Author Topic: Housing in exchange for childcare - anyone done it?  (Read 3682 times)

MsPeacock

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Housing in exchange for childcare - anyone done it?
« on: January 13, 2016, 06:30:31 AM »
I have a job opportunity that would mean some international travel, some of it on short-notice, some of it planned. I have two children, split custody (I have the kids most of the time). The situation w/ their father is such that I can't make changes to the visitation schedule to flex around potential work travel.

I have a basement bedroom (with egress), kitchenette, nice bath, etc. I was considering seeing if I could find someone to do occasional childcare (my kids are 9 and 12) when I am away in exchange for rent, or a reduction in rent, or something. I am curious if anyone here has had a similar arrangement (either as renter or landlord) and how it worked out. For me, the tenant would be able to hold a regular job and would just be needed if I was away for before/after school overnight and some weekends. Did you have an agreed discount depending on amount worked (e.g. base rent $800, less $100 for every overnight), or just no rent in exchange for a set amount of childcare, or what? Would I need to pay something on top of free rent? Are there income tax implications for making this sort of exchange?

I am not currently renting out the room. The plan was to do so at some point (I just had the egress window installed). However, if I could exchange the room for childcare - I would eliminate my current childcare costs - which would be great.

Thanks - the job interview is today and the biggest hurdle for me in terms of taking the job depends on what they have to tell me about how much travel and how often/how many days, etc.

elaine amj

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Re: Housing in exchange for childcare - anyone done it?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2016, 07:59:37 AM »
I've thought about it and considered it - but we never did actually go ahead and do it. It's unconventional so you might have a bit of a challenge finding someone to take it on. But if you find the right person, I think it could be a win-win. Have you considered the person's personal life - e.g. friends visiting, dating, etc?

MsPeacock

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Re: Housing in exchange for childcare - anyone done it?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2016, 09:05:38 AM »
I've thought about it and considered it - but we never did actually go ahead and do it. It's unconventional so you might have a bit of a challenge finding someone to take it on. But if you find the right person, I think it could be a win-win. Have you considered the person's personal life - e.g. friends visiting, dating, etc?

Yes - its all been rolling around in my head as this job interview has been getting closer. The travel may be the deal breaker for me. I talked to my kids about it yesterday. The surly teenager would prefer that I move out entirely and leave him to run the house on his own. My younger son (9) would not like me to travel. Neither of them had strong feelings about having someone living in the house w/ us.

The issue would be finding someone who is highly reliable and flexible about work days since they would likely vary. I have a great nanny now and she is interested, but w/o the live in part (which is fine). She could either use the guest room, or I could proceed with renting it out and she could use my room when I am away.

Cranberries

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Re: Housing in exchange for childcare - anyone done it?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2016, 11:35:13 AM »
I have done work trades for rent before as the tenant, but it was not for childcare. I have also done a decent amount of childcare for people.

If you do it definitely structure it as a set amount of rent with money knocked off if and when they work for you. Doing a straight work for space trade sets up a dynamic where it is too easy for people to get into each other's debt, and that can quickly get dreadful.

Also, consider the added work of living adjacent to children that you babysit. Kids I watched were accustomed to the sort of one on one attention that I gave them when I was on the clock, and expected it whenever I was around. This may be a bit less of a problem with older children, but even so, living that close to you would come with added complications whether it is about over night guests, kids that want you to hang out with them all the time, or simply the weird power dynamic of working for their landlord. If you take this into account when setting the rent, and expectations are clear in both directions, it could work out.

Lastly, I would recommend having a backup person if you can. That way they can opt out without problem if that happens to be the weekend they were planning on being out of town. This comes back to the weird power dynamic of employer and landlord, and could go a long ways towards having a comfortable and happy employee/tenant.

The short version: remember how much harder it is to say no as a tenant or an employee, add them together and try to make sure to set up a situation that would work well for the tenant, and not require them to constantly hold boundaries against you.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 11:37:32 AM by Botanist »

DevoCPA

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Re: Housing in exchange for childcare - anyone done it?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2016, 02:52:37 PM »
As for as the tax implications, you would treat the rental income and daycare expense as two separate things. For example, if you would normally rent out your room for $800 and you only charge your nanny $200, you would still recognize the $800 as rental income and $600 as daycare expense. So when she receives her w2 from you at the end of the year it would have the $800 on it and you would pay payroll tax on that amount.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Housing in exchange for childcare - anyone done it?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2016, 02:45:58 PM »
One of my friends tried to do a "live-in nanny". He was pretty much giving her free rent to help with "3 kids" before and after school 5 days a week. It didn't work out.

She couldn't really get another job because she only have 7 hours during the day.

If he also paid her a small wage, it might have worked.

The cost of living in his area isn't that high. This type of thing probably works better in really high cost of living areas.


MsPeacock

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Re: Housing in exchange for childcare - anyone done it?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2016, 05:04:24 PM »
One of my friends tried to do a "live-in nanny". He was pretty much giving her free rent to help with "3 kids" before and after school 5 days a week. It didn't work out.

She couldn't really get another job because she only have 7 hours during the day.

If he also paid her a small wage, it might have worked.

The cost of living in his area isn't that high. This type of thing probably works better in really high cost of living areas.

I have had ups and downs with nannies in the past. Finding the right person would be key. I am still waiting to hear back from my job interview. In the meantime I got the guest room and kit here squared away so I can rent it if the job doesn't happen. The upside to my situation is that someone could work full time and still take care of my kids because they are school aged and can be on their own for a couple hours. I just need to find someone if I get this job who could cover early morning/nights and weekends when I travel on the days my kids are at my house. COL here is very high.

Cassie

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Re: Housing in exchange for childcare - anyone done it?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2016, 06:13:55 PM »
I knew someone that did that and it worked well for her getting the free rent.  YOu just need to find the right person.