Frequently Asked Questions

What is Silvernest?

Silvernest is a one-stop-shop online homesharing platform that pairs boomers, retirees, empty nesters and other older adults with compatible housemates for long-term rent arrangements. Through these creative living situations, homeowners earn extra income (about $10,000 a year), remain in their homes longer, and keep isolation at bay, while renters pay far less than market rent. Both enjoy companionship and the efficiencies that come with sharing a space.

What is homesharing?

Homesharing is when a homeowner lists space in their home to live together with a housemate in exchange for rent. It’s different from a traditional landlord-tenant relationship because the two people live together in the home—so compatibility is key. Silvernest uses technology to streamline the process of finding a compatible roommate for homesharing and implementing protections like a lease, insurance coverage, rent payment processing, etc.

What are the benefits of homesharing?

The many benefits of homesharing include extra income, companionship, the ability to stay home longer, the security of cohabiting, and even help around the house. Silvernest homeowners can offer reduced rent in exchange for home maintenance, cleaning and other around-the-house help from their renter.

Why Silvernest?

The US is facing an unprecedented situation with nearly 11,000 people a day turning 65, and a boomer population of 109 million that’s projected to reach 132 million by 2030. This population wants to age in their homes, yet they’re often faced with rising living costs and fixed budgets. Many are also underprepared financially for retirement, and with life expectancy at an all-time high, they’re facing even longer retirement periods. Bringing a compatible renter into their home can provide these homeowners the extra income, companionship, or help around the house they need to age in place. At the same time, the arrangement gives the renter a more secure, pleasant, and affordable living situation than any traditional option.

Is Silvernest for Seniors only?

No! While Silvernest helps many in the 50+ crowd find housemates, we can support anyone’s homesharing needs. The average age of Silvernest homeowners is 62 and the average age of Silvernest renters is 40. Qualified housemates can be any age that a homeowner desires, and it’s up to both parties to decide what works best for their situation (or indicate no age preference, as over 30% of Silvernest homeowners do).

Do I have to own the home to use Silvernest?

No, you can be renting the home and rent out a room through Silvernest. However, we suggest you check with your landlord first to make sure you are not violating your lease.

How does Silvernest match compatible homeowners and renters with one another?

It starts with creating your profile by answering questions about yourself and what you're looking for in a roommate. If you're the homeowner, you'll also enter information about your home and the space you're listing for rent.

Our software uses the unique answers you provide to match you with users in your area whose profiles are compatible with yours. You'll be able to see how closely you match with each candidate, up to 100%! After reviewing your matches, you can use our secure messaging feature to learn more about them and determine if you might be a good fit for homesharing.

Does Silvernest verify all users?

Silvernest uses a phone verification system as well as an identity verification system to verify all of our users. We also offer background screening.

What do you mean by applicants are verified?

Each applicant must go through an identity, email and telephone verification process before they are active on the website. After you've decided to contact a potential housemate you have the option (highly encouraged) to request a background screen as well. The background screen includes:

-National criminal search
-County criminal search
-Eviction history and civil search
-Global watch list search
-Sex offender registry search
-Social Security number verification

How does Silvernest keep users and their information secure?

All Silvernest users go through identity verification before they can become active on the website, and all have secure account profiles that require password authentication. Messaging within our online platform is also private and encrypted. You don't have to reveal any personal information (including your name) until you're ready.

We don't store any Social Security number, credit card or bank account information on our servers. Instead, we work with a best-in-class payment processor and bank account verification provider to ensure PCI compliance. All other personal information you share with Silvernest will be stored securely in our system and never sold or shared without your permission.

Is my personal information safe on Silvernest?

Absolutely. Your safety and success are our primary goal. Our homeowners and housemates both have secure account profiles that require password authentication, and all data is stored securely in our system. We never share your information with anyone without your permission, and we never store any payment information (such as credit card or social security numbers) on our servers.

-All website communications are encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
-We do not store any payment information (such as credit card numbers) on our servers
-Payments are processed by PCI-compliant provider, Stripe (see https://stripe.com/help/security)

How much does Silvernest cost?

Our monthly service fee doesn't apply unless we've delivered for you. Once you have found your match, used our messaging and screening tools and built a lease (not required but strongly recommended), it will be time to move in and protect your homesharing arrangement with insurance and rent auto-payments. You'll see our 5% service fee in your monthly rent statement—that's how you know we've been successful at finding you a Home Sweet Shared Home®.

What tools does Silvernest offer?

Silvernest offers free unlimited matching and messaging, state-specific lease creation, and easy relisting. When you set up rent through Silvernest, you will gain full access to features that allow you to make automated rent payments, manage and track payments, as well as an insurance policy to insure both the housemate and homeowner.

What methods of payment does Silvernest accept?

We accept all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and JCB as well as many debit cards. Not sure about your card? You can contact us at hello@silvernest.com.

What if I don't get any matches?

While we can’t guarantee that you will find a match, we can help you do everything possible to increase your chances and deliver as many qualified matches as possible.

Can I do an alternative arrangement instead of monetary rent?

Absolutely. The terms of your lease are completely up to you. Though, to be clear, we do advise that you have a legal agreement to protect both parties regardless of the details. In the event that you are exchanging household help, list $0 (or a reduced amount) as the monthly fee in the lease template and then outline the unique terms of your agreement in the designated space.

Are there security deposits involved?

This is up to the homeowner, so it’s really a case-by-case kind of thing. As a homeowner, you should identify if you require a security deposit in your profile and your lease agreement.

What information should I share?

For your safety and to protect you from fraud, never share any personal information—especially your home address—with anyone outside of our system. We will never share any of your personal contact information until everyone has been qualified and you have both elected to meet.

Protect yourself and your property with a formal lease agreement. We strongly suggest that you have a third-party legal representative review the terms in their entirety. Also, make sure you are familiar and compliant with the homesharing and rental laws in your area.

Why should I communicate only through the Silvernest platform?

Our system is specially designed to protect you and your personal information while making the entire process a breeze from listing creation to monthly rent collection. That’s why we strongly suggest that you communicate and transact exclusively through Silvernest to protect yourself from fraud and ensure that everyone you talk to has already been screened at a base level. Remember: it is your responsibility to screen candidates to your own comfort level.

How do I know that a qualified connection is coming from Silvernest?

All your qualified matches can be viewed on your dashboard. All you must do is sign in to your account to confirm your connections. If you suspect anything fishy, contact us at hello@silvernest.com.

How do I hide my account?

Homeowners can go to their dashboard and choose Deactivate Listing. We'll be sad to see you go, but you can always reactivate your listing in the future. If you need help along the way, feel free to contact customer support at hello@silvernest.com.

Can my account be suspended?

Yes. Silvernest may limit, suspend or temporarily deactivate your account due to your response or acceptance rates or if we suspect anything inappropriate, such as fraud or illegal activities. To reactivate your account, please follow the steps in the email notification you receive. NOTE: your account also may be deactivated during a review of all Silvernest accounts as we work to maintain a trustworthy, active community that upholds our Terms of Use. Please be sure to review Silvernest Terms of Use in their entirety.

What can I review in my dashboard?

Everything you need to know is displayed in your dashboard. This includes inquiries and responses, profile information, lease documents (if applicable) and transaction history (if applicable).

How do I list my property?

It's easy. All you have to do is sign up to create a profile and listing. The profile tells us about you and what you are looking for in a housemate, and the listing tells prospective housemates all the delightful details about your home. Your home then becomes part of our active listings for housemates to search.

How do I make my home attractive to prospective housemates?

There are lots of things you can do. Include nice photos in your listing. Consider updating your décor to be appealing to a wide variety of tastes. Make structural changes to your home like adding a separate entry or kitchen area for your housemate.

Can I list more than one property?

This feature will be coming soon. If you do have more than one room available in your home, you can list each as a separate listing (currently you will need to use a different email address OR take down a previous listing). Or if you have more than one home with available space, you can list those separately as well. Want to know how to create your listing? All the details are right here. As a reminder, make sure you know your local laws for renting and housesharing.

How does automatic rent payments work?

Collecting rent from your housemate every month can be a pain, so our automated system can help take it off your plate. By establishing an account through our system, all scheduled payments will automatically transfer out of your housemate’s account and is directly deposited into yours. Luxurious, right? Plus, you can manage all your transactions through our system and track them in your payments dashboard.

What if I have a dispute with my housemate?

Disagreements happen, it’s part of life. So if you encounter a dispute with your housemate, we recommend that you first refer to your lease agreement regarding how to reconcile. If you need to terminate your agreement, you should both secure legal counsel and proceed according to the laws established by your agreement and your city/state. If you feel threatened or you believe your safety is in jeopardy at any time, contact local law enforcement.

Can I cancel rent payments through Silvernest?

Yes! As a housemate you can cancel your rent payments any time through your payments dashboard. You can also contact hello@silvernest.comand an agent will be happy to cancel your rent payments.

Can we terminate our agreement early?

Yes. If both parties agree to end your agreement early, it shouldn’t be a problem. That said, we do suggest that you document the early termination in writing, have it reviewed by a legal professional, and both keep copies of the amended agreement on file. If you want to terminate the agreement and your housemate does not, you will need to seek legal counsel to determine the best next steps.

What if my housemate doesn't pay?

If you use our secure payment processing services we can mitigate the possibility of non-payment to some degree. However, if you choose to collect payment through an alternative method like cash or personal check, and payment has not occurred, we recommend that you review the reconciliation clauses of your agreement, and if necessary, secure legal counsel to proceed.

What if the payment doesn't process?

Time to troubleshoot! First, check with your housemate to ensure the payment card on file is updated and correct. Next, they’ll want to ensure there are sufficient funds in the account because the transaction will not go through otherwise. Third, you may need to discuss an alternate method of payment until the issue gets resolved (cash or personal check). And last, if you still have not been paid, we recommend seeking legal counsel regarding the terms of your agreement.

Once my Housemate pays rent with Silvernest's automatic payment tool, how long before that money is in my Bank Account?

After your Housemate pays rent with Silvernest’s automatic payment tool it will typically take up to 2 days for it to appear in your account if the housemate used a credit card and up to 8 days if the housemate paid out of their bank account. For payment questions please contact hello@silvernest.com.

How do I search for Properties?

It’s free to search listings on Silvernest, and we make it easy with our helpful filters. You can browse by geographic area and various personal preferences to narrow down available nests to ones you’re sure to love. Here’s how the whole process works—from nest search to moving day.

The listing displays a "verified" icon, what does that mean?

If a photo displays a "verified" icon that means that the homeowner has had their identity verified through our system. However, still NEVER wire money to a homeowner even if they are verified.

Can I track my payment history?

You bet. Simply sign into your secure Silvernest account and you can view your payment history and all other account information in your payment dashboard.

What if the landlord changes my lease terms?

As with any written agreement, the terms on the paper you signed are what must be followed (unless amendments have been made with agreement by both parties). As an example, if your homeowner demands extra funds, we suggest you review the terms of your lease and secure legal counsel if necessary, to resolve the issue.

What is a state-specific Lease and how do I create it?

Our lease is a formal contract provided to you for the state you live in. We provide an easy lease drafting tool that is specific to homesharing, so both you and your housemate are protected.

What is included in the insurance policy?

The insurance policy covers up to $10,000 for the housemate's belongings with no deductible and $100,000 for the home against damage the housemate might cause. Please refer to insurance provider's policy documentation, which can be found in our TOUs, for a full list of coverages and exclusions.

What is easy relisting?

Once your lease has expired and you are ready for a new housemate, we have all your information saved and we can just reactivate your listing within minutes.

Is homesharing a new or old concept?

The idea of homesharing among older adults isn’t a new concept, but it’s becoming more common. One reason is that the 50+ demographic is the largest and fastest-growing in the United States. More older adults are using their largest assets—their homes—to earn some extra income, age in place, and benefit from the companionship of others. AARP found that 4 million US women over age 50 live in households with at least two other women over age 50—a number that’s expected to rise. Technology is also helping to spur this movement by making the homesharing process easier, more pleasant, and more secure. For instance, Silvernest offers pre-screening, compatibility-based matching, background checks, lease creation and even helps manage automatic payments. People feel much more comfortable using Silvernest than finding someone from unregulated/unverified rental listings.

How do you balance having an online product with older adults?

In today’s 50+ age group: • Over 46% have a smartphone • 65% are active daily on social media • 75% are digital buyers. For users who need additional support, Silvernest customer service is available via email at hello@silvernest.com or at www.silvernest.com through our 24/7 chat box. While we understand not all older adults are tech-savvy, we hope to partner more with local nonprofits, government service offices and supportive agencies for those that might need additional support in creating their housing profile.

How many people are using Silvernest, and is that number increasing?

We have more than 65,000 signups, and that number is growing every day.

Where is Silvernest available?

We have home listings in all 50 states, so there are options for homeowners and housemates no matter where you live!

Still have questions? We are here for you! Reach out to us at hello@silvernest.com.