Serious problems

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Concerns for your health or safety

Events can often happen quickly and unexpectedly. Situations can vary from crossing boundaries and breaching house rules to major events such as showing violent behaviour. Putting care and attention into the selection and on-boarding of housing companions will help mitigate this. However, it is always good to be ready for the unexpected.

You may choose to end the living arrangement with your housing companion early if any event occurs which violates your contract, a law, or creates an unsafe situation. The notice required will depend on the severity of the breach and the terms of your living arrangement agreement.

If you notice any behaviour that makes you feel unsafe, do not ignore it. Your personal health and safety is always a top priority

Situations to be aware of

Personal violation – Any situation that violates a person’s personal rights, privacy, or safety. This could range from entering one’s personal space without permission 

Carelessness that could lead to safety issues – Leaving the stove unattended while cooking or leaving tripping hazards in the home.

A major disagreement – A fight over one’s values, beliefs, or religion that results in a situation where your health or safety is compromised or at risk.

Any signs of aggression or harassment- Physical, verbal or emotional abuse and violence towards others.

Breach of rules – Purposeful breach of rules or repeated offences.

Breach of laws – Procession of illegal items or substances, or illegal activities.

What to do if you are in immediate danger

  1. Leave the house and go to a safe place, perhaps a neighbour’s home or public area.
  2. Call the police! Dial 911 in North America and explain the situation
  3. Work with the police to resolve the immediate dangers of the situation.
  4. If you are part of a companion housing program, notify your program manager.

Examples rules for companion housing program

It is advisable to set guidelines and rules for handling breaches of house rules and ways to end your living arrangement. Below is an example used in some of Happipad’s companion housing programs. You may want to enforce similar rules if you are managing your own companion housing arrangement.

Under Happipad’s Companion Housing Program, there is a zero-tolerance policy for any persons who compromise their housing companions’ health or safety. This may result in immediate termination of their living arrangement agreement and notice to vacate.

If you are actively involved in a companion housing arrangement and encounter any situation where you feel a compromise of health or safety, contact your program representative immediately. They will assist you through the process to resolve the issue.

Living arrangements can be ended early by the following methods:

  • At any time, by mutual agreement
  • At any time, by either party by giving at least 21 clear days’ notice in writing to the other party
  • After 10 days, if the Host or Guest fails to uphold their obligations under the living arrangement agreement, such as non-payment of rent
  • Immediately, if the home becomes uninhabitable due to significant structural damage or other safety concerns resulting from unforeseeable circumstances including, but not limited to, fire, flood, or natural disaster
  • Within 48 hours, if there is a severe breach of safety

Note: Monetary penalties may apply if ending a fixed-term living arrangement early.