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
Who is Happipad?
Happipad is a team of passionate community leaders who believe in the benefits of shared living. We are pioneering ways to make shared living safe, simple, and accessible for all people.
How does Happipad work?
Happipad is an online platform that allows people to connect, form, and maintain shared living arrangements. Happipad performs background screening and personality/character assessments to simplify the matching process. The entire process can be done online through our platform, or can be done in-person with the assistance of a Happipad Community Ambassador.
Where does Happipad operate?
Happipad is headquartered in Kelowna, British Columbia. Our services are available to all Canadian residents.
Section 2: About shared living
What is shared living?
Shared living is a living arrangement where two or more unrelated people share a home. Each person retains their own private space while common areas of the home are shared, such as the kitchen. No two shared living arrangements are alike; each is tailored to the needs of the people in the home.
Arrangements involve a Host who is the home owner or principle resident (if renting the home), and a Guest who is the person renting a room in the home and sharing the common areas.
People who home share do not need to be the same age, gender, or ethnic background. What is important is having similar personalities, values, and interests. Cleaning and chores around the house are often shared. Each person is responsible for cleaning their own bedroom and bathroom. Each person is responsible for their own food and meal preparation. It is, however, common for hosts and guests to share some meals.
What is it like to live in a shared living arrangement?
Many say shared living is similar to family, except you get to choose the people. Your daily living will not be much different than usual as you still have your independence and private space. Most people enjoy the companionship, help around the home, and the safety of having another person around the house. You are not expected to make any changes to your routine or way of living, instead you can match with another person who shares the same values. Some people find they eat better and develop better habits and routines. Some find themselves to be more active and connected with their community.
Why should I try shared living?
Every person has their own reasons to home share. Most people find improved social connections, financial benefits, increased safety, ability to learn, mentor, and companionship. Shared living is a great way to help others and to help newcomers transition into your city.
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.
Does the Guest pay rent to the Host?
The Guest pays a fair monthly rent to the Host (set by the Host), inclusive of utilities. In some arrangements the Guest will receive a reduction in monthly rent in exchange for extra help around the house. Rent with shared living is generally much less than market rentals, such as private apartments.
Typically rent is between $450-$800/month including utilities for a furnished bedroom. Guests are responsible for their own food and personal items, such as toiletries. Hosts may offer lower rent in exchange for extra assistance around the home, such as babysitting.
Who is shared living for?
Shared living is a great housing option for people both young and old. Many seniors have adopted shared living, as have families, empty-nesters, young adults, and students.
Ideal persons should be willing to share their home and cooperate with others, enjoy conversation, and sharing of meals. If you enjoy being around like-minded people you will likely enjoy shared living.
Can international students or visitors participate?
Yes, Happipad allows you to connect with others who speak the same language and have similar values. Happipad does not allow any stays for less than 30 days.
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 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.
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.
How long is a typical shared living term?
Most shared living terms are usually between 4 and 12 months with an option to extend. Terms can be as short as 1 month in some circumstances. The Host has the option to decide when their room is available and to set a maximum time of stay.
Do I need to own my home?
Hosts can either rent or own their homes. If you are renting your home, you must have written approval from your landlord prior to hosting with Happipad.
Is shared living allowed in my city?
Shared living is permitted in most municipalities if the stay is more than 30 days. Happipad’s shared living service is designed to be compliant with all bylaws and legislation.
Will my home insurance allow shared living?
Most insurance providers permit shared living under your existing home insurance. You are required to inform your insurance provider, however there is normally no extra costs involved. Happipad has optional liability insurance for all placements.
How does Happipad screen people?
Happipad compares the information of Hosts and Guests with over 110,000 databases in 240 countries to validate your identity and to search for any at-risk behavior. The results are used for internal processing only and are not stored or shared with other users.
What happens if we don’t get along?
Happipad wants you to have an enjoyable shared living experience. If you encounter a conflict with your guest or host we will help you resolve the problem. We believe in a proactive approach to shared living, we want to help you maintain a healthy relationship within your home to help mitigate major conflicts.
If conflicts cannot be resolved then the guest will be required to move out of the home. Happipad will assist with this process if needed.
Section 3: How to get started
How do I prepare my home to become a Host?
There is often little preparation that needs to be done to prepare your home for shared living. Your home should be clean and well organized with adequate space for another person to store their personal items.
Some things to consider:
- Clean and organize your spare bedroom, remove items being stored in closets
- Remove personal items from the bathroom your guest will use
- Furnish the bedroom with a quality bed, 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, some people may be sensitive
- Have a spare key for your guest
- Inform your home insurance provider that you will have a home-share guest staying in your home
- We recommend having wifi internet available for your guests
How do I register?
You can self-register at www.happipad.com/register or you can have a Happipad Community Ambassador assist you with the registration process.
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.
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, similar to other relationships. To ensure successful matches we require you to complete your own profile and matching assessment. Happipad is designed to be a safe place where only authenticated people can connect. We do not allow anonymous people to engage in shared living.
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.