Task & rent exchange

Would you like some help with that? Do you have a large home that is difficult to maintain? Perhaps you are getting older or have mobility problems that make it harder to everything you used to. Not a problem! Companion housing is a great way to get extra help to make it easier to remain living in your home. While housing companions are expected to clean up after themselves and contribute towards normal household chores, offering a rent exchange can help you get extra support.

This arrangement is most common with older adults needing some help to age in place or for busy families wanting some extra help around the home. Rent exchange is NOT a replacement for professional services, home care, or nursing support. However, rent exchange can supplement professional services, which will reduce your overall costs and likely provide a higher level of support.

How does it work? You provide a credit towards monthly rent for every hour of extra help your housing companions provide.

Common examples include:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Shovelling snow
  • Driving
  • Meal prep
  • Carpooling/driving
  • Pet sitting
  • Babysitting
  • Watering plants
  • Yardwork
  • Taking out garbage and recycling
  • Companionship
  • Mail pick-up

Accountability

One of the most commonly reported problems with task exchange is housing companions not completing their tasks on time or consistently. This is usually associated with poor communication and making assumptions that they know how to do the task. If a person does not feel comfortable doing a task or does not know how to do it, they are unlikely to do it well or even at all. Spend some time to give them some training on how you want the task done; this will greatly increase their self-confidence. For tasks, you should communicate verbally on the task you want to be completed, when you want it completed, and how you want it to be done.

Example of asking your housing companion to do a task

Could you walk the dog for me Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5pm and feed him dinner afterwards? Here is where I keep his leash and poop bags. We normally go for one loop around the park, but you can go further if you like. Here is where I keep the food, give him one scoop and make sure the water bowl is full. He is good with other dogs, but please keep him on the leash at all times.

Exercise

What is fair compensation for extra help around your home? In this self reflection exercise you can use our interactive calculator to see!

Complete the self reflection exercise by clicking the link below. 

Self reflection