Task exchange homeshares are designed around sharing a home for mutual benefits including security, companionship, and household help. We're here to help you navigate some of the challenges involved with this unique dynamic, so that both you and your housemate can thrive!
NOT A Healthcare Replacement!
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that a task exchange home share is not a replacement for personal health care support. Housemates cannot and should not provide help with medication reminders, lifting a person, or administering health care support of any kind. This presents liability issues, and our first concern is that all homeshare participants remain safe! Your housemate can provide you help with household chores and the like, but it’s important that they leave anything healthcare-related to the professionals.
Cleaning, organizing, lawn care, home upkeep, and child minding are all acceptable tasks for your housemate. The particular dynamic will vary based on individual needs and time commitment, which should be discussed beforehand. Keep in mind that your new housemate is just that – a friendly, helpful housemate, and not a nanny or an employee. They likely will have a day job and are entitled to their own personal free time, so establishing expectations that satisfy both of your lifestyles from the start is crucial.
Be Clear and Realistic
In a task exchange homeshare, your housemate is willing to help out, but establishing realistic expectations from the get-go is important to avoid conflict down the road. It can be helpful to begin with a list of chores, with each chore accompanied by a realistic time frame. Your housemate is doing this work atop their normal daily activities, so be conscious of this when you set your expectations.
Average task homeshare arrangements involve approximately five to ten hours of work a week, and your particular expectations should be made clear in writing in the HomeShare Agreement. Your housemate will appreciate the transparency, and it will allow them to better decide if the HomeShare Agreement is right for them. By being upfront about your expectations and the time commitment, you can weed out incompatible candidates early on and fast-track your journey to a successful home share arrangement!
Continuous Communication is Key
As with any cohabitation arrangement, healthy communication is crucial. This begins at the very start, with the HomeShare Agreement. By setting clear expectations and boundaries in writing before the move-in date, you both can avoid unnecessary conflict and feel comfortable that you’re entering into a manageable, mutually beneficial arrangement.
Be clear with your potential housemate concerning what is expected of them. Be realistic with the time commitment you ask of them, as well as the difficulty of the tasks. This arrangement should benefit both yourself and your housemate, without adding strain to either of your lives. Sometimes circumstances arise and life gets in the way, which is why a dynamic of this sort requires continuous communication; a little flexibility goes a long way. Remember, you and your housemate are on the same team.
If you’re struggling to set your expectations or have any further questions about managing tasks in a homeshare, please connect with our team here at HomeShare Alliance! Our experience and expertise can help you to find the homeshare arrangement that best suits your needs.