Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

How do I know that I can trust CoLife?
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There are a lot of scams when it comes to housing, so it’s perfectly normal to be concerned. Our Speak to a CoLifer program can connect you with a real homeowner or renter to chat with them about any concerns or questions. People love us and would love to tell you about us. If the Speak to a CoLifer program is of interest to you, just let us know.

How is this different from Craigslist or other sites?
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CoLife makes housing safe. There are no scams and no spam. Human beings review every person who wants to join the platform. We require free-of-charge background and credit checks before introducing you to your matches.CoLife makes housing easy. Our matching algorithm saves you hours of weeding through bad fits that aren’t going to work. We send you matches based on your values and living styles. There are so many variables when it comes to finding the right living situation. We make sure you don’t show up only to find out that the person you might live with has a cat when you’re allergic. Plus, our matchmakers will also guide you through the process. We cover all the bases. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Because we only work with A+ homeowners and fantastic, vetted renters, our renters enjoy much more affordable rents than getting their own place, with much more flexible lease terms, and rooms are almost always furnished. We also provide and a protection plan for once renters and homeowners start to live together. Homeowners enjoy knowing that their renters is vetted and safe and matches their living style. They enjoy the extra income of course, and having someone else around to pick up avocados at the store or grab the Amazon package outside. It’s a win/win for everyone!

How will CoLife keep my information safe and me for that matter?
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All of our complimentary background and credit checks are done by a third party trusted vendor. We keep all other private information, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc., private, until an interested party has completed their background and credit check.

What’s included in the background check?
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The following are included in our third party background checks:
Credit report, Criminal report, Eviction report, ID report, Income Insight report

How can I transition my home from a short term rental to long term housing through CoLife?
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It’s very common for homeowners who are used to short term travel rentals to sign up for CoLife. In that case, it’s important to prepare your area to accommodate a longer term renter via subletting. Often times that can be very simple and easy by simply adding a mini fridge and hot plates and providing laundry access in your home. If you have any questions about the transition please reach out to us. We’re here to help!

What if I’m unhappy with my co-living situation?
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For all of our renters and homeowners, if you're not happy we will find you a different living situation. All CoLife leases allow the homeowner or the renter to give a 30 days notice despite how much time is left in the lease.

What about my credit?
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Our credit checks are done by Smartmove Transunion, a trusted third party. The credit pull is a soft credit pull and according to their website does not affect your credit.

Do I need to pay for my background and/or credit check?
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You do not. Background and credit checks are free-of-charge for all homeowners and renters.

I’ve recently had a background check, can you use that or do I need to get a new one?
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You will need to get a new background/credit* check through our third-party trusted vendor when submitting your CoLife application. We require these be updated on an annual basis. The background and credit checks are free of charge and included in the CoLife service.

*Credit checks are only required for renters.

What about insurance?
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We require as part of our terms of service that homeowners and renters have adequate insurance. Please check your insurance policy, most insurance companies must be notified before renting out a room in your house.Typically, homeowners insurance policies to not cover renting a room in your home. That’s why CoLife provides a protection plan to cover renting a room in your home for both homeowners and renters that you can learn more about here.

Is this taxable income?
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Our payments provider, Stripe, will issue you a 1099 for rent received in each tax year, if it exceeds the IRS minimum (currently $600). Since every situation is unique, we are unable to provide tax advice so we advise you contact a tax professional, if you have questions about this 1099 income.

Matching Process

Do you handle the lease?
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Yes! We can provide a lease for you to use through our platform. There is a place where homeowners and renters can add custom language, rules, etc., in the software.

How do “Non Negotiables” work?
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We use what are called "Non Negotiables" that should be used when something is, well, a non negotiable for you. If your budget 100% can not go past $850, then you should turn on the “non negotiables”. If you 100% only want to live with a male, you should turn on the “non negotiables”. If it’s only 99% or less, you should leave it off to maximize your potential number of matches. If you do not turn on a non negotiable it implies that you have some flexibility. If you turn it on it means you are not flexible and that this is very important to you in your co-living situation.If you sign up, look at your matches, and realize that something is a non negotiable for you that you didn’t initially realize, just reach out to us and we will turn it on and send your new matches.


Do you guarantee rent payment to the homeowner?
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Yes! We guarantee rent to the homeowner at the first of every month. While it’s very rare, our team’s housing attorney can handle anyone who doesn’t pay or any difficult situations that arise.

What is this homeowner charging or renter willing to pay?
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We match based on the range of budgets that homeowners and renters give to us. We ask homeowners what their ideal price is and what’s the least they are willing to accept, and we ask renters what is their ideal price and what is the most they are willing to pay. We match based on the overlap between these answers. We do not give away homeowners’ or renters’ range of budgets so they can negotiate when they meet. If your budget range is very important to you, you should make sure to turn on your “non negotiable” for your budget range. This ensures that you only get matched with homeowners and renters who also have turned on their “non negotiable” for their budget range and feel as strongly about their budget as you do.What we’ve found is that some of our best matches are made when homeowners and renters fall in the same budget range and have the chance to come up with a win/win price when they talk about face to face.

Communicating about important issues with my guest/host

How should I communicate with my renter/homeowner?
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It’s better to communicate too much than not enough with both homeowners and renters. If you have concerns, whether it’s a start date, budget, pets, or living styles, it’s best to bring up your concerns and be open and honest about them. Don’t move forward if you don’t feel comfortable. We have hundreds of renters and homeowners and if we know what you’re looking for we can do our best within reason to help you find it. We want everyone to have a great experience.

What about guests of my renter?
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Renters will often have a range of guests from family, friends, or romantic partners at different frequencies. These are included on the application and we encourage renters and homeowners to talk openly about this to manage expectations.

What about having guests as a Homeowner?
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At times homeowners will have personal renters while hosting CoLife renters. Homeowners may have family, friends, or personal guests and we ask this on the application. We encourage homeowners and renters to talk openly about this as most of our renters are flexible.

What if I haven’t heard from a homeowner or renter who has agreed to CoLife with me?
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Once you’ve made the decision to co-live with a homeowner or renter we recommend homeowners prepare the lease and sign as soon as possible. If you’re a renter, we recommend signing the lease and paying your first month’s rent as soon as possible. Technically there’s no obligation until that is done and both parties will continue to receive matches. Otherwise, we recommend staying in touch to let the other side know where you are at in the process. Good communication is key!

Sign Up

How far out should I plan to sign up for CoLife before I want to match with a homeowner or renter?
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It’s possible to find a match within days or even a week, but in general most homeowners and most renters are planning several weeks to several months out. It’s best to sign up as soon as possible so that you can start seeing your matches and to allow for the most options to choose from.

What if my home isn’t ready yet?
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Even if your home isn’t ready yet, you can still list on the site because it can take time between the matching process and a guest moving in. Keep in mind most of our renters are very flexible.

What if it isn’t my primary residence and I’m trying to rent out rooms?
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The qualification for listing on CoLife is that it must be your primary residence.

I submitted my application, what happens next?
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One of our Matchmakers will contact you via text and introduce themselves. They will serve as your guide through the matching process and ask any questions to expand your number of best possible matches. Next, you’ll be waiting for an email from interested hosts or your best matches for guests! Before we share contact information for matches, we ensure background checks are completed. Then, the lease is signed and co-living begins!

Still have questions?
Reach out to connect with our friendly team.