Following on from Part 1 of the ‘Six Experts Answer You House Sitting Questions’, we present to you Part 2. This series has been created to help you get your questions answered by the people you know best. The experts! Learn more about how to get that house sit you always wanted and how to do a great job once you get it.
Note: We have SEVEN experts answer your questions this week!
If I need to call out a plumber or other tradesman, who pays for that?
Answered by Wanderlusters
Every assignment is different and each home owner will stipulate exactly what financial responsibilities you will have during the assignment. For the most part we have found that home owners are willing to pay for any repairs that are classed as wear and tear or fall under the umbrella of ‘regular maintenance’. However if you’ve accidentally caused damage or been negligent I would assume you’re own code of ethics will tell you that the ensuing repairs are something you should finance.
Some home owners require you to pay for utilities like water, electric and internet and others ask that you pay only for any additional usage over and above their monthly averages. It’s really important that you clarify your responsibilities before accepting an assignment. If you’re in an inner city apartment building check if you’ll be paying a property maintenance fee, for remote assignments be sure to familiarise yourself with the cost of services such as internet – often more expensive the more remote you are – and if you’re on a rainwater tank be frugal with your consumption otherwise you could be liable for a refilling fee when the home owner returns.
Typically the house sitter is responsible for any transportation costs to get to and from the housesit (including airfare) and for their own meals.
We have found that most homeowners will usually feed us during the one or two day indoctrination period at the front of the housesit. Most homeowners will also ask us to eat any perishables in the house rather than have them spoil.
Even if the homeowner says help yourself to anything in the house, we do not take advantage of this. (They probably would not be impressed if there was no food or toilet paper in the house when they returned). As a result we purchase our own consumables and also make sure that there are fresh vegetables, milk and eggs etc. in place when they return.
Am I required to stay at the house every night or can I still travel a little while I’m house sitting?
Answered by Tina Klein
This is something I talk with the homeowner about in “What is expected of the House sitter” Q and A. Some homeowners are fine with you going for day trips and if you want to visit an area that requires an overnight stay or two can help arrange for a neighbor or family member to sit with the pet while you are gone. Still others want someone to be with their pet at all times or during the night. Each house sit is unique and that is why its important to go over a check list before you agree to house sit. Remember they have you in their home to watch their pets first and see the area second.
We are a traveling family, 2 adults, 2 kids. Are there many families that house sit?
Answered by 1Dad 1Kid
Yes indeed! I’m a single dad with a child, and we’ve done lots of housesits with more scheduled. I also know other families who housesit, including one that is 2 adults and 3 children. It can be a little tougher to find housesits when children are involved, but it’s definitely doable.
How long are most house sitting gigs?
Answered by Will Work For Travel
It can really vary. Our average has been about 2 weeks each although we have done a 3 month house sit in Fiji and we are scheduled to do a 5 day sit in Melbourne soon then 6 weeks in Singapore. There are house sits really available for almost any length of time you could possible want!
Do I need house sitting experience?
Answered by Our Favorite Adventure
It definitely couldn’t hurt! You may be able to secure your first house sit assignment without any experience or a reference letter, but the odds are definitely more in your favor if you have both. Our advice would be to tell family and friends that you are looking to get experience house sitting and maybe they know of someone local needing a sitter or even they would prefer you watch their home and pets while they are away. It is always a major advantage to have good references listed on your profile so don’t forget to ask nicely if the homeowner could write one for you! When homeowners are looking for someone they can entrust their property, possessions and furry family members to they want assurance and having both experience and solid references is the best way to illustrate that they can count on you!
What would one do in a situation upon arriving in a country where they have a sit arranged and the owner decides at the last minute not to have the sitter or sitters at their home. Does the sitter have certain rights he can exercise legal wise and/or do the owners get a bad reputation from reviews on the house sitting site. In other words, what kinds of options are available in such a scenario?
Answered by GlobetrotterGirls
Honestly, if the homeowner decides at the last minute not to go on their trip or for some reason decides they do not trust the housesitter, there is almost no legal recourse for housesitters. It is the risk you run, which you do in the understanding that the homeowner’s run the same level of risk, if not much higher, in allowing you into their homes for an extended period of time to care for their pets and their belongings.
While some housesitting websites do have reviews, not all do. None of the housesitting websites take personal responsibility, however, for anything beyond the website itself. In short – housesitting websites provide the platform for connections to be made, but they can not control anything that happens once the connection has been made. In theory, as a housesitter you could pursue legal action, but odds are that either you or the homeowners themselves are not from the country where the action took place, and navigating a foreign legal system would be a nightmare.
It is important to keep these risks in mind. However, having said all of that, the chances are incredibly slim that a homeowner would cancel last minute. During the planning stages, after having been accepted for the housesit, we have had homeowners offer to repay our plane tickets/hotels as well if, for any reason, the housesit fell through. Homeowners would most likely at least offer for you to stay there until you can get your onward plans settled.
This is a multi part series. If your question has not been answered here it will be in one of the following parts.
If you have any questions you would like answered by our experts please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you 🙂
A big thank you to all of our experts!