Homestay Guidelines for Host Providers

Thank you for your interest in providing Homestay accommodation for ILS English students. To ensure that the experience is valuable for both you and the student, we have put together the following guidelines. Please contact the Accommodation Officer if you are unclear about any points, or wish to discuss and clarify anything.

Homestay Guidelines for Host Providers

Thank you for your interest in providing Homestay accommodation for ILS English students. To ensure that the experience is valuable for both you and the student, we have put together the following guidelines. Please contact the Accommodation Officer if you are unclear about any points, or wish to discuss and clarify anything.

Once you have been selected as a host family for ILS English, we will need to complete some checks before we can start placing students with you. We will visit you at your home and do an inspection on your home to make sure it is suitable to house our students. We will also require certain documents before we can start placing students which are detailed. Once you have been recruited The Accommodation Officer will visit you once every two years to do a monitoring check on the home and also refresh on any new regulations. Host families providing accommodation for our students are classified as landlords under the above regulations. This means all boilers, fires and central heating systems (gas) need to be installed and serviced by ‘competent persons’ i.e. Gas Safe registered engineers. You can learn more about the gas safety checks at www.gassaferegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500. Alternatively, please visit the British Gas website at www.britishgas.co.uk/ or call 0800 980 6005. We need certification to show that your gas appliances are safe. Failure to do so is breaking the law.

A) Booking Procedure

  • The Accommodation Officer will contact you to ascertain your availability to host a student.
  • Should you accept, a Confirmation Letter will be sent to both you and the student
  • The agreement(s) are for reference only, and are not, in any shape or form, a legally binding contract between you, the student, or ILS English.
  • If you find that you are unable to accommodate the student, please notify the school immediately.

Long periods of time could elapse before ILS contacts you between student placements. This usually occurs because: -

  • The specifications expressed on student Homestay applications do not match the type of service you are offering (e.g. distance from school/pets/smoking etc.).
  • Certain times of the year are much quieter than others in terms of student numbers requiring Homestay.
  • Students staying in Nottingham for one year will often seek out independent shared housing because it is cheaper. Nottingham has a high ‘buy to let’ market and incoming students sometimes prefer this option.

B) Cancellations

Incoming students encounter problems that may delay/prevent them from coming to the UK (e.g. Visa problems).

  • ILS cannot foresee these problems, but will attempt to keep you informed and, where possible, the Accommodation Officer will attempt to offer you an alternative student.
  • ILS is not liable to supply recompense for delays and cancellations.

C) Payment

  • Payment is made on a monthly basis, two weeks in arrears by Bank Transfer from ILS English, which would be £140.00 per week for Bed breakfast and evening meal and full board at the weekends.
  • If the students are away on holiday and would like to return to the same  Host provider a retainer of £40.00 per week will be required.

D)  Insurance

We advise that you:

Inform your household insurance company that you are hosting students, and to seek advice from them of the correct policy needed to insure against accidental damage caused by a student staying with you.

  • Be aware that costs to repair any accidental damage caused by the students may not be covered if your insurance company has not been informed.
  • In the event of household theft, it is unlikely that a student’s possessions will be covered. Students will be advised by ILS to take out their own insurance.
  • Upon arrival, please clarify to the student that you may not be responsible for their possessions as regards insurance.

ILS cannot pay for any breakage/damage caused by the student, even when the amounts are too small for you to claim on your insurance.

E) Smoke Alarms/Fire risk assessment

It is a requirement that you have smoke alarms fitted, and that you carry out a Fire Risk Assessment and obtain a Gas Safety Certificate on your home.  Both certificates have to be sent to the Accommodation Officer

F) Tax

Please remember that being a Homestay Provider may mean you have to pay tax.

The first £4,250 earned from student lettings is free of tax. As long as the total income you get during the year from letting accommodation to students and from providing them with meals is no more than £4,250, you do not have to pay tax on that income. If the Tax Office doesn’t send you a tax return you do not even need to tell them about this income. If you do get a return, all you have to do is tick a box on it to confirm that your rental income is £7,500.00 or less.  For further details, contact your local Inland Revenue Office, or ‘Tax Enquiries Division’, Inland Revenue, Euston Tower, 286 Euston Road, London, NW1 3UL Tel: 0207 438 6420

Remember these amounts are 2014 prices, they are subject to change.

G) Reporting Grievances

  • If a student reports a grievance about his/her accommodation, the school may contact you in order to clarify the situation and invite you to make comments on the matter.
  • If the problem cannot be resolved, the student may give notice to leave.
  • Should you wish to report a problem concerning a student, please contact the Accommodation Officer as soon as possible, and we will either try to resolve the problem or re-house the student.

H) Minimum Facilities and Services to be provided to the Student

     (For Full and Self-catering Homestay)

  • An individual private study bedroom containing: bed, desk (appropriate study table), chair, table lamp, wardrobe and drawers for clothes.
  • Weekly laundering of bedding/ adequate supply of towels/blankets and/or duvets.
  • Weekly cleaning of student’s room.
  • Students will need to know what they do with their laundry.  This is at the discretion of the host family, you may prefer to do the students washing or alternatively, you may want to show the student how to use the washing machine, so they can do their own washing.
  • Adequate heating and lighting, which includes natural lighting and which meet safety and quality standards e.g. Corgi certified appliances.
  • Breakfast, a balanced and nutritious evening meal and lunch at weekends (certain students require a packed lunch; you will be advised of this before their arrival). Access to kitchen and equipment (if Self-catering). We expect and inform self-catering students to clean the kitchen and crockery immediately after use.
  • Regular access to bathroom/toilet, with baths/showers available daily. It is useful to instruct students on the use of the shower.
  • Diet: some students may find some of our food choices different to their normal diet. Please do discuss with your student if they cannot eat, or do not like certain foods.
  • Pets – please keep the student’s bedroom a pet-free zone.

If you commit to taking a full board student on a mid/long term stay –

  • Inform ILS of any vacation you will be taking during their stay.
  • Leaving the occasional homemade dinner to be microwaved is acceptable and sometimes unavoidable. However, if you are away for longer than 2 or 3 days this may cause the student unwanted problems, so please ensure all parties concerned are informed in advance.

It is recommended that you give the student: -

  • A thorough induction on any security measures you have in place.
  • Fire/smoke and house alarm induction. Some students may not be familiar with these precautionary measures.
  • If you have any children in the house, inform the student that it is dangerous to leave any medication lying around.

I) Number and Type of Students

  • The Accommodation Officer will ask you at the time of booking, how many other non-ILS students you are currently accommodating, and about their nationality, age and sex. ILS students can ask for this information on the Homestay application, and we are obliged to inform them.
  • If you are taking ‘juniors’ (16 or under) from other organisations, care should be taken to only accept same sex students from ILS. Juniors and adults will not be lodged in the same accommodation (unless explicitly requested by the students or their agents).
  • No more than two students will be accommodated in the same bedroom.
  • Students with the same mother tongue will not be lodged in the same home at the same time (unless explicitly requested by the students or their agents).
  • ENGLISH is the first language of communication within the homestay home.
  • No more than 4 students per homestay

J) Use of Telephones / Internet by Students

  • To avoid any large telephone bills, it is advisable that students are not allowed to make outgoing calls. However, any use of the phone within your home is at your discretion. Please discuss this with your student upon their arrival.  Most students will have their own mobile phone to make and receive calls
  • Our guidelines recommend that students be allowed to receive incoming calls from their family in cases of emergency.
  • Having the Internet at home is not a criterion we ask for when we register you as a host. Allowing student access to the Internet in your home is at your discretion.

K) Arrival and Departure Procedures

Arriving in Nottingham

Most students who arrive as individuals arrange their own travel to their Homestay provider with help from ILS English. Please ensure that there is an adult available to receive the student on first arrival. If the students are arriving in a group you will be asked to meet the students at a pre-arranged collection point.

Departing from Nottingham

Most students arrange their own departure, however if they arrived in a group they will need to be returned to the collection point arranged by ILS English.

First Day at ILS English

You will be responsible for bringing the student to the school premises for their first day; the student should be at ILS English, ClarendonPark for 9.00am. You will also need to show them the bus routes that they need to use to get to school/city centre. Please remember that for many of these students it is their first time in the UK and they may have a low level of English.  Giving them a map and pointing out a bus stop has resulted in students getting lost and upset in the past.

You will need to arrange collection of the student at the end of their first day to ensure they are comfortable with the return journey instructions.

L) General Notes Regarding Student Welfare

It is very important that students are welcomed and feel comfortable in your home and at ILS. Often it can be their first time in the UK, and they could be experiencing culture shock and homesickness. To help them settle in and have a happy stay, we ask you to join us in providing: -

  • A warm welcome, integration of the student into your family, eating together with you and sharing the common living areas of your home.
  • English will normally be the language of communication within the home.
  • Local information about getting to college from your house (bus stop locations, etc).
  • Local medical and dental practitioners. i.e. helping the student to register at your GP and information how to access the NHS Drop-in Centre.
  • In case of an urgent medical problem, please call 111, and contact the emergency number for the Accommodation Officer or alternatively the Managing Director for ILS English.
  • A responsible adult will always be present when juniors are at home.

    For any specific questions, which you are unable to answer, please instruct the student to come and see the Accommodation Officer. If you have concerns about the student’s health or welfare please report this to  Julie Wike, who is the Safeguarding  /Accommodation Officer for ILS English, alternatively, if you wish to speak to a male member of staff at ILS English, please ask for Mr Ashley Osborne who is also a Safeguarding Officer, as soon as possible.

The emergency numbers are:

Julie Wike - Accommodation Officer – Mobile: 07715 180253

Anna Dragun – Managing Director – Mobile: 07715180262

    Please note that in accordance with guidelines set by the British Council, all hosts who provide accommodation for junior students, together with any other adult living at the Homestay address, may be subject to police

Checks, and must provide proof of ID.

M) Data Protection

Homestay providers should be aware that any information held on our database (paper or electronic) about host providers is subject to the Data Protection Act. This entitles host to request access to any information referring to them and to know what use will be made of this information. All the information on host providers will be made available to students, agents and inspectors, and as required by HM Revenue and Customs.