en.hbb.fi - Home - Become host


"Interesting people, interesting stories" - this is how one of our hosts described her first experiences.

If you have a room or two available and you do not mind sometimes having a visitor, you are welcome to join our network.

Helsinki Bed and Breakfast (HBB) will take care of all the formalities; you only need to open your door just like for your cousin or niece.

The guests will be from Finland or abroad, they will be men, women, couples, families etc. just as you wish, and they will only arrive when it suits you. Besides receiving thanks and sharing great experiences, you will be compensated for your services and expenses.

Homestay is a branch of modern shared economy, and it is an ecological alternative to e.g. traditional hotels.

Useful information (in Finnish, but we will translate you what you need)

Contract (pdf)
A guide to receive a new guest of yours (pdf)
Taxation (pdf)

Frequently asked questions on hosting

What is HBB actually doing for you?

Our activity is strongly based on making things as easy as possible for you as a host. In practice this means that HBB

  • creates and maintains your website free of charge;
  • takes care of marketing on the internet and in the social media as well as in active co-operation with the City Tourist Office including a participation in the development of the strategy of tourism in the area;
  • negotiates with the customer and answers the numerous questions they typically have before choosing their desired place;
  • maintains you calendar of reservations – you never need to maintain more than your own private calendar;
  • advises the guest on how to arrive to your house and offers them a Guest Info package with basic local information they otherwise would be asking you again and again;
  • takes care of invoicing and the transfer of your rent, safely for all parties;
  • reports your accumulated income and advises you on taxation;
  • filters out prostitutes, attempts to launder money, and any guests not desired by you.
The above means that HBB is taking care of several things that on other platforms tend to remain under the host's responsibility. And we do it all with pleasure, not to satisfy stock exchange rates.

How do the guests make their reservation?

  1. The guest contacts us asking for a specific host or any host for the period of their visit.
  2. HBB will ask the host if the guest is welcome and if the dates are suitable.
  3. If the host replies yes, we will make a preliminary reservation and send the guest an offer. This is binding for the host and for HBB.
  4. As soon as the guest agrees, the reservation becomes binding for them, too. HBB invoices the guest and sends them an information package including the full name and contact information of the host.
  5. As soon as the host has received the guest, HBB will transfer the host's share of the payment to their account.

We purposely do not have any on-line booking. Your home will probably feel more like your castle if you as a host do not need to decide your calendar until you receive an enquiry from HBB and you do not have to maintain a public calendar on your availability.

How do I know if I am suitable as a host?

Nearly anyone can become a host. The network of HBB is most heterogeneous only united by people's desire to open their doors for visitors. There are young and old among us, families, couples and singles, men and women. There are teachers and researchers, doctors and directors as well as office clerks and salesmen.

Our main motivations also vary: for one it is important to earn a bit extra, the other wants to get some colour in their everyday life or offer their children international experiences while someone just wants to serve people at their table.

A mother of three children summarized her feelings saying: "While we cannot travel too much in the world when the kids are small, allow the world to enter our home".

There are only few reasons why someone might not be appropriate to join our network. If someone's home is very poorly connected by public transport, then we have to discuss if it is possible to host visitors. In practice, the most common reason for postponing hosting is an ongoing renovation in the house. Then it is wiser to wait a bit until the home is more or less finished.

Do I need a hygiene passport?

No, it is not needed, says the health inspector of the city. If you are uncertain about your level of knowledge and the Finnish standards on food handling, hazards, and general hygiene, please read the basics here.

Do I need the permission of my condominium?

It is not needed as long as you do not accommodate people professionally which is never the case.

In a small condominium, it is wise to let your neighbours know about your guests. This can provide new positive contacts which is one of the purposes of homestay accomodation.

May I select my guests?

Yes you may. Officially we are not allowed to write e.g. that any host only welcomes visitors from a particular country or of one gender.

However, when receiving an accommodation enquiry, you are free to answer yes or no and you do not need to justify your reply. After your positive answer, you are not allowed to change your mind because an offer given to the guest is binding.

What is a suitable level of service?

You are welcome to serve your guest as much as you feel natural and find satisfactory to the visitor.

On one hand, if you possess the so-called service gene, offering homestays will probably be a dream for you.

On the other hand, if you are busy or too sleepy in the mornings, and therefore preparing breakfasts would be no fun, let the guest take care of it.

In any case, it is crucial that the level of service is communicated with the guest before they make a reservation.

What shall I do when receiving a new guest?

It can be exciting and thrilling to receive your first guest, but as stated before, you can consider the guest as your cousin or niece. More detailed discussion is available - unfortunately only in Finnish so far - on this page (pdf).

Can I offer my entire home?

You are welcome to do that. Kindly take care that you or a trusted friend of yours will be there to receive the guest. Only in an exceptional case, you should leave the keys to be picked e.g. at the airport.

Please leave your guest a short letter with your advice on waste handling and how to use the kitchen and the laundry machine. You may include a word or two about your neighbours and the environment.

As a rule, the weekly cleaning is the responsibility of the guest if they stay several weeks. The final cleaning is taken care of by the host. The guest may not have the opportunity to do too much in the morning if they have an early departure.

Is this safe?

The global popularity of homestays and various B&B activities indicates that problems are extremely rare. People seem to have a natural need to respect another person's home. Something can always get broken of course, and the guest is responsible for compensating for the damage. If needed, HBB will assist in sorting out any such case.

What if the guest is a no-show and never arrives?

Such cases rarely happen because of HBB's system of invoicing in advance. Something can occur during the trip which interrupts the travel - one can e.g. lose their passport. Even in such a case, you have a right to receive the rent paid in advance.

Should we pay tax?

Income from a homestay activity is taxable, yet not as severely as you salary.

HBB annually compiles you detailed instructions on how to record your incomes and deductions as shown here.

Rights and responsibilities

The share of responsibilities between the host and HBB are agreed upon in writing. Please, see the contract (pdf).

How can I join?

It is easy. Please feel free to contact Helsinki Bed and Breakfast at hbb@hbb.fi and we can agree on a time and place to discuss more.

What kind of feedback have you received?

The feedback has been positive and interesting. Please, read more on what the guests or the hosts say.

You may also want to have a look at our Facebook page.

Helsingin Kotimajoitus Tmi - Helsinki Bed and Breakfast

Business ID 2085033-6

Established in year 2007

Enquiries: hbb@hbb.fi
Book by email: sleep@hbb.fi
Give feedback: hbb@hbb.fi and Facebook

© Suvi Koskela 2015


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