Frequently Asked Questions
We are on a mission to define, enable, and promote shared living between like-minded people. Shared living has many advantages when done right. Our process is designed to help you create and maintain a healthy shared living arrangement.
Section 1: About Happipad
What is Happipad?
Happipad is a web-based platform with features that help Hosts (a homeowner or primary tenant) rent a spare room out to a compatible Guest in a fixed-term, shared living rental arrangement for longer than one month. These living arrangements enable Hosts to earn extra income and Guests to find affordable accomodation. Both Hosts and Guests benefit from companionship and an increased sense of security.
Why use Happipad?
Through collaborations with leading universities and consultations with municipalities and home-sharing societies, we’ve gained insight into the services that make shared living easier, safer, more pleasant, and more secure. For example, Happipad has pre-screening, compatibility-based matching, background checks, lease creation, legal services and even helps manage automatic payments. People feel much more comfortable using Happipad than finding someone from unregulated/unverified rental listings.
How does Happipad work?
Happipad is a one-stop-shop solution that helps Hosts rent out portions of their home to a Guest. We have developed a proprietary technique that helps people find a compatible person to live with based on lifestyle, habits, and personality. Once a housemate has been selected, we support the living arrangement by providing a legal framework, conflict resolution process, security deposit management, and rent payment automation.
What tools does Happipad provide?
Happipad’s online platform includes a suite of useful tools, including a map-based listing service, online rental applications, messaging, optional background screening, contract creation, and automated rent transfer.
What security features does Happipad have?
All hosts have their identity verified through our screening process, which includes checks against databases for anti-money laundering, negative news, and the Canadian credit bureau. Hosts have the option to receive applications from verified Guests. Verified Guests have their identity verified and undergo extensive background screening across databases that include court records, sex offender lists, eviction records, negative news reports, and fraud watch lists.
Is my personal information safe on Happipad?
Your safety and privacy are protected on Happipad. All Hosts and Guests have secure account profiles that require password authentication, and all information is stored securely. We never share your information with anyone without your permission, and we never store any payment information on our servers. Payments are processed by our PCI-compliant provider, Paysafe.
Can my account be suspended?
Happipad may limit, suspend or temporarily deactivate your account if we suspect anything inappropriate, such as fraud or illegal activities. Please review our Terms of Service.
Where does Happipad operate?
Happipad is headquartered in Kelowna, British Columbia. Our services are available to residents of Canada.
Section 2: About shared living
What is shared living?
Shared living describes a living arrangement where a Host and Guest share a home. Happipad helps Hosts rent a room or a portion of their home to a qualified Guest. Guests are provided with a bedroom and access to bathroom and/or kitchen facilities.
What are the regulations around shared living?
There are few regulations around shared living. The residential tenancy laws in British Columbia do not apply to a living arrangement in which a Guest shares bathroom or kitchen facilities with the Host. Shared living is also exempt from the Inn Keepers Act.
Is shared living allowed in my city?
Shared living is permitted in most municipalities if the stay is more than 30 days. However, some municipal bylaws may restrict the number of allowed Guests in a home. It is your responsibility to ensure that you do not violate any bylaws.
Are there age restrictions to be a Guest or Host?
All Hosts and Guests must be at least 19 years of age, there is no upper age limit.
Do I need to own my home?
Hosts can be either the registered owner or primary tenant of their home. If the Host is a tenant, written permission must be obtained from the registered owner to participate in Happipad’s service.
Is this like room and board?
No, there is no expectation for the Host to provide anything to the Guest beyond a bedroom, access to bathroom and kitchen facilities, and basic utilities. In particular, Hosts are not required to provide meals or transportation to Guests. Guests are expected to live independently from Hosts.
What is it like to live in a shared living arrangement?
Many say shared living is similar to living with family, except that you get to choose the people you live with. Your daily living habits should not change significantly, as you still have your independence and private space. Sharing of common spaces means that you must be considerate of the other people in your home.
Why should I try shared living?
Every person has their own reasons. Most people find improved social connections, financial benefits, increased safety, ability to learn, mentor, and companionship. You will likely experience your own benefits that may not appear obvious. We have heard families becoming more organized and connected, seniors becoming more active and happier, and students having better grades.
Can international students or visitors participate?
Yes, as long as the duration of stay is greater than one month, students and visitors from outside of Canada can be a Guest with Happipad.
What are the requirements to Host?
Hosts must have at least one spare bedroom in their home. The home must be furnished, bedrooms are normally furnished however unfurnished bedrooms are acceptable in some situations. Bathrooms may be shared if a private bathroom is not available.
Hosts must complete Happipad’s onboarding process including background screening. Hosts must be at least the age of majority, must be independent and able to look after oneself. There is no defined maximum age.
What do Hosts need to provide for Guests?
The Host must provide the Guest with a bedroom and access to shared common spaces which must include at least one bathroom, a kitchen, and laundry (if available). In addition, the Host must provide the Guest with access to basic utilities, including electricity, water, heating, natural gas (if applicable), and air conditioning (if applicable). Basic utilities are included in rent.
What are the expectations?
Hosts and Guests must respect the privacy of each-other and follow all house rules. Each person is expected to share house chores and cleaning up after one-self. There is no expectation to cook or clean-up after each other. Each person is responsible for their own cost of food, pantry items are often shared. Sharing of meals is encouraged but is not required. There is no obligation to drive each-other, however carpooling is encouraged for shopping or other errands. Hosts are responsible for ensuring their home is maintained to an acceptable standard, is safe, and compliant with all bylaws and codes.
What are basic utilities?
Basic utilities include water, electricity, heating, natural gas (if applicable), and air conditioning (if applicable).
What happens if a Guest needs additional utilities, like internet?
Guests are responsible for all expenses incurred for services beyond the Host’s existing internet and cable services.
How long is a typical shared living term?
Most shared living terms are usually between 4 and 12 months with an option to extend. In any instance a stay cannot be less than one month.
Section 3: Conflicts and Coverage
Who sets the house rules?
Hosts set the rules of their house and terms of the shared living arrangement. This includes quiet time, cleaning schedules, rules for visitors, personal spaces, and anything that is important to you. The house rules are set when you list your room.
What happens if we don’t get along?
Happipad has a Dispute Support Centre which assists Hosts and Guests if a disagreement occurs. In the event that a resolution cannot be found, the living agreement has a termination policy that allows both parties to end the living arrangement. In the event of a serious breach in the agreement, the living arrangement can be cancelled immediately. If you feel threatened or you believe your safety is in jeopardy at any time, contact local law enforcement.
Will my home insurance provider allow shared living?
Most home insurance providers permit Hosts to have up to two Guests. It is the Host’s responsibility to insure that their shared living activities do not violate the terms of their home insurance. Always contact your insurance provider prior to accepting any guests into your home.
Will Guests contents be covered by the Hosts insurance policy?
No, Guests are responsible for their own contents insurance and will not be covered by their Hosts policy. Coverage is optional for Guests but recommended.
Section 4: How to get started
How do I prepare my home to become a Host?
In general, Host homes should be clean and well organized. Some things to consider:
- Clean and organize your spare bedroom, remove items being stored in closets
- Remove personal items from the Guest bathroom
- Furnish the bedroom with a quality bed and have linens and towels available
- Remove unused items from common areas
- Allocate an area for your Guest to use as a study or computer area
- Provide space in the fridge and pantry for your Guest to store their food
- Provide space for your Guest to park their car (if available)
- Avoid strong fragrances in the home
- Have a spare key for your Guest
- Inform your home insurance provider that you will have a Guest staying in your home
How do I make my home attractive to prospective housemates?
The easiest way to make your home attractive is to take nice photos of your home with bright natural lighting. Keeping your home clean and well organized will make it more attractive and enjoyable. Cost of rent and location are important factors for many guests. Most importantly, creating and maintaining an enjoyable, inviting, and supportive dynamic within the home is desired by all guests.
How do I register?
Why do I need to create a profile?
Happipad understands that every person is unique. Successful shared living depends on matching you with a compatible person. To ensure successful matches, we require you to complete your own profile and matching assessment.
What information should I share?
To protect yourself from fraud, we recommend that you never share personal information with anyone outside of the Happipad system.
How do I form my living arrangement?
Hosts will receive applications from interested Guests where they can choose their preferred match. We recommend meeting face to face, or through a video call before signing an agreement. Happipad will then generate a living arrangement agreement for the Host and Guest to sign. The Host and Guest will then communicate with each other to finalize move-in details. Our goal is to make the process simple and worry-free for you.
How do I list my room?
To list your room, all you have to do is sign up to create a profile and listing. The profile tells us about you and your housemate preferences, and the listing tells prospective Guests about your home. Your home then becomes part of our active listings for housemates to search.
What if I don’t get any matches?
We can’t guarantee that you will find a match, but we can help you increase your chances of success and deliver as many qualified leads as possible.
What is a Community Ambassador?
Community Ambassadors are individuals who have experience with shared living. In select cities, Happipad can connect you with an ambassador to meet you at your home, provide a shared living suitability assessment, and help you register. See our registration page for more details.
Section 5: Living Arrangement
How do I form my living arrangement?
Hosts will receive applications from interested Guests where they can choose their preferred match. We recommend meeting face to face, or through a video call before signing an agreement. Happipad will then generate a contractual living arrangement agreement for the Host and Guest to sign. The Host and Guest will then communicate with each other to finalize move-in details. Our goal is to make the process simple and worry-free for you.
What if a Guest has a pet?
All Guests who have a pet pay a half-month pet damage deposit prior to moving in, which held in trust by Happipad until the end of the living arrangement. Hosts can claim the cost of repair for damage due to the pet from the pet damage deposit. The pet damage deposit, less any claims awarded to the Host, is returned to the Guest within 30 days after the end date of the living arrangement.
How do I change the start date of my living arrangement?
Host or Guest can request a later start date, provided that it is submitted to the Happipad platform 21 days before the current start date. The other party may, but is not required to, accept the new start date. If the new start date is not accepted, then both parties must honour the original start date in the living arrangement agreement.
How do I change the end date of my living arrangement?
Host or Guest can request an earlier end date, provided that it is submitted to the Happipad platform 21 days before the new end date. The other party may, but is not required to, accept the new end date. If the new end date is not accepted, then both parties must honour the original end date in the living arrangement agreement.
How do I extend my living arrangement?
Host or Guest can request to extend the living arrangement in one-month intervals. The extension request must be accepted by the other party.
What is Happipad’s cancellation policy?
Either the Host or Guest can cancel their living arrangement prior to the start date. If the Host cancels, the security deposit will be refunded to the Guest. If the Guest cancels more than one month before the start date, the security deposit, less a $50 administrative fee, is refunded to the Guest. If the Guest cancels less than one month before the start date, the security deposit, less a $50 administrative fee, is disbursed to the Host.
Section 6: Rent Payment and Costs
Does the Guest pay rent to the Host?
The Guest pays a fair monthly rent to the Host (set by the Host), inclusive of basic utilities. Rent is automatically charged to the Guest through the Happipad platform and deposited into the Hosts bank account.
How does automatic rent payments work?
By establishing a Happipad account, scheduled rent payments will automatically transfer funds from the Guest’s bank account or credit card directly into the Host’s bank account. With automatic rent payment, there is no need for a Host to request rent from their Guest.
What methods of payment does Happipad accept?
We accept bank transfer from Canadian banks and major credit cards including Visa and Mastercard.
What if the rent payment doesn’t process?
If a rent payment fails, a $10 administrative fee will be applied to the Guest’s account. Rent payments typically fail to process for two reasons. Either the payment information has been entered incorrectly or there are insufficient funds in the account.
What happens if my Guest is late paying rent?
If a Guest fails to complete rent payment by the rent due date, rent will be overdue and a $20 late fee will be applied to the Guest’s account. If the Guest is late paying rent on three or more occasions, the Host reserves the right to terminate the living arrangement immediately.
What happens if my Guest does not pay rent?
If the Guest fails to complete the rent payment within seven days from the rent due date, the Host reserves the right to terminate the living arrangement immediately.
How long does it take for a Host to get paid?
Credit card payment and bank transfer processing times depend on administrative factors and institutional backlogs beyond our control, and may take up to five Business Days (or longer in rare cases).
Are there security deposits involved?
Yes, all Guests pay a half-month security deposit upon signing their living arrangement agreement, which is held in trust by Happipad until the end of the living arrangement. Hosts can claim the cost of damage repair or lost rent from the security deposit. The security deposit, less any claims awarded to the Host, is returned to the Guest within 30 days after the end date of the living arrangement.
How does a Host make a damage claim against a security deposit?
Guests will be responsible for any damage caused by the themselves, their visitors, or their pets. If the Host determines that there is damage caused by the Guest, the Host must submit a damage claim through the Happipad platform no later than 21 days after the end date specifying the damage and cost of repairs.
What are Happipad’s fees?
Happipad charges Hosts a non-refundable $49.95 fee for a 2-year membership. In addition, Happipad charges a service fee of 5% of monthly rent which is deducted from the rent collected from the Guest.
It is free for Guests to register and use Happipad, there is an optional $19.95 fee for Guests to upgrade to a verified user. Deposits and rent paid by credit card are subject to an additional 2.9% processing fee above the cost of rent or deposit.