Updated on July 25th 2018

How the deposit works

Previously, hosts could either require their guests to purchase an insurance or they could leave it at the discretion of the Guests to select these services. Members appreciated these options and it showed in the numbers – in 89% of exchanges at least one of our paid services was chosen – so we decided to make them better. Thanks to your feedback, we thought it best to expand the efficiency of these services and bundle them into one easy payment.

The GuesttoGuestService Plusis not one promise, but multiple promises designed to guarantee 100% satisfaction during your home exchange:

  • Protection in case of material damages up to 500,000€
  • Minor damages covered by a deposit of 500 €
  • Accommodation certainty, in cases of cancellation or non-compliance with the description of the home
  • 24/7 emergency assistance backed by a multilingual international team

The deposit

  • Your house is protected
  • You will be able to screen people with dishonest intentions
  • Your house will be respected

What is the deposit?

The deposit is an optional safety precaution that the members can decide to take when organizing an exchange.

Every time a home is registered on HomeExchange, a deposit amount will be suggested by the site, taking into account the size and all the different comforts of your home. This amount is only a suggestion and it can be changed in your home profile, in the tab on the right.

Home free swapDeposit windowIf you just want to change the deposit for a single exchange:

– Open the messages you exchanged with your guest.

– On the right of the conversation window you will find a tab with the exchange details.

– Click on the button edit in the section “deposit” in this tab.

What are the benefits of the deposit?

The deposits offers several benefits for the host and the guest.

It serves as a screening device for the host in order to decide whether or not to welcome a guest into his home. When the guest agrees to pay the deposit, he is showing his future host that he has good intentions and that he can be trusted when it comes to respecting the house and its rules.

The host, hence, uses the deposit to incentivize the guest to take care of his property and to be assured that, in case of damages, he will be able to recover the entirety or part of the value of the damage.

Agreeing to pay the deposit is very important for the guest, because this constitutes a crucial step for the finalization of the exchange. If the guest does not agree to pay the deposit, the host would most probably decide not to organize the exchange with him. The guest, hence, uses the deposit to assure the host his house is in good hands and as a mean to finalize the exchange more easily.

How does the deposit work?

Once all the details of the exchanges have been discussed between the members and the host has approved the exchange, the guest will need to finalize the exchange. In the finalization process, the guest will be required to insert his card details.

Only a commission of 3.5% on the deposit will be charged but not the amount of the deposit. HomeExchange records this transaction as an agreement between HomeExchange and the guest to charge the entire amount of the deposit or part of it in the 30 days after the end of the exchange in case of damages.

Why is a commission on deposit charged?

The 3.5% commission on deposit HomeExchange charges covers both the service HomeExchange performs by acting as a trusted third party and for the management of the payment solutions.

Damage or Disagreement

At the end of an exchange, HomeExchange asks the host if it can release the agreement with the guest, hence cancel the claim for the deposit on the guest account. If the host disagrees, the host and the guest will need to reach an agreement concerning the deposit and the amount to be charged.

  • The host has up to 10 days to claim the deposit and justify the reason behind his claim. Notice that it’s important that the damage needs to be justified by the host for the deposit to be claimed. In cases where problems occur, we suggest that the host contacts the guest before contacting HomeExchange. Once the claim on the deposit is received, HomeExchange will let the guest know and will act as a third trusted party, providing a framework of negotiation in case of dispute.
  • Once informed about the situation, the guest has 10 days to give HomeExchange his consent or to express his disagreement. If the guest and the host reach an agreement, the amount of deposit they agreed on will be charged from the guest bank account and transferred to the host bank account. The rest of the deposit, which was never debited from HomeExchange, is returned to the guest. Precisely, the claim HomeExchange holds on the remainder of the deposit is released.
  • The guest is informed about the host’s claim on the deposit and he expresses his disagreement. The guest and the host need to reach an agreement, if an agreement is not reached within 30 days after the end of the stay, the deposit will be charged and transferred to a special account until a decision is made whether negotiated or judicial.

The exchange/ The setting?

I organize an exchange in France with Pierre. His apartment requires a deposit of 500 euros.
I finalize the exchange insert my banking details, agreeing to be charged the amount of the deposit in case of any damages. I pay 17.5 euros for the 3.5% of commission.

Example 1: My exchange went well, Pierre was also happy with it. HomeExchange will release the claim on my bank account.

Example 2: I broke a table unintentionally. Pierre notifies HomeExchange justifying the damage and tells me that 200 euros are needed to fix the table. I agree with the amount. HomeExchange will charge this amount to my bank account and release the rest of the claim it had on my account.

Example 3: I broke a table unintentionally. Pierre notifies HomeExchange justifying the damage and tells me that 200 euros are needed to fix the table. I disagree with the amount. I have 30days from the end of my exchange to find an agreement with Pierre. If I don’t find an agreement, HomeExchange will charge me 500 euros and transfer this amount into a separate account until an agreement is reached.

Example 4: I break a cup. I notify Pierre, asking him if I could simply buy a new one to replace the broken one. Pierre agrees. When asked for feedback on the exchange, Pierre is happy with how it went, hence HomeExchange release the claim on the deposit.

Example 5: When organizing the exchange Pierre asked me to leave the house completely clean and do the laundry since he is providing me with bed linen and towels. I don’t succeed in doing so. I discuss with Pierre who decides to charge me a cleaning fee of 25 euros. I agree to pay it. This fee is deducted from my deposit. HomeExchange will release the rest of the claim on the deposit.

Notice: 98% of the exchanges organized with a deposit did NOT encounter any problems!

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask us at contact@homeexchange.com!

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