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Review: Silvernest pairs older homeowners with renters

House for rent
For $24.99 a month, Silvernest introduces homeowners to renters and gives them automatic rent collection, a sample lease, advice and the ability to relist when the renter moves.
(Richard Vogel / Associated Press)

What: Silvernest aims to be a combination of AirBnb and Match.com for empty-nesters, who would like to rent out a room for money or chores.

Commissions & fees: $24.99 a month.

Husl $core: $$$$ (scale of 5)

Where: National

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Requirements: A spare room; pass a background check

Silvernest 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 relist when your renter moves.

On the renter side, there are no fees 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; and sex-offender registry search.

The background screening does not include a credit check. Homeowners should get one. (Here’s a good story that runs through the steps: How to run a credit check on a renter.)

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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.

Recommendations:

Another service, called Nesterly, does much the same. However, its geographic reach is far more limited. You may also be interested in our blog post “New options for the house-rich, cash poor.”

What customers say: (from the BBB)

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  • 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. 2 items. Silvernest does nothing to protect the renters.

Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent site that reviews hundreds of money-making opportunities in the gig economy.


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