Security when 'Home Swapping'

I’ve been hearing increasing stories of people I know going on holidays through a home exchange program – that is, as opposed to staying in a hotel or serviced apartment, you stay in somebody else’s home, and they stay in yours. 

I think the concept is a great idea, allowing you to stay in beautiful accommodation both around Australia and overseas for a fraction of what you would pay for a hotel.  It is crucial however that proper precautions are taken to protect both your own personal security as well as your home.

According to home swapping website, www.homeexchange.com, good communication is essential for any home swap arrangement to work well.  Before any firm agreements are made, talking to possible exchange partners via methods such as the telephone, Skype and email will help you to get familiar with each other and feel more comfortable about sharing your homes.  This contact can also be used to share photos and ask any questions you may have.   

If after some correspondence you feel something with the other party is remiss and are uncomfortable with having them in your home, you are under no obligation to go ahead with the exchange arrangement. 

It is also important to ask for referrals from any prior exchange arrangements your exchange partners may have had. 

It goes without saying that any valuable jewellery and objects should be locked away while the exchange is taking place.  It may also be worthwhile to secure any personal documents and files and to restrict access to confidential computer files. 

To prevent any damage to your appliances or electronic equipment, be sure to leave a detailed set of instructions for anything complicated.   Make sure you clear a section in wardrobes and drawers that will be utilised, to avoid your clothes getting mixed up with your visitors’. 

Many home exchange companies will get the respective parties to sign a contract, agreeing to various conditions for the period.  Take care to read any such agreement that you sign and be sure to hold up your end of the bargain.

Home exchanges can be an excellent way to travel, often helping you to save money, see a place from a different perspective and perhaps even form lifelong international friendships.  The process can be pleasant and stress-free as long as just a few precautions are taken.  

Posted by Charles Tarbey on 18/10/2010 at 9:38 AM | Categories: Property Management -

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