Home Owner Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use a house sitter?

Why find a house sitter via Trustedhousesitters.com?

How do you consider my privacy / security if using this site?

How do I find a house sitter on Trustedhousesitters.com?

Why have a house sitter rather than a paying tenant?

What do insurance companies think of using a house sitter?

Should I pay for a house sitter or not?

Why not use a traditional style house sitting agency?

Is a house sitter insured?

What sort of people become house sitters?

Why use a house sitter from this site, rather than a friend or family?

What if you have specific requirements or skills to ask of a house sitter or pet sitter?

If you have received a promotional code for joining Trustedhousesitters.com - how do you use it?

What happens once you find an ideal house sitter?

Can I use a house sitter if I rent my accommodation?

Should we take a security deposit from the house sitter?

Is there a house sitting agreement form we can use?

What should I do to prepare for a house sitter?

Who pays the utility bills while I have a house sitter in the house?

What happens with cancellations?

Why am I not receiving alerts when I get a new message from a house sitter?

Why should I use a house sitter?

If you have pets, your animals can be cared for at home, rather than having to endure the trauma and cost of taking them to kennels. Pets would usually far rather stay in their natural surroundings and are less prone to risk of infections such as kennel cough.

If you are going away for any length of time, it is statistically much safer to leave your home occupied, rather than empty. Many homes left empty for over 30 days are not insured, and the practical consideration of upkeep means that an empty home can look blatantly empty after little time, therefore attracting burglars.

There is also the issue of keeping your garden maintained. Not just the grass cut so your home looks lived in, but a few days without water, and many of your cherished plants could be at risk of withering away.

And if you own a holiday home, or somewhere that you spend a while away from, do you want to spend ages clearing it up each time you visit, or would you rather it was clean and sparkly for when you arrive, like a newly valeted car?

For so many reasons, finding the right trusted house sitter to keep your home maintained and pets cared for at home, is therefore a far better option than leaving your home empty and pets in kennels.

Why find a house sitter via Trustedhousesitters.com?

In a recent survey of TrustedHousesitters.com members we found that:

  • Homeowners received an average of 5-20 responses from house sitters
  • 97% of homeowners were pleased with the calibre of house sitters who responded
  • 97% of homeowners found the site easy to use
  • 96% of homeowners would use the service again
  • 99% of homeowners thought the service offered good value for money
  • We are both home and pet owners with property in the UK and abroad who use house sitters, so we completely understand your concerns in finding the right person to look after your home and pets.

    We started this site because we found it difficult to find out sufficient information about potential house and pet sitters on the internet.

    Unlike any other house sitting service, we allow you to view potential sitter profiles, references, reviews from other house sitting assignments, video profiles and police-check search options. You can also search by age, status, location, and any relevant pet sitting experience. We appreciate the importance of needing plenty of information in order to find the right house sitter.

    Also, unlike many house sitting agencies, most of our house sitters are happy to housesit for free. You have the choice of whether you’d like to find a house sitter that charges or not (more about that in the next section.)

    When time allows, we are also avid house sitters ourselves (able to work remotely) - by house sitting and engaging the use of house sitters, we not only fully understand how the process works for both parties, we love house sitting and continue to regularly see just how much benefit house sitting gives for both the sitter, and home/pet owners.

    How do you consider my privacy / security if using this site?

    Your privacy and security is of utmost importance to us.

    When you place a secure listing on our site, we don't show any location details other than nearest town / city, so your location is ambiguous.

    We also do not print any contact details for you. All contact is made securely through the site. We do not allow contact details in ads or profiles. If a homeowner and house sitter want to make contact, they must both be members to exchange contact information via email via our website.

    How do I find a house sitter on Trustedhousesitters.com?

    1) Go to our homepage and click on “Homeowners find out more” where you will find lots of information about finding your ideal house sitter. Click on “Join Us Now” and then choose the length of Homeowner membership you require.

    2) Create your listing. Include as much detail as possible about your requirements including pet, home and garden care. To attract the sitters who are most suitable it is also best to include photos and information about your location and surroundings. If you are particularly remote, off grid or in a busy city center for example.

    3) Once your listing is complete it will be emailed to our registered members to help you find a house sitter efficiently.

    4) You can also search for your ideal sitter on our database by availability, location, age, experience and availability of references and police checks and then contact house sitters through our secure messaging system.

    5) Exchange messages with house sitters. To save you time multi-messaging is available so that you can send bespoke group messages to house sitters who have got in touch.

    6) Choose your house sitter and mark your listing as "House Sitter Found"!

    More information about this process is shown in the short video on the homepage.

    As well as providing answers to Frequently Asked Questions, our courtesy online advice centre also provides members with agreement forms, and help to make the process of finding the ideal housesitter as efficient as possible. If you need any more information, please contact us.

    Why have a house sitter rather than a paying tenant?

    Rather than just having a tenant in, your house sitter is effectively ‘working for you' caring for your home / pets, taking care of any small tasks or upkeep to ensure your home is always kept maintained to a high standard in the way agreed. There is an obligation, which doesn’t exist with a tenant. The responsibility for ensuring that your home is properly cared for lies with the house sitter. Time restrictions and inconvenience can also make a tenancy agreement unviable.

    As mentioned above, if you have pets, this is extremely advantageous. You don’t need to go through the cost and trauma of putting them into kennels. Most animals hate being taken away from their natural surroundings and owners and pet would usually rather they stay at home. Even if you don’t have pets, there are many advantages.

    Time and cost are big factors. You don’t have to put furniture or vehicles into storage, deal with the usual wear and tear repairs after tenants move out. House sitters are far more likely to ensure your home is looked after. They will keep you connected back home. Your house sitter can answer the phone / forward mail - if you wish, or just keep things on track until you get back. There is also no need to go through all the lengthy hassle of changing all those service agreements. Your house sitter can also keep you regularly informed of how everything is going. You can even say hello to your pets regularly on Skype!

    What do insurance companies think of using a house sitter?

    Many homeowners are not aware that most home insurance policies to do not cover homes that are empty for over 30 days. Even if they do, often premiums can become very expensive. In cold locations, such as many parts of Canada, many insurance companies do not even cover if a home is empty for over 4 days due to the risk of burst pipes during the winter months.

    Most insurance companies love the concept of house sitting. Those we've spoken to would rather have a house sitter booked than leave a home empty and at risk of burglary. We do just advise that you discuss this with your insurance company before committing to a house sitter, to check any specific policy requirements.

    Should I pay for a house sitter or not?

    Some house sitters expect to be paid, and some don’t. It’s up to you if you want to find a house sitter that charges or not. Most house sitters are happy to housesit for free in return for a nice place to retreat to.

    Some house sitters that charge offer a full range of help over and above the norm, and many that don't do the same. We'd just suggest that if you're paying a house sitter, it is going to the house sitter, rather than an agency.

    We believe that what is most important when considering an ideal house / pet sitter is the calibre of the sitter and their caring qualities, not how much they charge. You will likely find many sitters with the perfect attributes via our website that do not charge, but have the qualities that you require.

    Why not use a traditional style house sitting agency?

    Until now, there have been limited options to find a house sitter.

    You can use a traditional style house sitting agency and get referenced and police-checked house sitters, but pay a fortune. In many cases, you also don’t know who will be sent - and the beauty of our site, is that you can choose exactly who looks after your home and pets, and feedback from home/pet owners suggests that this is important to them - also to be able to contact referees and if required, view any documentation, eg police check certificates personally.

    With agencies, costs vary, but most charge fees in excess of US$500 per week, and one of the biggest UK agencies will charge you over £1500 if you need a home and 2 dogs looking after while you take a 2 weeks holiday. If you are paying a house sitter, we suggest you’re not just paying exorbitant agency fees.

    You could go to one of the existing sites on the internet, but they don’t show any information about references, police checks, specific experience, or all the information as a homeowner you’d like to specifically have to hand when selecting a potential house sitter.

    Trustedhousesitters.com, like an agency, has many house sitters with references and police checks. Many of our house sitters also have video profiles you can view, and (referenced) information about specific pet sitting experience too.

    With Trustedhousesitters.com, sitters upload their listing information and we continue to be wowed by the fabulous calibre of house sitters registered on our site. With regards to references, sitters apply for them from referees via our internal automated referencing system, so that the references cannot be uploaded by a sitter, nor edited. Feedback from homeowners also suggests that they like to be able to view reference information, but then also be able to contact referees to ask any specific questions themselves (in a similar way to selecting a child minder, for example - most people want to select the most ideal candidate personally and ask any relevant questions that may be pertinent to them).

    Most house sitters on our site do not charge for house sitting, and some do. See the relevant question above for more information about paying for a house sitter. The choice is yours, but effectively, you can get the same peace of mind via our Trustedhousesitters.com site as by using an agency, but without the cost.

    We also feel that the calibre of a house sitter does not reflect what you pay or don't pay, but is more reflected in the caring qualities that a house sitter demonstrates and we'd recommend reading some of the detailed house sitter listings to see just how many wonderful, experienced sitters we have registered with Trustedhousesitters.com.

    Is a house sitter insured?

    From our research, unpaid house sitters are usually covered under your home / pet insurance policy - and most house sitters on Trustedhousesitters.com are happy to house sit free of charge. As a prudent check, we just suggest that you check with your insurance provider to confirm this is the case for your policy, as although we have never known it not be, we cannot speak for all insurance providers.

    If you are paying for a house sitter (the majority don't charge with Trustedhousesitters.com - and you can see if they do or not, by seeing the individual house sitter profiles - it clearly states this for each sitter), then it is likely that they will need to have their own insurance if charging to house sit. A house sitter that charges for house sitting services should have this.

    In both cases, we suggest it is prudent to confirm this with your policy provider ahead of agreeing a house sitting assignment.

    What sort of people become house sitters?

    We have been continually impressed by the fantastic calibre of potential house sitters registering to join our site.

    House sitters are usually mature professionals or retirees, looking to house sit for any number or reasons - maybe they just would like somewhere to retreat to without staying in the usual type of hotel or resort, maybe they would like to work remotely, or just enjoy some peace and quiet. Many sitters may have been a pet owner in the past, and enjoy looking after pets, so find pet sitting a therapeutic way to spend some time relaxing.

    House sitters registered with Trustedhousesitters.com come from a variety of backgrounds - veterinary surgeons, pilots, clerics, medics, retired police, CEOs, writers, animal rescue centre staff - and as mentioned, many people who have owned a pet in the past and would just relish the idea of looking after pets while you are away, or people that just lead busy lives and would like some time out to care for a property and relax.

    Many experienced pet sitters are also equipped to look after different animal species too, not just dogs and cats. You will be able to search for pet sitters with experience of caring for aquatics, reptiles, farm animals, horses and many other kinds of animals. We advise you check any relevant reference details first if you have any specific requirements.

    In short, we have hundreds of house sitters with so many different attributes, we believe that you will be able to find exactly the kind of ideal sitter that you would suit your needs.

    Why use a house sitter from this site, rather than a friend or family?

    Do you really want to burden friends or family? Fine if they would be overjoyed to come and stay and look after your home and pets properly, but not if it presents a hassle to them and unfortunately, many people these days are either reluctant to, or just do not have the time to help out.

    A house sitter has a different kind of obligation to look after your home, pets and garden. Many registered with us have years of home care experience, and they will be willing to look after your home, rather than feeling disrupted, which may be the case if a friend or family member is asked to do so.

    What if you have specific requirements or skills to ask of a house sitter or pet sitter?

    If you have specific pet care requirements, list them, and you can search for house sitters with bespoke experience, for example, experience of looking after horses or reptiles.

    There is ample space when placing your listing to request specifics, and many homeowners do. So if you require someone with, say, gardening ability, or a handyman, state that. Bear in mind the longer the housesit, the more appropriate this might be. Asking for a spring cleaning expert for a weekend housesit might be a bit unreasonable, but someone looking after a remote beach house for 6 months might need some specific practical skills if you have something that needs fixing.

    In all cases, we advise you to follow up on any relevant areas of references to ensure abilities if you have any specific requirements relevant to your house or pet sitter needs.

    If you have received a promotional code for joining Trustedhousesitters.com - how do you use it?

    What happens once you find an ideal house sitter?

    We suggest that once you select your ideal house sitter, you may want to ask any specific questions and contact any referees yourself if you feel you'd like to, and just to be prudent, you could ask for a copy of their passport and police-check to be sent to you as we won’t display copies of that house sitter information for obvious security reasons.

    If distance makes meeting a potential house sitter harder, easy to use technology such as Skype, can help. Most computers now have a webcam, so you can talk to, see and ‘meet’ your potential house sitter giving you much more confidence in ensuring their suitability.

    We also provide an agreement form that you can use to agree any terms. This is not a legal document, but can be used as the basis for one if you feel a need to get a legalized contract drawn up. Otherwise, we see it as setting out a good understanding between both parties of what is expected from the assignment.

    Can I use a house sitter if I rent my accommodation?

    You need to check with you landlord/ rental agreement first, but if OK, it works exactly the same way.

    Should we take a security deposit from the house sitter?

    It is not essential to take a security deposit, but we advise taking as many steps as you feel prudent to make the assignment as secure as possible - this is your decision if you decide you would want to take a deposit. From what we've found, some do, most don't. What is most important in any case, is that both parties are happy with the arrangements for the house sit, and we find that when a homeowner finds their ideal sitter, peace of mind is usually quickly established as they tend to agree these things without any issues.

    Is there a house sitting agreement form we can use?

    Yes, you can use the agreement form on our site. This is not a legal document, but can be used as the basis for one if you feel a need to get a legalized contract drawn up. Otherwise, we see it as setting out a good understanding between both parties of what is expected from the assignment.

    What should I do to prepare for a house sitter?

    We'd suggest making a pack which you can reuse, and really, as much information as possible. Categorise information about the home, duties required, pets, feeding routines, emergency contact numbers for home and pet requirements and any information about the local area can be a big help too.

    We also recommend considering your house sitters needs - such as leaving ample space for house sitters, eg drawer space, and any considerate measures - (it should go without saying) leave your home as you'd like to find it if you were house sitting - obviously the better you leave things for your house sitter, the more likely the sitter will have your home sparkling for you upon your return.

    Who pays the utility bills while I have a house sitter in the house?

    There is no fixed answer to this, it depends on the assignment, although generally for any housesit of a few weeks or less, the homeowner usually pays, whereas for longer sits, for example, a few months, there is usually an arrangement whereby the house sitter would pay the utility bills.

    What happens with cancellations?

    Please consider that once a firm agreement with a house sitter has been made they may have purchased travel tickets which could be non-refundable or they may have made other changes in order to help you with your home and pets. Any TrustedHousesitters.com member (either homeowner or house sitter) known to have broken a firm agreement without good cause will be excluded from future listings without refund. In the case of unavoidable cancellation (death or serious illness in the family) contact your house sitter without delay.

    Why am I not receiving alerts when I get a new message from a house sitter?

    The first thing to do is check the junk or spam folder of your email account to see if our email alerts are there. Your spam folder could be set to immediately delete messages so you may need to check this.

    To ensure that our email alerts reach your inbox in future and don't get sent to your spam folder please add the email address mailer@trustedhousesitters.com to your contact list or address book.

    If you use Hotmail it is also a good idea to add the domain name @trustedhousesitters.com to your safe sender list. You can do this via the “Options” list.

    If you use AOL it is a good idea to look at the Spam Settings (you can find this by choosing Settings from the Options list). Ensure you haven’t blocked messages containing pictures. If you have chosen only to receive mail from people you know you must add mailer@trustedhousesitters.com to your contacts.

    Webmail provider such as AOL, Yahoo, or Hotmail deliver mail in small batches, which can sometimes result in emails taking up to 24 hours to be delivered to your email account.

    If you use your work email address you may encounter problems if there is a strong firewall set up on the email system, which blocks unknown email addresses. If this is the case you should consider setting up an alternative email - e.g. Gmail - where you can receive alerts from TrustedHousesitters.com.