There continues to be growth in the number of young people who decide to go to language schools or university in the UK. This is partly due to government incentives that are encouraging more people to go into study but is also due to a growth in the number of international students coming to the UK to continue their studies. As this trend is set to continue, there continues to be a demand for accommodation and housing an international student in your home can be beneficial to both you and the student.
It is important to note that hosting students on a homestay basis is much different than renting out your room to a lodger, you are expected to treat the student as part of your family. As a lot of students come to London to improve their English, they will be looking to you to engage in regular conversation with them in order to hone their English skills.
As for the weekly rate you will receive, this will largely depend on the type and standard of accommodation you are providing and the location of your home. The closer to the centre of London means the more money you could potentially earn. Further factors will include whether you plan on including evening meals or just providing self catering or bed and breakfast, and whether you would provide the student with internet access during their stay.
Of course, as owner occupier you will be within your rights to stipulate the type of individual you would prefer to take on as a lodger. This will include factors such as their gender, age, race, religion and nationality. However, beware of making decisions based on stereotypes. While many landlords believe that young women from a certain culture, for example, will be cleaner, quieter and more polite, this is seldom the reality. Everyone is different and by making too many stipulations you will be reducing the chances of finding a student significantly.
You may also want to look into insurance policies when you are considering renting to international students. In the event of your student suffering an accident or being the victim of theft, a comprehensive insurance policy will cover you. Therefore, check your existing insurance policy to see whether it includes this type of cover and if not talk to your provider about an upgrade, more often than not this will mean just a small increase to your premium.