SilverNest helps empty-nesters find long-term housemates and provides collection and legal forms.
Expected pay: You set it
Commissions & fees: $25 a month to homeowners; 0- $15 a month to renters
Requirements: Legal right to rent out your home; pass a background check
Silvernest aims to be a combination of AirBnb and Match.com for empty-nesters, who would like to rent out a room for money, chores or both.
(This post may contain affiliate links. You can read our affiliate policy here.)
Technically, you can list your house for free. However, the ability to get detailed renter matching information and to proactively reach out to people you’d like to share a house with is restricted under the free plan. And since those are important services, if you’re considering a renter, it seems silly not to simply pay for a subscription.
Fees for homeowners
The site has changed its pay formula numerous times since its founding, but currently charges homeowners $24.99 a month. For that you get introduced to renters, automatic rent collection, a sample lease, advice and the ability to re-list when your renter moves.
On the renter side, you can search for free, unless homeowners ask for a background check before renting to you. (And they should.)
In that case, the renter pays $29.99. The background screen includes: National Criminal record search; County Criminal record search; Eviction History; Social Security number verification; Terror watch list search; Sex offender registry search.
The alternative is to buy the premium membership for $14.95 per month, which includes the background check.
The background screening does not include a credit check. Homeowners should get a credit check on their renters, too. (Here’s a good story that runs through the steps: How to run a credit check on a renter.)
Silvernest’s background screen lasts for 90 days. Thus, if one potential rental doesn’t work out and the renter wants to find another, the renter doesn’t have to pay again as long as you search within that 90-day window.
We consider Silvernest’s fees to be modest and the service is great. If you’re contemplating taking in a renter, we think the premium membership is well worth the cost. You can click here to sign up with Silvernest.
However, if you’re interested in a more temporary arrangement — say a month or two — take a look at SabbaticalHomes. And, if you want to just rent a room or two to short-term guests, our top recommendation is Airbnb.
Want to try Silvernest?
Click here to sign up
What their customers say: (from the BBB)
I used Silvernest to find my father a housemate when he could no longer afford his rent, and it has allowed my dad to stay in his home and age in place. This service felt very secure and we appreciated the option to ask for a background check on the housemate.
Landlord has Alzheimer’s dementia. Constant invasion of privacy. Snooping through my room, inspecting my trash that has body waste in it and demanding answers as to what’s in it. Filling washer with water and leaving it. Washing clothes every day. Silvernest does nothing to protect the renters.