FAQ

Sharing My Home

FAQ’s – Click through the questions below for more information.

The leases are month-to-month allowing you and our program participants flexibility. We ask you for a 6 month commitment because our data says that our most successful program participants had average stays of 6 months. This allows our program participants time and stability to work on their housing and economic goals towards self-sufficiency and a successful exit out of our program. Agreements can last longer or shorter. When you consider sharing your home with Open Up, we want you to have a 6 month commitment in mind.

We do our best to present likely matches to you and then support you and our program participant throughout the match. However, sometimes the match doesn’t work out and that’s OK. If a match is not working out, we ask that you give a one month notice to allow your tenant time to find other housing. If there are situations that don’t really allow for one month, we will work with you to reach a harmonious solution as quickly as possible. Every step of our process is opt-in. You’re never stuck.

This is up to you and your tenant. During the application and interview process you will tell us about your needs for a living situation in which you thrive and we will present to you potential matches that we think align well with your needs. We suggest every match have a Household Harmony Agreement that outlines expectations for how you will live together. Our staff helps you create a document unique to your situation. You can also download our 7 Tips for Preparing Your Home and Yourself for a Housemate to get more ideas.

We have priced the $600/month rent to include utilities as an all-inclusive payment to you.

We encourage you to hold a $300 security deposit to cover extra cleaning or repairs upon tenant move-out. Under Colorado law, security deposits are fully refundable so reasons for withholding any portion of the security deposit at the end of the lease need to be documented.

Our tenants come from trusted community partners . Our partners are career development organizations and employers who already have a relationship with our tenants. That relationship with the community partner forms the first layer of screening we do. Our tenants go through an application process so we can learn about their personal history and their housing goals and needs. We then interview them in person or through video conference to further learn about them. If they are conditionally accepted after the interview, we do an income verification, extensive background check, and reference check. The final part of the screening process comes through you. Alongside Open Up staff you meet the potential match in your home and see it you would be a good match for each other.

Every homesharing situation is different though tenants do need the ability to prepare food. We get your preferences for sharing your space in the application and interview process so that we can present potential matches who’s needs align well with yours. We also help you create a Household Harmony Agreement that outlines your shared expectations with the tenant for how you live together.

Yes! We recommend that you charge $600 per bedroom. If you have multiple bedrooms available, we would love to help you fill them. Single parents with children also have a hard time finding stable and affordable housing. To house a parent and child in the same bedroom, we recommend that you charge $700/month in rent.

During the application and interview process you decide if you would like to allow pets in your home and which types of pets you would allow. For dogs and cats, we suggest you hold a $100 pet deposit from the tenant.

It is always best to check with a tax professional to get answers for your specific tax situation. Monthly rent that you receive is considered taxable income and you will receive the proper tax documents from us. There are also tax deductions available for landlords for the portion of their home leased to a tenant.

The lease terms are up to you and the tenant. We suggest a month-to-month lease and we can provide you with an example to use.

Family members and partners may stay in a room together for a maximum of two people per room. When you allow two people in one room, we recommend charging $700 per month in rent. We never place people who do not know each other in the same bedroom. In order for people to thrive, we believe they need a private space to call their own.

For our program participants, we offer monthly case management by our staff to work on housing goals for a successful exit. Our preference is to do these meetings in person for a better assessment of how the match is going. Our case managers are also available as needed when conflict arises. For housing providers, the level of support needed is decided by you. Our staff is available to you to help your match be one in which everyone thrives.

Since Open Up encourages you to have a month-to-month lease with your tenant, there is no set deadline for when the tenant must exit. A large majority of our clients successfully exit our program within 6 months so we ask you to have that timeframe in mind as you consider sharing your home.

From the first application our program participants fill out until the end of their time in our program, we are working with them on what a successful exit looks like. The average stay is 6 months but sometimes it’s less and sometimes it’s more. We encourage you to have a month-to-month lease with our client. If you want to continue your match, please do so! Open Up stops supporting our program participants after 24 months in our program.

Sharing My Property

Yes! Properties are needed for families in particular.

Yes! Both of these scenarios allow for someone living on your property with you with separate living quarters. For a space that is not shared with someone else, we ask you to consider charging $700 or less per bedroom in rent.

We do our best to present likely matches to you and then support you and our program participant throughout the match. However, sometimes the match doesn’t work out and that’s OK. If a match is not working out, we ask that you give a one month notice to allow your tenant time to find other housing. If there are situations that don’t really allow for one month, we will work with you to reach a harmonious solution as quickly as possible. Every step of our process is opt-in. You’re never stuck.

For properties with their own energy meter, it will be under the tenant’s name. For ADU’s and finished basements that share metering with the main home, we ask that the utilities be included in one all-inclusive payment.

We encourage you to hold a $300 security deposit to cover extra cleaning or repairs upon tenant move-out. Under Colorado law, security deposits are fully refundable so reasons for withholding any portion of the security deposit at the end of the lease need to be documented.

Our tenants come from trusted community partners. Our partners are career development organizations and employers who already have a relationship with our tenants. That relationship with the community partner forms the first layer of screening we do. Our tenants go through an application process so we can learn about their personal history and their housing goals and needs. We then interview them in person or through video conference to further learn about them. If they are conditionally accepted after the interview, we do an income verification, extensive background check, and reference check. The final part of the screening process comes through you. Alongside Open Up staff you meet the potential match in your home and see it you would be a good match for each other.

$700 or less per bedroom.

During the application and interview process you decide if you would like to allow pets in your home and which types of pets you would allow. For dogs and cats, we suggest you hold a $100 pet deposit from the tenant.

Open Up is not a property manager. We decrease the risk of renting out your property through providing you with thoroughly screened tenants who match your needs and are supported by our expert case management team.

Open Up encourages you to have a month-to-month lease with our clients. We have an example lease we can share with you.

Family members and partners may stay in a room together for a maximum of two people per room. When you allow two people in one room, we recommend charging $700 per month in rent. We never place people who do not know each other in the same bedroom. In order for people to thrive, we believe they need a private space to call their own.

For our program participants, we offer monthly case management by our staff to work on housing goals for a successful exit. Our preference is to do these meetings in person for a better assessment of how the match is going. Our case managers are also available as needed when conflict arises. For housing providers, the level of support needed is decided by you. Our staff is available to you to help your match be one in which everyone thrives.

Since Open Up encourages you to have a month-to-month lease with your tenant, there is no set deadline for when the tenant must exit. A large majority of our clients successfully exit our program within 6 months so we ask you to have that timeframe in mind as you consider sharing your home.

From the first application our program participants fill out until the end of their time in our program, we are working with them on what a successful exit looks like. The average stay is 6 months but sometimes it’s less and sometimes it’s more. We encourage you to have a month-to-month lease with our client. If you want to continue your match, please do so! Open Up stops supporting our program participants after 24 months in our program.

Impact of Open Up

We use existing housing space combined with a sharing economy model. Many people are shocked to learn that someone working full-time earning over $15/hour could be on the verge of homelessness. We ask homeowners to open up a bedroom in their home so our neighbors can have the stability they need to reach their goals of self-sufficiency.

Since 2017, we have made 50 matches in the Denver Metro area! Over 80% of our homeshares have led to a successful exit which means the tenant was able to find equal or better housing on their own.

Our funding comes 100% through donations by foundations, businesses, churches, community service organizations, and individuals who are passionate about our effective and efficient model of addressing the affordable housing crisis. In a typical arrangement between a homeowner and a third party, fees of 8-12% of monthly rent are paid to the third party. Those fees ultimately get passed on to the tenant in the form of a higher monthly rent. Our goal is to keep rent low to give people a launching pad towards thriving so we don’t charge any fees to the homeowner or tenant. We are always looking for people who want to invest in this model through giving. You can donate or contact us to talk about your philanthropic priorities.

Your monetary gift makes it possible for each participant to receive individualized care and coaching for their housing goals. The Open Up model isn’t a permanent housing solution for anyone; it’s an incubator that gives people the stability and support they need to grow in self-sufficiency.