FAQ

Home-Sharing through Open Up

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

Anyone can sign up on Silvernest! Visit https://info.silvernest.com/open-up to sign up. To use Open Up’s resources, housemates must meet all of the eligibility requirements: single adult (age 18+), not living with children, looking to live in the Denver metro area, not abusing substance(s)/maintaining sobriety, earning between at least $1,833 per month (before taxes) to be able to afford at least $600 per month in housing costs with no criminal convictions of violent or sexual offenses. We are not an emergency housing organization. If you do not meet the requirements or require immediate placement, please go to this link to see resources to fit your specific needs: www.findhelp.org

The leases are customizable through the Silvernest platform. We recommend a month-to-month lease 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.

The lease terms are up to you and your housemate. We suggest a month-to-month lease and there is a Colorado-specific customizable lease available to you through the Silvernest platform when you are ready to match with someone.

Silvernest presents likely matches to you as well as provides resources to set expectations for the home. We encourage proactive communication regarding any concerns and expectations within the home, including the house rules. 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 housemate time to find other housing. If there are situations that don’t 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 potential housemate. While filling out your profile you will be asked questions about your needs and preferences that factor into the potential housemates that are presented to you. As you interact with potential housemates, spend time seeing if your expectations for interaction and communication match well with their expectations. We suggest every match have a Household Harmony Agreement that outlines expectations for how you will live together. You can create a document unique to your situation through the Silvernest platform once you decide to match with someone. You can also download our 7 Tips for Preparing Your Home and Yourself for a Housemate to get more ideas.

We recommend that the cost of utilities is included in the monthly rent amount. Though home providers decide how they would like to collect the cost of utilities and this will be agreed upon in the lease terms. 

To serve the neighbors well that Open Up is helping to get housed, price your room plus utilities from $600 to $925 per month. Silvernest charges a fee of 5% of the monthly rent and we encourage homeowners to increase their monthly rent to incorporate this fee. To help determine a fair price for your space based on location, size, and amenities, use the Silvernest rent calculator while you are creating your profile.

We encourage home providers 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. You can download our tips for avoiding charges after moving out.

Our clients can be referred by one of our trusted community partners.

Our partners are career development organizations and employers who already have a relationship with our clients. Housemates can also connect with us directly on our website. Our goal is to assist those who meet our program requirements and earn between 30-50% area median income. We determine eligibility for our program before helping guide clients through the Silvernest home-sharing process as well as providing additional resources as needed. From there Silvernest helps screen housemates. Only real, verified users can join the Silvernest community. Silvernest uses an industry-leading third-party service for ID verification processing. Through the Silvernest platform, you can message potential housemates securely while protecting your identity details. Using secure messaging, you can ask and answer questions for additional compatibility screening as well as share photos and videos. Both homeowners and potential housemates can proactively conduct a background screen on the Silvernest platform and you can request to view the results. You can request that someone complete a background screen if they have not yet completed one. Results are good for 90 days and unlimited listings. The background screening covers national and county criminal search, eviction history and civil search, global watch list search, sex offender registry search, and social security number verification.

Every home-sharing situation is different though each housemate does need the ability to prepare food. Silvernest collects your preferences so that they can present potential matches whose needs align well with yours. We can also help you create a Household Harmony Agreement that outlines your shared expectations for how you live together.

Yes! We recommend that home providers charge $600 per bedroom. If you have multiple bedrooms available, Silvernest can help you fill them.

While creating your profile on Silvernest, 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 home providers hold a $100 pet deposit from your housemate.

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. There are also tax deductions available for landlords for the portion of their home leased to a tenant.

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

The majority of our work ends when a match is made, but we are invested in having matches that help everyone thrive. Contact us if you are having problems and our team can work with you to find the appropriate solution for your needs.

Since Open Up encourages you to have a month-to-month lease with your housemate, there is no set deadline for when your housemate 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. We also have clients who have been matched for 4+ years! If it works for everyone, keep it going!

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!

Sharing My Property

Yes! Properties are needed for families in particular.

No, Silvernest is for owner-occupied properties only. Use this link to tell us about your property and we will work to connect you with home seekers. 

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 as well as provide resources to set expectations for your home. We encourage proactive communication regarding any concerns and expectations within the home, including the house rules. 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 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 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 can be referred by one of our trusted community partners. Our partners are career development organizations and employers who already have a relationship with our tenants. Tenants can also connect with us directly on our website. Our goal is to assist those who meet our program requirements and earn between 30-50% area median income. We determine eligibility for our program before helping guide tenants through the home-sharing process as well as providing additional resources as needed. 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 conduct an extensive background check and reference check. The final part of the screening process comes through you. You meet the potential match in your property and see if you would be a good match for each other. 

It’s up to you, but we ask you to consider $700 or less per bedroom to meet our clients’ affordability needs. We do not charge you any fees for our services. To serve the neighbors well that Open Up is helping to get housed, price your room plus utilities from $600 to $925 per month. Single parents with children 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.

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

Open Up encourages you to have a month-to-month lease with our clients. We have an example lease we can share with you. We understand that you may want longer lease terms and you are free to set those terms to meet your needs. Many families are also eager to have longer-term leases to increase their stability.

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. For people to thrive, we believe they need a private space to call their own.

The majority of our work ends when a match is made, but we are invested in having matches that help everyone thrive. Contact us if you are having problems and our team can work with you to find the appropriate solution for your needs.

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.

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 over 50 matches in the Denver Metro area! Over 80% of our home-shares 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. 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. When a home provider uses the Silvernest payment platform, they are charged 5% of the monthly rent which provides them and their tenant with insurance policies. 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.

Finding a Home

Great question! We’ve found that once you get started, it’s pretty easy using Silvernest’s simple, step-by-step guided profile creation. The questionnaire covers lifestyle, personal preferences, and more. Then, the Silvernest platform matches users based on their responses.

For information on what to expect and tips on creating a profile, download our How-To guide here.

Once you create your profile, you will be presented with potential matches on your Silvernest Dashboard based on your preferences and compatibility. You can also search and browse local listings, filtering for your preferences. In these listings, you can view more information on the property including photos and amenities as well as learn about the homeowner and review the house rules. 

Homeowners and housemates match based on the profile preferences they entered and you will be presented with matches based on your compatibility right on your Dashboard! Through the Silvernest platform, you can let homeowners know you’re interested in their space and message potential housemates securely while protecting your identity details. Using secure messaging, you can ask and answer questions for additional compatibility screening as well as share photos and videos. 

You pay rent on the Silvernest platform with the option for auto-payments. 

To help provide affordable housing for tenants earning between 30-50% area median income, currently defined as $1,833-$3,058 per month or $22,000-$36,700 per year, we recommend that homeowners charge between $600 to $925 per month.

We recommend that the cost of utilities is included in the monthly rent amount. Though home providers decide how they would like to collect the cost of utilities and this will be agreed upon in the lease terms. 

We encourage home providers 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. You can download our tips for avoiding charges after move out.

Collaboration Between Open Up and Silvernest

No. Open Up and Silvernest collaborate to make shared housing accessible. No money is exchanged between the organizations.

No. Open Up and Silvernest collaborate to make shared housing accessible. No money is exchanged between the organizations.

Only real, verified users can join the Silvernest community Silvernest uses an industry-leading third-party service for ID verification processing. We recommend proactively submitting a background check on the Silvernest platform. You can request to view the results of a potential homeowner and request that someone complete a background check if they have not yet completed one. Results are good for 90 days and unlimited listings. The background screening covers national and county criminal search, eviction history and civil search, global watch list search, sex offender registry search, and social security number verification.

You can visit the Silvernest website through this link.