Room for Tea is a home-sharing network. We connect guests in need of short-term, affordable accommodation in London with hosts who have a spare room in their homes.
Room for Tea helps young people undertaking internship and apprenticeships find affordable accommodation in London, offering anyone from anywhere, a fair chance at starting their dream career. If you are not doing an internship or an apprenticeship, please contact us to find out if you would be eligible.
We welcome hosts of any age and from any areas of London. So far our hosts have ranged from 25 to 91 years old.
The host is expected to provide a bedroom, with access to shared bathroom and cooking facilities. Please note that if you have a studio separate from your main residence, you may not be eligible for tax exemption as part of the Rent-a-Room scheme. Follow this link for more info. Hosts are expected to give a set of house keys, and details of door code etc. so that their guests can get into the house independently.
Hosts can specify what facilities they have available in their homes via their online profile, or directly to us during a house visit.
The length of stay is flexible and it's up to you to decide what works best for you. Stays can last for anywhere between one week and 6 months, with an average stay being about 2 months.
On the host profile page, hosts can select different periods of unavailability. This can be done by selecting 'add another' under the 'your availability' section. The calendar will indicate that the room is unavailable during the selected period(s).Guests should be aware that the host may increase their rent if the stay is shorter than 1 month. Room for Tea guest fees are 12% of the total monthly rent for stays of over 1 month, and 15% of the total weekly rent for stays of less than 1 month.
The guest has the same legal rights as a 'lodger', a license to occupy although not a full tenancy. It's a more flexible arrangement, and easier to end than a full tenancy. Follow this link for more information.
There is a written agreement ('the stay agreement') between host and guest to formally agree on dates of the stay, rent/deposit paid, deposit, house rules and responsibilities, although it is a non-legally binding agreement.
There are health and safety standards that hosts must comply with to be able to list on Room for Tea. The house must be safe and in good repair, and free from health hazards. For more information visit the government page
We always recommend that guests visit the houses in person before agreeing to move in, so that host & guest can meet each other, talk about the details of the arrangement, such as rent and dates of stay. It is advised to discuss house rules and preferences early on, in order to avoid any misunderstandings at a later point.
Usually guests purchase their own food and hosts let them use the shared cooking facilities, and provide some space (e.g a shelf in a cupboard, in the fridge).Some hosts offer a meal plan for an additional cost (e.g. £3 per meal 4 times a week). We leave this up to the host and the guest to agree on.
It's worth mentioning your dietary habits, any allergies and, if applicable, what guests are allowed/not allowed to cook in the kitchen.
At the moment, our action is focused on London for our initial launch area, with the intention of expanding throughout the UK in the near future.
We want to make sure that everyone gets the attention and support they need, and given our current resources we are not able to visit homes outside of Greater London.
You can specify your preferences when registering.
Sometimes we can't meet the requests immediately because dates and location do not match, and hosts who live further out than zone 3 may struggle to find a guest. However Room for Tea is here to help hosts find a match, we will send your profile to potential guests.
Room for Tea's mission is to help aspiring interns find an affordable room during their work experience. Please bear that in mind when deciding on the rent you want to charge.
The financial contribution paid by the intern depends on the location of the house, the size of the room and the nature of the arrangement. We suggest hosts charge between £350 and £500 per month. If you do not want any contribution to rent or bills, you are also able to offer up your room for free!
The government-supported Rent-a-Room scheme sets £350 monthly as the tax threshold (£4,250 a year). More information on the scheme regulations is available here.
Should hosts charge a refundable deposit? This is up to you, however it can be a helpful security measure, for example in the case of lost keys, etc. Room for Tea can withhold this deposit for you.
Room for Tea takes payment from guests prior to their stay so hosts don't need to worry about it.
When a host and guest agree to a stay and the amount of rent is confirmed, they need to contact Room for Tea. We will then send out an invoice to the guest with payment details. This payment must clear 5 working days before the start of the stay*. The payments are done by bank transfer and if you are a new host you will need to provide us with your bank details.
Room for Tea will hold the funds as a deposit until we have confirmed with both parties (host and guest) within the first 24 hours of the stay that all is well. We then release the funds, less our fees, to the host. After this the host will receive monthly/weekly rent on the appointed date, via Room for Tea. If there are any changes to the arrangement, please contact us immediately.
If the guest cancels the booking less than 5 days before the start of their stay they will lose their rent payment (including Room for Tea fees) for late cancellation. In the case of the host cancelling the booking less than 5 days before the stay, the rent (less Room for Tea fees) will be refunded to the guest.
* unless your stay is a last-minute arrangement in which case Room For Tea will contact guests to arrange immediate payment.
Room For Tea offers personalised support to hosts and guests, and visit each new host to verify them. Because of this, we charge a commission to both host and guest. Host service fees are included in the rent paid by the guests and guest service fees are added to the cost of the room.
Our host service fees are 5% of the rent paid by the guest every month or week with a minimum fee of £20 per month. Host service fees are included in the rent paid by the guests and are charged monthly, or weekly, depending on the length of the stay: if a guest is staying over 1 month the 5% service fee will be charged monthly. If a guest is staying less than 1 month the 5% service fee will be charged weekly.
This fee covers the cost of host verification, support throughout the stay and processing guest payments. It comes out of the rent paid by the guest. We also charge guests a service fee to cover the cost of running the site.
Hosts should be aware that the fee will be subtracted from the rent they indicate on their profile. For example if the monthly rent they indicate on their profile is £400, they will receive £400-5% = £380 from Room for Tea for the month. The minimum fee is £20 per month so if the monthly rent is £350, they will receive £350-£20 = £330.
Please be aware that our fee will always be rounded up to the nearest number of whole week/month of your stay.
Our guest service fees are 12% to 15% of the total rent paid by the guest every month or week, with a minimum fee of £35 per month or £10 per week. Guest service fees are additional to the rent paid by the guests. The percentage used for the guest service fee (12% or 15%) depends on the length of the reservation. If a guest stays for 1 month or longer, the fee is 12% per month. If a guest stays for less than 1 month, the fee is 15% per week.
This fee covers the costs of running the site and processing payments. We also charge hosts a service fee.
Guests should be aware that the fees will be added to the rent that hosts indicate on their profile. For example if the monthly rent is £400 on the host's profile, Room for Tea will charge the guest £400 + 12% = £448 for the month. If the stay is short-term (less than 1 month), and the rent is £100 per week, Room for Tea will charge the guest £100 + 15% = £115 for the week.The minimum fee is £35 per month (or £10 per week) so if the monthly rent is £300, the guest will be charged £300 + £35 = £335.
We are a social enterprise. This means that we invest the revenue we generate in maintaining our high levels of service and exploring new ways of supporting those who would most benefit from being part of our home-sharing network.
Our fees go towards our client support but most importantly our time. We visit every host in their home to ensure both they and their future guests will be comfortable and we provide support throughout the stays to ensure issues are resolved in a timely manner.
All in all, the fees go a long way and are crucial to maintain the quality of our service, and the well-being of all our guests and hosts.
Room for Tea verifies all its guests before they are allowed to contact a host. When a guest signs up on Room for Tea, they have to provide two references, an academic and a professional reference, which are reviewed by Rom for Tea.
Room for Tea verifies all its hosts before they are allowed to contact a guest by organising a house visit. New to the site? Contact us to request a house visit
Room for Tea does not offer complimentary insurance, we recommend hosts take a specific b&b insurance, for example through Towergate Insurance (around £120 per year).
Although we hope that hosts and guests will find Room for Tea a positive experience at all stages of the process, we are aware that things can't always work out as wished and expected.
We encourage open communication, however if an issue arises please contact us immediately and we will help you find a solution. Our contact telephone is 02032394913 and email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please get in touch with us if you have any concerns which haven't been addressed here.
Room for Tea is a social enterprise which means all profits go back into the service and it's upkeep.