Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know my home will be safe?
This is the single most frequently asked question. Home exchanging is fundamentally a trust-based arrangement and as such tends to attract trustworthy, decent, honest people. Your home is much less likely to be burgled when occupied by exchangers than when left empty. In nearly 60 years of exchanging we have had no reports of wilful damage or theft. The tiny number of complaints that we do receive are to do with "housekeeping standards," at the home being visited. While you are setting up your exchange you will get to know the other family. You also know the other exchanger's profession and have a good idea of the home involved before you make your first contact.
Who pays the bills?
Pay your mortgage and utilities as you normally would and agree beforehand who should pay additional expenses such as long distance telephone calls. If a car-exchange is involved you should sort out insurance and liability in the case of fault and no-fault accidents.
Who exchanges homes?
Most of our members are professionals - doctors, engineers, teachers, business executives, retirees etc. In general, they have lovely, well-cared for homes of which they are proud, which is why they're not too embarrassed to let others enjoy their home whilst they're away.
What about home insurance?
Most home insurance policies will cover home exchangers but you must contact your provider before you exchange to inform them of your plans, as some companies may alter the level of cover or excess payments during their stay.
Would someone want to visit my area?
The UK is a very popular holiday destination and there is never a shortage of overseas exchangers trying to find an exchange partner here. Although the popular tourist areas are often sought after by overseas members, most seem to be seeking to experience the 'real UK'. Many will already have visited the most popular places on previous visits.
Do you cater for large families?
Yes. You can search for homes suitable for larger families, by selecting the number of people in your group or the number of bedrooms that you require.
What if I want to list a second home?
Having a second home can open up your options enormously as you do not need to match dates and destinations with your exchange partner. A non-simultaneous exchange (NSX) is when exchange partners visit each other's homes at different times. Once you are a member, you have the option to 'Add a Listing' at any time.
Is there still time to arrange an exchange?
New members are joining every day, and many arrange an exchange within a couple of weeks. Just browse the Hot List to see new and newly edited listings over the last week. The most successful exchangers are those who are proactive and send many invitations. The more flexible your plans, the greater your opportunities. Generally speaking, short-haul trips are planned 3-6 months in advance with long-haul trips being planned 6-9 months ahead or more.
How long will my membership last?
You can take out a 1, 2 or 3 year membership. Your listing will be displayed on our website for the duration of your membership and will be automatically deactivated on the day it expires.
How late can I make changes to or corrections in my listing?
You have full editing access to your listing and so you can make changes as often as you like.
Do I have to live in a tourist destination?
No. While some members like to visit tourist areas, there are plenty of avid travellers who like to get off the beaten track. In addition, many of our contintental European members are keen for the children to improve their English so are not too concerned about where in the UK they go.
Are the homes modest or expensive?
We have a large range of homes in HomeLink from small apartments to large detached homes. There is no requirement to swap like with like. A small city apartment may well appeal to the owners of a large country home - this way both members experience something completely different.
I live in an apartment. Can I exchange it?
Yes. Many members in large cities live in apartments. We make no distinction between apartments, condominiums, etc.
Can renters use your service?
Sometimes, but you will need to check this with your landlord first.
What about car insurance?
You will need to get your exchange partner added to your policy for the duration of the exchange. If your current policy will not allow additional drivers, then get in touch and we will let you know which companies will accommodate your needs.