Care and use instructions
Hosts are required to review any special considerations and instructions when using appliances or items in the home. Review any time/usage limits, proper storage, safe operating procedures, and required maintenance. Guests will only be allowed to use items which the Host has given permission.
10. Chores and responsibilities
Guests are expected to help with general household chores and cleaning. Hosts may ask for extra help around the house, this is usually compensated by a reduction in rent or providing something in return, such as food. Hosts must give clear instructions and demonstration to the Guest for all tasks.