Host Services

Host an overseas guest and gain firsthand knowledge of a new culture while you earn a tax-free income.

Guest Hosting

What to expect during homestay visits

All UKguests' visits take place on weekends. A member of staff from our office will usually contact you during the week to arrange a suitable time to visit. You will be given a two-hour time slot for the visit, so please make sure that you are at home when the Visiting Officer arrives. If for any reason we are unable to visit at the time arranged, we will contact you in advance.

Why do we need to visit you?

Visits are arranged to give us the chance to meet you in person, to discuss your reasons for wanting to become a host and to inspect your accommodation to ensure that it meets UKguests' standards.

We will consider the following, among other things, when deciding your suitability to become a host for UKguests:

  • Your motivations for wanting to become a homestay host
  • The number of people living in your home versus the size of the accommodation
  • The surrounding area in terms of safety, access to transport, and local amenities
  • The expectations and requirements of our current clients, which could include the distance between your home and their place of study
  • The standard of the guest room and your home in general

We will take some photographs of the guest room and the communal areas of your home on the day, including the bathroom, kitchen and living room. Please make an effort to present your home in the way you wish for it to be recorded. Not all staff members in the office will see your home and so they rely on the photos to match guests with the most suitable hosts.

UKguests will never publish photos of your home on any website or promotional material without first seeking permission from you. Your personal information will not be passed on to any third parties who are not involved in the booking process.

During the visit, we will also discuss your application and whether any changes have taken place since you initially applied to become a homestay host. You will also be given the opportunity to ask any questions about meal plans, bookings, your expectations and requirements as a host, setting house rules, categorising homestays, our methods and rates of pay, and anything else you are unclear about.

This information should help you to decide whether becoming a homestay host is right for you.

You will be given the following documents, which need to be signed and returned to UKguests:

  • English UK Code of Practice
  • Children Act 1989 declaration
  • UKguests' Terms and Conditions
  • BACS form

The following information will also be discussed and given to you:

  • Suggested house rules
  • UKguests' rates of pay
  • Gas safety (you will be expected to provide a copy of your current Gas Safety certificate issued within the last 12 months)
  • Fire risk assessment (you will be expected to have carried out a fire risk assessment in your home - if you have not yet done so, the Visiting Officer will be able to assist you)

What happens after homestay visits

After the visit, you will be sent a confirmation email/letter letting you know whether or not you have been accepted as a homestay host for UKguests.

If you are accepted, the following information will be given to you:

  • Confirmation of the category you have been placed in
  • A copy of UKguests' Homestay Host Handbook
  • A reminder of any outstanding essential information not received or seen during the visit (e.g. signed Terms and Conditions, a copy of your current Gas Safety certificate).

When all required documents have been received, we will be happy to begin placing guests with you. Please be aware that even if you are accepted as a host, we may not be able to place guests with you straightaway. This can be due to any of the following factors:

1. Season/time of year

Our peak season is generally during the months of May to September. This coincides with when international students are on holiday from their schools/universities in their own countries. Therefore, they use this time to come to the UK to study English, so it gets very busy. We do have guests all year round, but you will find that from October to April the number of guests requiring homestay accommodation does decrease.

2. Host flexibility

Our ability to consider you for bookings is also due to your preferences. When matching guests with the most suitable homestay host, we need to look at what the guests require and which host is most able to provide this. Things you should consider are:

  • The meal plans you offer. Some hosts prefer to offer only bed and breakfast and self-catering; however, the most requested meal plan from our international guests is half board.
  • Whether to accept both male and female guests.
  • Whether to accept guests who smoke. Many of our hosts are non-smokers and agree to accept guests who are smokers as long as they do not smoke within the home.

3. Location

Guests prefer to be in homestay accommodation that is within 15 minutes' walking distance to an Underground station, with an easy commute into central London and usually in Zones 3 and 4. Therefore, if you are further away from central London, you could sometimes find that we are not able to offer you guests as often as we would like, especially during the off-peak season.

However, during peak season (May to September), the likelihood of us contacting you to host a guest does increase.

4. Category

As we have four categories of homestay, students can choose to be placed in any one of these categories according to their budget and their preference. Therefore, we may only be able to contact you if you fit into the category requested.

To speak to one of our friendly staff members about becoming a host contact us or apply online.

Use Our Online Application Form


I think that it is a good idea that international students live in a British family when they come to England. In this way, students can learn English more easily and practise it all the time.