Guest Agreement

AHN GUEST AGREEMENT

 Note: This policy is subject to change at any time. Please check all AHN Policies on a regular basis for updates.

Welcome, we are Australian Homestay Network Pty Ltd (ACN 124 610 313) (AHN). We operate the Australian Homestay Network, connect Hosts with Guests, and provide Guests, Hosts, and other parties to international student homestay arrangements with world-class administrative and support services.

You (a Guest) have made a great choice to apply for a short-term homestay arrangement with an AHN registered Host (Homestay), an experience uniquely rewarding and enriching for every Guest and Homestay family.  

This Guest Agreement governs your relationship with AHN in relation to any Homestay and any supply of Services by AHN. By applying to be a Guest, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Guest Agreement. If you are an agent acting on behalf of the Guest, you must pass this information on to the Guest.

In this Guest Agreement, when we say:

Eligibility Criteria we mean the Guest eligibility criteria described in clause 1.1;

Fees we mean the fees payable to AHN for the Services as described in clause 4, or as notified by AHN in writing from time to time, and any other costs or charges as agreed or required by law, including GST;

Guest we mean any international student placed with a Host in a Homestay by AHN;

Home we mean the residence of a registered Host in which a Homestay is or may be conducted;

Host we mean any person(s) notified by AHN as a host of the Homestay;

Policies we mean the Website T&Cs available at https://au.homestaynetwork.org/policies/terms-and-conditions, the Homestay Policy, the Refund Policy, and any other policy notified to you by AHN from time to time, all of which form part of this Guest Agreement (but the terms herein will take precedence to the extent of any inconsistency); and

Services we mean the services identified in clause 2 and provided to Guests by AHN in accordance with this Guest Agreement.

1.     Eligibility

1.1   A Guest must:

(a)     be a legally competent person over 18 years of age or a person under 18 years of age with a legal guardian in Australia;

(b)     if the Guest is under 18 years of age, the Guest must be enrolled as a student at an AHN affiliated educational institution;

(c)     have a valid Visa for entry into Australia and comply with any conditions of that Visa;

(d)     have no criminal record and otherwise be a fit and proper person of good reputation;

(e)     not be bankrupt; and

(f)      be able, on request, to provide evidence of the matters described above and the personal insurance coverage in accordance with clause 7.

1.2   You must notify AHN immediately if you cease to satisfy the Eligibility Criteria. If at any time you fail or cease to satisfy the Eligibility Criteria, AHN reserves the right to reject your application, and/or immediately suspend or terminate this Guest Agreement and any Homestay.

1.3   Applicants will be accepted as Guests by AHN subject to fulfilment of the Eligibility Criteria, and otherwise at AHN’s sole discretion. AHN may revoke acceptance of a Guest application if the person is in breach of this Guest Agreement, or at the request of that person or their legal guardian.

1.4   Once your application to be a Guest is accepted by AHN, AHN will deliver the Services.

2.     Services

2.1  In exchange for and subject to payment of the Fees, AHN provides Guests with the following services:

(a)     Host background checks, resourcing and matching;

(b)     airport pick-up booking service (on request);

(c)     payment processing and administration;

(d)     support, advice, and complaints services, including the 24 Hour Emergency Assistance phone line (1300 69 7829); and

(e)     the Homestay Management System offered via the website at www.homestaynetwork.org/.

2.2   All Homestays are arranged on a case-by-case basis and all Guests are matched with a suitable Host, based on their profile and preferences, located within 60 minutes’ travel by public transport from their education provider. If a Guest requests to be matched with a different Host, further fees will apply.

2.3   In finding a suitable Homestay for each Guest, AHN will consider the following factors:

(a)     the Guest’s cultural background, age, gender and personal circumstances as applicable;

(b)     the suitability of the Host’s home, including in regards to proximity and transport to the education institution in which the Guest is enrolled; and

(c)     any other factor considered relevant by AHN.

3.     Warranties

3.1.  AHN warrants to Guests that it will provide the Services with all due care and skill, in compliance with applicable laws.

3.2.  Every Guest continuously warrants to AHN that they:

(a)     satisfy the Eligibility Criteria;

(b)     will use the Services and conduct themselves during a Homestay in a reasonable, respectful, and responsible manner;

(c)     will comply with the Policies and applicable law at all times; and 

(d)     will not, in connection with a Homestay or the Services, do or omit to do anything in a manner that is fraudulent, misleading and/or deceptive, negligent, illegal, immoral, offensive, or reasonably likely to harm or infringe the rights of any person. 

4.      Fees & Payment

4.1.  Guests must pay both a “Matching Fee” and a “Weekly Fee” (together, the Guest Fees), in the amounts notified by AHN to the Guest in writing from time to time. The Weekly Fees are collected by AHN on behalf of the Host and will be remitted to the Host in accordance with the AHN Host Agreement, less fees payable to AHN.  

4.2.  The Guest Fees must be paid by credit card, PayPal or electronic funds transfer to AHN’s nominated bank account, or by any other means directed by AHN, by the due date(s) notified by AHN to the Guest in writing. Guests must not pay any part of the Fees directly to Hosts or any other party in respect of the Homestay.

4.3.  The non-refundable Matching Fee must be paid to AHN before AHN can begin the Guest/Homestay matching process. Guests are also required to make an initial payment usually in the amount of 4 x the notified Weekly Fee (Initial Payment) before being matched with a Host. The Initial Payment is non-refundable once a Homestay has commenced, but will be credited against the Weekly Fee payable for the first 4 weeks. If a Guest cancels the Homestay before commencement, the Initial Payment will be fully or partially refunded in accordance with the AHN Refund Policy, which can be viewed here https://au.homestaynetwork.org/policies/ahnref01. The Weekly Fee is to be paid in advance on a fortnightly or monthly basis after the first 4 weeks of the Homestay (if the Homestay is longer than 4 weeks).

4.4.  Subject to clause 4.3 and to the minimum notice periods under clause 9, on termination of a Homestay, Weekly Fees that have been paid in advance will be refunded in accordance with the AHN Refund Policy. After the first 2 weeks in homestay, if the Guest terminates without sufficient notice (see clause 9), the Guest will be liable to AHN for up to 2 x the Weekly Fee and for any other costs or expenses reasonably incurred by AHN in connection with the termination.

4.5.  AHN may apply an overdue fee of $15 to guest invoices that are not paid by the due date. AHN will not be liable to the Host or any other person for the amount of any unpaid Guest Fees owing to them. 

4.6 From time to time AHN may review and update homestay fees in line with market conditions. Students in an ongoing placement will be provided with at least 3 months notice of any changes to their homestay fees.

5.      Confidentiality & Privacy

5.1.  Guests and AHN agree to keep confidential the terms of this Guest Agreement and any information or material received in connection with this Guest Agreement or a Homestay and marked, or reasonably presumed to be, confidential (Confidential Information).

5.2.  Guests and AHN agree that they will not disclose any Confidential Information to any third party unless or until it:

(a)     is or becomes publicly known through no wrongful act of the receiving party;

(b)     is received from a third party (other than from or on behalf of a Guest, Host or AHN) without restriction and without breach of any confidentiality obligation to the other party;

(c)     is independently developed by the receiving party; or

(d)     is required by law to be disclosed (provided that the other party is given advance notice of, and an opportunity to, contest any such requirement).

5.3.  AHN will always handle your personal information and the personal information of Hosts in accordance with its Privacy Policy, accessible at https://au.homestaynetwork.org/policies/privacy

5.4.  Any personal information of a Host received by you in connection with a Homestay is Confidential Information for the purposes of clause 5.2. Without limiting clause 5.2, you warrant and agree that you will:

(a)    keep Hosts’ personal information private and confidential;

(b)    only use Hosts’ personal information for the purpose for which it was provided to you or otherwise with the consent of the Host; and

(c)    will not disclose Hosts’ personal information to any person except with the Hosts’ consent. 

6.      Guest Conduct

Guests must read and abide by the Homestay Policy which can be accessed here https://au.homestaynetwork.org/policies/homestay-policy. Any Guest who fails to comply with the Homestay Policy may have their Homestay terminated in accordance with clause 9.  

7.      Insurance

7.1.  AHN requires that all Hosts maintain minimum satisfactory insurance coverage in respect of the Homestay. The Host’s insurance will cover a Guest in many circumstances for loss, damage, or injury incurred inside the Home, but this cannot be relied on as the Guest’s sole insurance coverage.

7.2.  The Guest acknowledges that it is the sole responsibility of the Guest to obtain his or her own personal insurance for all other purposes, including compliance with minimum insurance requirements at law or as a condition of the Guest’s Visa, and that the Host’s Homestay Insurance does not cover the Guest outside the Homestay placement.

8.      Liability

8.1.  To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHN excludes all warranties not expressly provided in this Guest Agreement and all liability for any loss (including consequential or indirect loss), cost, damage, or claim, however and whenever arising (including due to the act or omission of a Guest or Host), suffered by any person in connection with the Services, a Homestay, or this Guest Agreement.

8.2.  Nothing in this Guest Agreement is intended to exclude any consumer guarantee under the Australian Consumer Law, or term otherwise implied by law, which cannot be excluded. Guests agree that, to the maximum extent permitted by law, any liability of AHN in connection with such a guarantee or implied term and in respect of any particular supply of Services is limited (at AHN’s election) to either resupplying those Services or paying the cost of having those Services resupplied.

8.3.  AHN is not the Guardian of any Guest under the age of 18 and does not take responsibility for the actions nor the care of any such student under this Guest Agreement.

8.4.  Subject to clauses 8.1 and 8.3, to the extent that AHN otherwise has any liability for any loss, cost, damage, or claim arising in connection with the Services, a Homestay, or this Guest Agreement (including for negligence), AHN’s liability is limited in aggregate to Fees paid or payable in the 12 months immediately preceding the date on which the cause of action accrued.

8.5.  Guests continually indemnify AHN from and against any loss, cost, damage, or claim (including third party claims) suffered or incurred by AHN in connection with a Guest’s breach of this Guest Agreement, except to the extent that any such loss, cost, damage, or claim is caused by a negligent act or omission of AHN.

9.      Termination

9.1.  Guests (or the agent or Guardian of a Guest) may terminate a Homestay immediately on notice to AHN at any time if the Host has committed a theft, damaged property, caused an injury, or engaged in violent or threatening behaviour (or any other behaviour which reasonably makes the Guest feel unsafe) in connection with the Homestay. In such circumstances, AHN will take all reasonable steps to relocate the Guest to another Homestay, if required.

9.2.  Guests (or the agent or Guardian of a Guest) may (after the first 2 weeks of the Homestay) request to terminate the Homestay without having to give a reason by providing 2 weeks’ written notice to AHN and their Host. Guests who are under 18 require approval from their Guardian before giving notice of termination.  On receipt of such a termination request, AHN will update its systems to record that the Homestay will be terminated effective from the expiration of the notice period (being no earlier than 4 weeks from the commencement of the Homestay). Weekly Fees are payable up to the date of termination.

9.3.  A Guest may otherwise notify AHN of any complaint regarding a Host or Homestay at any time, and AHN will use commercially reasonable endeavours to resolve, or assist the Guest to resolve, the complaint.

9.4.  AHN may terminate a Homestay (before or after commencement) immediately on notice to a Guest if: a Guest fails or ceases to satisfy the Eligibility Criteria; the Home ceases to meet the requirements identified by AHN under clause 2.3; or AHN otherwise determines in its sole discretion that it is appropriate to terminate the Homestay immediately in response to a request from a Host or related party.

9.5.  Guests acknowledge that a Host may otherwise terminate a Homestay immediately on similar grounds to those outlined at clause 9.1, and otherwise at any time after the first 4 weeks of the Homestay on 2 weeks’ written notice to AHN.

10.   General

10.1.   No employment: Nothing in this Guest Agreement creates a relationship of joint venture, agency, partnership or employment between any of the parties.

10.2.   Assignment: Guests cannot assign, transfer, or dispose of their rights or obligations under this Guest Agreement without the prior written consent of AHN. 

10.3.   Variation: AHN may vary or update this Guest Agreement at any time, but we will take reasonable steps to notify you of any changes.

10.4.   Notices: Any notice or demand to be given or made under this Guest Agreement must be in writing and delivered to that party’s nominated address by post, fax, or email (as applicable). Notice is effective on receipt by the addressee.

10.5.   Governing law: This Guest Agreement is governed by the laws of Queensland and the parties irrevocably submit to the jurisdiction of the Courts there.   

10.6.   Entire agreement: This Guest Agreement contains the entire agreement between the parties, and supersedes and replaces any prior representations, negotiations, or agreements in respect of its subject matter.

10.7.   Waiver: Any waiver of a right or remedy under this Guest Agreement will only be valid if the waiver is given in writing and signed by the party giving the waiver.

10.8.   Severance: If any provision of this Guest Agreement is unenforceable, then that provision (or relevant part) may be severed without affecting the enforceability of any other provision.