NewsBytes 15th June 2016

Nearly 20 years ago we introduced several codes and conditions to assist both
a) members who have pets present in their homes and may need their exchange
partners to provide some degree of pet care, and
b) members who have significant allergies to animal dander or materials
regularly touched by pets that may reside in the exchange home.

The 2014 Website enhancements resulted in changes to the way pets are described in listings. Members can tick boxes to indicate whether exchangers’ pets are allowed/not allowed in their homes and if pet care is needed or offered, but it is now necessary to indicate the presence or absence of pets in member-supplied text.

A number of our Canadian members have asked us to launch a campaign to promote the inclusion of pertinent details in all listings (homes) where pets usually reside. For some members, a pet-free home is the single most important factor for finding a suitable match and the only way they can enjoy a comfortable visit. Many members who have pets indicate that exchangers’ pets are not welcome, so searching for “pets not allowed” is not a reliable way to find a good match.

So let’s start with ourselves please.

It’s important for all members to accurately describe the pets that live in the home, even if it is possible to arrange for them to be away during an exchange. This is because, despite regular cleaning, pet allergen (dander) builds up, especially on soft surfaces such as upholstery, bedding, and draperies. This can cause serious reactions, from rashes, cold-like symptoms and difficulty breathing. In children in particular, serious asthmatic reactions can occur.

You can indicate the pet status of your home under “We Are” (family description), where you describe the pets that live in your home, and Our Preferences, where you can indicate if pets are allowed or not. To edit your pet description, use the drop-down menu under your names, top-right, to select Family Profile where you can find a box for Our pets.
Please indicate the type and number of pets in this box, for instance, “1 cat, 2 guinea pigs” or “1 friendly Golden Retriever dog“. If you like, include name and breed. Please list the pets who usually live in your home so that members with allergies or other conditions can quickly rule out unsuitable exchanges and those with pet affiliations can find a point of common interest.
pet-freeYou can indicate that your home has “no pets” or is “pet free” to help others who need pet-free homes find you.

You can mention your ability to remove your pets during an exchange, whether you require pet-care, etc.

And how about including a PHOTO of your pet(s) in your album ?
NB Our thanks go to member Robin B. for her keen personal interest in this subject, her pertinent recommendations and for encouraging us to publish this article.

In most circumstances both exchange parties would need to offer a second ‘holiday home’ or a ‘pied-à-terre’, right?  Ah, but one of our members has devised a novel strategy that allows him, with only one home, to enjoy non-simultaneous exchanges. Rick H. pre-arranges a series of ‘visits’ to a selection of good friends and relatives, so that he can abandon his home for a certain period, to leave it in the welcoming hands of his exchange partners.  This plan offers Rick far more flexibility in arranging home exchanges.

C. MEMBERS’ handy resources for your own account
Members check-list and Members complete guide

Previous NewsBytes editions
21st January 2016                                       25th March 2015
15th November 2015                                  11th February 2015
15th October 2015                                      17th January 2015
15th August 2015                                        1st November 2014
21st May 2015                                             18th September 2014

Welcome to the wonderful world of home exchange!
Welcome to HomeLink … we’ll be thrilled to have you stay with us!

Jack Graber
Past-President (Ret), HomeLink International (Brussels)
1707 Platt Crescent, North Vancouver BC V7J 1X9
Tel : 604-987-3262

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