House Sitter Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantage of becoming a Trusted House Sitter?

How do I become a house sitter with TrustedHousesitters.com?

How do I best find out about the latest house sitting assignments?

What if I can't see the house sitting opportunity for me?

Do I need house sitting experience?

What if I don't have any house sitting references?

Can I house sit if I have my own pets?

I have a promotional code. How do I use it?

How many assignments can I apply for?

What are my chances of getting a house sit with Trustedhousesitters.com?

Can I house sit anywhere?

Can I be paid to house sit?

What can I do to have the best chance of getting a house sitting assignment?

How does Trustedhousesitters.com show / prioritise house sitter's listings?

How do I upload a video to my profile?

How do I get references onto my profile listing?

How do I get a police (criminal records) check?

Is there a house sitter agreement form we can use?

Who pays the bills whilst I am house sitting?

Can families become housesitters?

Why haven't I heard back from a homeowner?

I have an account but I can't contact homeowners

Why am I not receiving email alerts?

What happens with cancellations?

What are the advantage of becoming a Trusted House Sitter?

  • Discover new places: House sitting opens up so many opportunities to discover new areas that you may not have thought of visiting before. Search our House Sitting Assignments to see where you could be headed.
  • Save money on holiday accommodation: Trustedhousesitters.com lists many house sits in fabulous locations that require sitters and this provides an ideal opportunity to retreat without the cost, potentially saving a fortune on holiday accommodation.
  • Visit relatives: A house sit can offer a convenient place to stay if visiting friends or relatives in another region, particularly if they don’t have the space to accommodate you in their own home or you wish to stay for an extended period.
  • Save money with long-term house sitting: You can save thousands on rental costs. Some people house sit long term in a convenient location where they are based, or maybe somewhere exotic if they can work remotely.
  • Live like a local: When you are house sitting, you are more likely to feel and become a part of the community quicker, unlike staying in a resort or a hotel. You are immediately immersed within a local culture. You're much likelier to find out about what's going on locally than in a guidebook. It can be a much more exciting way to get to know a local area.
  • Enjoy the decadence: House sitting can be a great means of enjoying a high standard of living that would otherwise be beyond your normal budget. This applies whether you are looking for an ideal short term holiday getaway or a longer spell – maybe even in your own city,
  • Local Cuisine: One of the most expensive costs when traveling is usually eating out. By becoming a house sitter, you not only save on accommodation costs, but you can cook at ‘home’ rather than having to eat out constantly, so you will spend no more (or maybe a lot less) than you would at your own home. This also gives you the opportunity to shop at local markets and perhaps discover some new culinary delights.
  • Whatever the weather: Having the run of a home and all it’s mod-cons in bad weather is a lot better than being stuck in a hotel room.
  • Staying connected – If you can’t manage without your laptop, most homes have Wifi and if work enables, ditch the home office and work from somewhere more interesting.
  • Good for the head - Often house sitting assignments involve looking after someone’s pets. According to Professor Richard Wiseman (’59 Seconds’) looking after an animal is proven to help relaxation and combat stress. Even if just house sitting, this can help you wind down - something we often don’t do enough of in amongst busy lives.

How do I become a house sitter with TrustedHousesitters.com?

Becoming a registered Trusted House Sitter is a quick and easy process and opens up a world of house sitting opportunities. To get started visit www.trustedhousesitters.com and easily create a listing, you will be guided through the process of creating your profile listing, which homeowners will then view when they are searching for their house sitter.

The more information you can include in your profile listing the more appealing it will look to homeowners and the more likely you are to be offered a house sitting assignment.

We review and approve all listings and once this is complete you can apply for the house sitting opportunities that interest you.

Once you have registered as a member, you will receive daily email alerts about the latest house sitting opportunities.

You can always add or change your listing information e.g. photos, video, biog or references at a later stage through the My Account page.

We give you the space and opportunity to provide more information in your listing than any other house sitting website. This benefits homeowners, which is why we're getting a huge number of house sitting opportunities, increasing all the time.

So if you think you'd make an great house sitter, register to find a dream house sitting opportunity now!

How do I best find out about the latest house sitting assignments?

You need to become a registered member of TrustedHousesitters.com and then you will be able to see new house sitting assignments 24 hours before anyone else and receive a daily email alert detailing these new assignments. Or if you prefer you can receive real time alerts for those countries you are interested in visiting. By being a registered member you will be in the best position to contact homeowners quickly before the assignment is filled.

What if I can't see the house sitting opportunity for me?

Do I need house sitting experience?

No, it is not essential to have house sitting experience. Everyone starts somewhere. You may not have been a house sitter before, but maybe you looked after a pet, or had a pet, or looked after a friend’s home when they went away, or just have experience that lends itself to the assignment.

We believe that most homeowners are looking for people they feel they can trust, rather than necessarily having bagfuls of experience. Showing, or ideally giving examples of common sense, maturity, being trusted, considerate, tidy, and responsible goes a long way!

What if I don't have any house sitting references?

The references on your profile don't necessarily have to be from house sitting assignments. You can ask a current or former employer for a reference or get character references from other people who know you well. Everyone starts somewhere and you can add to your references as you gain more experience.

Can I house sit if I have my own pets?

Generally, most home owners will have their own pets, so bringing a pet may not be appropriate, but you can ask, and on some assignments, this may be possible, but, you need to confirm this with the homeowner in advance.

I have a promotional code. How do I use it?

To use a promotional code, go to the homepage, click on "Join Now", then click on the Housesitter Membership option. On the Housesitter Membership page click on "Have a Promotional code?" on the right hand side of the page and enter your promotional code in the box and click submit to see the updated prices. Choose the length of the membership you require and complete the sign up process from there.

How many assignments can I apply for?

You can apply for as many assignments as you wish in the time and regions where you are available. There is no obligation to accept an assignment but if you do so it is very important that you honour your commitment. Remember that it can be very difficult to find a replacement sitter at the last minute and the homeowner and their pets are relying on you being there.

What are my chances of getting a house sit with Trustedhousesitters.com?

In a recent survey 76% of house sitters who had a photo and at least 1 reference (either character, employment, landlord or house sitting) on their listing had found an assignment with Trustedhousesitters.com.

For those that complete lots of information about themselves and why they would make an ideal sitter, add a police check and video, this figure increases dramatically.

Many people on Trustedhousesitters.com have to regularly turn down fabulous offers to house sit as they are so busy with other house sitting assignments. If you add lots of information to your profile and have lots to offer as a potentially great house sitter, the chances are more likely than not, that you will find a dream house sit.

TrustedHousesitters.com has a higher ratio of homes to house sitters globally than any other house sitting site.

Can I house sit anywhere?

Before accepting an assignment, particularly if it is not in your home country, think about the practicalities regarding visas, work permits and entry status. Remember that in certain countries house sitting could be viewed as unpaid work so research your particular situation before finalising your arrangements with a home owner.

Can I be paid to house sit?

The majority of house sitters do not charge for their services but our site is also open to professional house sitters who wish to advertise their services.

You can choose to specify if you charge or not (or if you charge sometimes depending on the circumstances) during the sign up process or at any time via the My Account page.

Every house sit is different and arrangements are made directly between homeowner and house sitter so you would need to negotiate specific terms with a homeowner if you do decide to charge.

What can I do to have the best chance of getting a house sitting assignment?

Our members receive daily alerts about the latest house sitting opportunities. If you are not receiving these, you will likely be missing out on many great opportunities.

The best means of getting a house sitting assignment is to give as much reassurance as possible to the homeowner.This means having a detailed profile conveying as much relevant information as possible.

  • Get the referencing process underway for your profile as soon as possible after you join.
  • If you don’t already have one, get a police check. It’s easy (see below) and goes a long way towards reassuring the homeowner that you are responsible and trustworthy.
  • Make sure you add some photos of yourself and to really give yourself the best advantage add a video via Youtube.

This all works towards gaining the most prominent place in the search listings when a homeowner is looking for a potential sitter. (see next section).

How does Trustedhousesitters.com show / prioritise house sitter's listings?

As homeowners want to gain as much reassurance as possible about house sitters, we'd rather that our members showed them as much information as possible and then reward them for that.

We have therefore employed a scoring system for the amount of information a potential house sitter can provide. This then determines where you 'sit' on search positioning when a homeowner searches for a potential sitter, and therefore, it gives a fair playing field to everyone to provide as much information as possible. As you provide more references, for example, the higher up the searches you will appear.

Points are awarded for number of photos on your listing, whether you have gained a police check (easy to do, see the link below on this), whether you have uploaded a video profile (which is easy and gets you big points!) and also very importantly, references shown - both externally from house sitting, or employers / professional or landlord - or internally from within the site as you carry out house sitting assignments for our homeowner members.

How do I upload a video to my profile?

It is quick and easy to make a video now that many computers and mobile phones have webcams/video cameras. Once you have made a video and saved it on your computer you need to sign up for an account with YouTube - or log in if you already have an account. Click "Upload" in the top right of the YouTube page and follow the instructions to upload your video.

Once this is done you can choose to "Share" your video and then click "Embed". Copy the code which comes up and insert it into the box entitled "Embed YouTube Video" on the Photos & Video page either during the sign up process or later by accessing the page in your account.

How do I get references onto my profile listing?

Our referencing system is quick to use and effective. Once you have created a profile with us, visit your "My account" section and "request references" - and fill in the referee's email address and a mail will be sent to them for them to easily complete. This is a quick process for both parties, the email is then returned with the reference then appearing on your profile.

We prefer to use this system than you upload your own references (and we don't have the facility for this) as then the emails are provided third party, by those who give them, which therefore gives more reassurance to homeowners looking for sitters, and then intentionally, more house sitting opportunities for you in the future.

If you really don't want to trouble a referee for a reference (although it is a quick process for them, and they are likely to get contacted by a homeowner at some stage anyway if not), you can always cut and paste some snippets of references onto your profile information, although again, this is then clearly done by you, so does not carry the same weight, and you won't benefit from getting higher search listings from using our referencing facility.

How do I get a police (criminal records) check?

If you are looking to housesit, we suggest you apply to get a police check, criminal records check or similar from your national / local police authority.

This is a reassuring document that can be sent to potential homeowners, and as homeowners can search by potential house sitters with such documentation, it is worth getting one, for the homeowner’s peace of mind.

This is usually a fairly straight forward process with a nominal or no cost, although please bear in mind that in several nations, you may have to wait weeks for the certification to arrive, so best to get onto it now.

Not all nations can provide police checks. You may find the following information usful:-

For Australian Citizens:-

Visit http://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/police-checks.aspx

For UK citizens:-

You need a "basic disclosure" check which you can get from Disclosure Scotland, an agency which covers the whole of the UK

http://www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/apply-online/

For US citizens:-

http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1201.html

For New Zealand citizens:-

http://www.justice.govt.nz/services/criminal-records

For Canadian Citizens:-

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cr-cj/fing-empr2-eng.htm

For German Citizens:-

http://www.bka.de/

Is there a house sitter 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.

Who pays the bills whilst I am house sitting?

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 often an arrangement whereby the house sitter would pay the utility bills.

Can families become housesitters?

We have many families registered with TrustedHousesitters.com who are having fantastic house sitting adventures around the world. Lots of homeowners are happy for families to come and take care of their home and pets - in fact some specify that they would prefer a family. Of course, everyone's needs are different and a family with children may not be appropriate for every house sit. But if you can demonstrate that you are trustworthy, reliable and will take wonderful care of a home and pets there are great opportunities out there for house sitting families.

Why haven't I heard back from a homeowner?

While the majority of homeowners read and reply to every enquiry they receive, unfortunately a few do not. We give homeowners all the tools to reply quickly - including template emails.

You can greatly improve your chances of receiving a reply by making your listing look fantastic! Make sure you have included photos, written a really compelling bio, applied for references and to really make your listing stand out upload a video introduction - you can do this via Youtube and it's an easy process.

You can check on the My Account page to see if your messages have been read. A green dot indicates that it hasn't been read yet.

A few days after a homeowner joins they are sent a message asking them to make sure they a) Respond to house sitters (we provide them with template emails to make this easier b) Mark their listing as "house sitter found" when they have done so.

I have an account but I can't contact homeowners

Before you click on an assignment you wish to apply for you need to ensure that you are signed into your account.

If you look at the top right hand side of the screen it will tell you whether you need to log in. If your user name is showing you are already logged in and are ready to apply.

Why am I not receiving email alerts?

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.

What happens with cancellations?

Please consider that once a firm agreement with a home and pet owner has been made you have an obligation to fulfil this arrangement as the homeowner will be relying on you. 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 the homeowner without delay. As deposits/fares paid are usually non-refundable, do not buy tickets until you are sure you have a firm agreement with a home owner. You may like to show your homeowner your tickets as an extra reassurance that you will be there as agreed. When buying travel insurance, check that your policy will cover you if the homeowner must cancel due to death or serious illness in the family.

Which are you interested in?

(Select one below...)

Dog on a mat
Couple on a beach