Q: Why is SwitcHome free of charge?
A: SwitcHome is a not for profit organisation, managed by volunteers who are convinced of the advantages of this type of holiday. Their goal is to put those who are actively seeking a house swap in contact with like minded individuals so they too can reap the advantages that house swapping has to offer.
Q: Is house swapping for me?
A: This way of holidaying attracts many types of people: whether you own or rent your property, whether you are single or in a couple, whether you have children or not, students, employed or retired. All you need is an open mind and a trusting personality.
Q: Where can I go?
A: You can go wherever you want. The opportunities are endless with the only condition being to find a suitable exchange partner(s).
Q: What household charges will I be liable for (water, electricity, gas…)?
A: Generally speaking each household pays the charges for their own house. If everyone uses what they need in terms of heat, water, electricity the usage will be more or less the same for each householder. However depending on individual circumstances both parties can come to an arrangement suited to their needs.
Q: Which items can I make use of in my hosts accommodation?
A: The rule of thumb is that you live as you would at home. However this depends on the specific arrangements you may have made with your hosts. It is important to discuss any ‘off limits’ items or areas before the exchange.
Q: What happens if I have to cancel the exchange at short notice?
A: Before committing to a house swap make sure you are able to travel and swap as agreed. In the case where you encounter problems days before your departure you must inform your hosts and discuss possible alternative arrangements with them. Do not forget that they will have made arrangements for travel and incurred expenses such as airplane or ferry tickets etc.
Q: What are the membership fees?
A: SwitcHome is completely free of charge. You will not be charged a fee to place a listing or to view listings.
Q: Can I trust ‘strangers’?
A: Why not? The general idea behind house swapping is to reduce the cost of a holiday and to make the most of the area in which you are staying without falling into the tourist traps. Those people who are ready to swap with you have the same frame of mind as you. They too are entrusting you with their property and belongings. To enable your exchange to run smoothly, take a look at the section: "advice for successful exchanges".
Q: Can I organise more than one exchange?
A: Of course! There is no limit to the number of exchanges you can carry out. You can perform several exchanges per year for your annual holidays, weekends away, short breaks etc - the choice is yours.
Q: I have found a listing which interests me. How do I make contact ?
A: It is not necessary to be a SwitcHome member to suggest an exchange but you must possess an email account. Neither is it necessary to have a listing on the site, however this makes it easier to show the details of your property. For more information go to the section entitled Contact a member
Q: Does SwitcHome organise my house swap?
A: SwitcHome enables you, via the site, to make contact with like minded people who wish to swap their homes. We can offer advice, help with practicalities such as how to add photos to your listing and provide sample contracts if you should need one. The details of the exchange concern you and those you swap with – you must decide with whom, when and for how long you swap your home.
Q: How do I create my listing?
A: Just click on the link add new listing and follow the steps. You must choose a user name and a password. Keep these details to enable you to edit your listing, add information or update your photos... Be honest and accurate when describing the accommodation you have to offer. Please remember that the listings containing photographs have a greater number of hits than those without so do not forget to add some if at all possible.
Q: How do I add a photo?
A: Up to ten photos can be added to your listing but they must not exceed the specified dimensions. Each photo must conform to the following: Format Jpeg (.jpg), width 640, resolution 72 dpi, compression 40%, size 100 Kb. If you do not know how to adjust your photos to fit, use the online tool: PhotoFiltre
Q: How do I choose the photo which will appear first on the listing?
A: When uploading your photos you must give them a rank. Give the number 1 rank to the photo you wish to see at the top of your listing. You can also add a caption or give details explaining your photos. Do not forget to click update.
Q: Are my personal details protected?
A: Nobody has access to your information such as your email address. If someone is interested in your listing they need to fill out the online form to make contact with you.
Q: How will I know when someone is interested in my listing?
A: You will receive a message in the inbox of the email address which you registered with. For further information you can see the number of people who have viewed your listing by looking at the counter at the bottom of your listing page.
Q: What necessary steps do I have to take regarding my home insurance?
A: As soon as your exchange is organised you should contact your home insurance provider. Many insurers prefer that you property is not left unattended during holidays especially if the amount of time away is relatively long. All the same, it is wise to check the amount of cover that you have should any incidents involving your hosts occur as well as if you are covered for any incidents that may occur whilst you are in their property.
Q: Can I exchange my car?
A : Of course, doing so helps you to economise even further and is useful if you travel by plane. Many insurance providers cover for any driver as long as your consent is given. Nevertheless you should inform your insurer and check about the loss of your no claims bonus should your host be at fault in an accident involving your car. Agree on possible payments or the excess charge payable should an accident occur and do check who will be driving your car. You could sign an agreement whereby the driver of each car would be responsible for the costs incurred by any accident up to the level of the agreed excess charge. You could also decide on the number of kilometres allowed or a geographical distance allowed. You can download our "Car exchange contract".
Q: Who will look after my animals and/or plants whilst I am away?
A: If your exchange partner accepts they can be responsible for the care of your animals and/or plants. Make sure you leave relevant instructions. However if your exchange partner does not wish to, which is their right should they so choose, you can organise with a friend or family member to care for plants and /or animals.
Q: I have two homes (my main home and a holiday home). Is it possible to have two listings for the same account?
A: Yes, but to do this you will need to contact a SwitcHome administrator to explain your situation: Contact