FAQ

Do you want to know more about house sitting? Below are some FAQs that may help.

What is House Sitting?
House sitting matches people leaving their homes for a period of time, with sitters who stay in that home while the owners are away. Often, but not always, there are pets to look after. Sometimes there are gardens to be tended, and mostly no money changes hands. The homeowner gets the security of their home being lived in, and their pets looked after. The house sitter gets free accommodation, and the opportunity to stay in a different location. It is a win/win situation.

Read more What is House Sitting

Who can be a House Sitter?
Any adult can be a house sitter, but of course it is entirely up to the discretion of the home owner as to who they accept.  We asked a number of Home Owners what they were looking for when they advertised for House Sitters. Read more What Homeowners look for in a Great House Sitter
What experience do I need to become a House Sitter?
The best experience you can have to be a house sitter is life experience. Remember home owners want people they can trust to house sit for them, they want to know their pets will be well cared for and their home looked after. Your life experience is a good indicator to home owners of your ability to be a great house sitter.  Of course, experience with animals is a big plus, and depending on the type of home, experience dealing with pools, large animals, farm equipment and some home owners even look for people with experience of the local language, although we have never had an issue with this.
How long does it take to secure a House Sit?

This can vary widely, some homeowners are very efficient and respond to replies within hours, others take day and weeks, and some never reply.  We have found that once homeowners have made a shortlist, they like to conduct interviews by Skype quite quickly and make an offer shortly after that. But people being people, some are ditherers and have difficulty making up their mind. We have had homeowners come back to us weeks after the initial contact, more often than not we have already secured bookings and have to decline.

How long are House Sits?
House sits can be for one night, for several days, weeks or months, sometimes more than a year.  We tend to like sits that are 4-6 weeks in length as it gives us time to settle, allows us to get to know an area, but not too long. We do like variety in our locations, there is something exciting about getting to know a new destination.
How far in advance should I book a House Sit?

That really depends on how far in advance homeowners advertise, and how early you like to be booked.  We have been booked as much as 9 months in advance, and often we have the next 6 months planned. But that is because we want to stay in an area for the medium term.  There are a lot of last minute house sits advertised, but you have to be very flexible with your location if you want to work like that.  For example, recently we have been focused on house sits in France, so when we see a house sit in the right location and it fits with our dates, we will apply for that house sitting assignment.

What is expected of a House Sitter?

Expectations are dependent on what the homeowner is looking for, and what the house sitter agrees to. Most homeowners are concerned with the well being of their pet, and the security of their home.  Pet care may include walking dogs, grooming, feeding, administering medication, nursing, or even tending a tortoise as he awakens from his 6-month hibernation.

Generally, there are other tasks requested which can include watering plants, maintaining pools, mowing lawns, cleaning. Task you would generally do to keep your own home neat and tidy.  Anything over and above should be negotiated with the homeowner.

Where can I House Sit?
House Sitting is gaining in popularity all over the world. Historically the UK, France, New Zealand, Australia and Canada have the most, but you will find House Sits being offered throughout Europe, the USA, South America, Asia and some in Africa. Please remember to check visa requirements for the country you will be house sitting in. Also it pays to advise customs that you are visiting a friend rather than house sitting to avoid potential issues around payment queries and working visas.
Where can I find House Sits?
The first house sits we got were through friends. This gave us some references we could use when we applied for house sits through web sites.  The main source of new house sits come via web sites. Read more House Sitting Websites Reviews. Now that we have been house sitting for some time, most of our house sits are repeats or from referrals.
What is the benefit of House Sitting when I travel?

One of the biggest benefits we have had in house sitting while we travel is that house sitting has allowed us to travel often, stay longer and experience more.  This is due to our average accommodation costs being so low.  Typically, we house sit for 2-6 weeks and in between we travel for a few days to several weeks, depending on our travel plans.  The other major benefit from house sitting is we get to live like a local for periods of time.  Most times we house sit, we are not in major tourist destinations, and so we get a feel of the ‘real’ location, eat the ‘real’ food and meet the ‘real’ people. Read about some of our House Sits here

What costs are involved to be a House Sitter?
This is a good question. We like to say that no money changes hands during a house sit, but this is not always the case. 

We do see homeowners adverting their sits with the expectation the house sitter will pay for utilities (power, internet etc). This is more the case for longer-term house sits. 

We feel that house sitters provide an incredibly valuable service that more than offsets any costs the homeowner may face.  As an example, one homeowner previously paid £100 per day for a paid pet sitting service, he was happy for us to use as much hot water as we wanted.  Other people who put their pets into catteries or kennels face charges of £15 to £75 per pet per day!

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