Frequently Asked Questions

What is house sitting?

House sitting is an arrangement for someone to live in your house while you are away. In exchange for rent-free accommodation, the house sitter will perform specified duties to care for your home, pets and if applicable, your garden.

Why use a house sitter from Professional House Sitters Ltd. rather than friends or family?

By using our service you will have access to a wide variety of potential sitters who can meet your house and pet sitting needs, ranging from sitting for a long weekend to several months. The majority of them do not charge for their services because they enjoy travelling, and want to experience living in different cities and different countries.

While it is fine to ask family or friends to pop in to feed the cat or water the garden if you are away for a couple of days, it is not really a suitable arrangement when you are away for longer.

Why use a house sitter from Professional House Sitters Ltd. rather than an agency?

In the majority of cases, house sitters do not charge for their services whereas some agencies can charge in excess of 300 per week.

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

If you have specific requirements or skills to ask of a house sitter you should refer to them in your listing. For example, if you have a pet that needs medication, you should include this information in your listing. It is your responsibility to clearly explain your specific requirements or skills to a potential house sitter. Our advanced search engine will enable you to find a potential house sitter who has the skills and experience you require.

What is expected of me as a house sitter?

A homeowner will expect you to care for their home and pets no less than you would care for your own home and pets. A homeowner will expect you to ensure the safety and security of their home and pets at all times. In addition, a homeowner may have specific tasks which they require you to perform during a house sitting stay. The terms of each individual house sit are agreed between the homeowner and you, for example, if you will be required to attend to the maintenance and upkeep of the garden, or pay utility bills etc.

How long is the average house sit?

An assignment is unique to each homeowner’s needs and for this reason there is no average duration. House sits can range from sitting for a long weekend to several months. The duration of each house sitting stay is specified on the homeowner’s individual listing.

Can I house sit with my pet?

This is negotiable between the homeowner and you depending on the case and the circumstances. If you wish to house sit with your pet, this should be agreed between the homeowner and you in advance of your house sitting stay.

Can I house sit with my family?

This is negotiable between the homeowner and you depending on the case and the circumstances. If you wish to house sit with your family, this should be agreed between the homeowner and you in advance of your house sitting stay. Our advanced search engine will enable you to find a homeowner listing which is suitable for a family house sitting stay.

How do homeowners and house sitters register and communicate?

You can apply for membership of Professional House Sitters Ltd. services using the online registration process here. If your membership is accepted, for the duration of the term and thereafter you will pay Professional House Sitters Ltd. membership charges for the services you select and use. You can make payments to Professional House Sitters Ltd. by debit or credit card. Upon registration, you can communicate using the Secure Messaging System which is an e-mail encryption solution provided by Professional House Sitters Ltd. and can be used with any e-mail application.

What do you do once you have made your decision on a house sitter?

When you have made your decision, you should ask the house sitter any specific questions, request a copy of their references, verify the contents of the references provided, ask for a copy of the house sitter’s passport and police (criminal records) check. You should also ‘meet’ your house sitter using Skype, Face Time or Viber to ensure their suitability for the house sitting assignment and agree the terms of the house sitting arrangement.

What information should I supply to a house sitter?

We recommend you leave some guidance notes for your sitter which might include things such as:

(i)    home security details;

(ii)   operating manuals for electronic devices;

(iii)  feeding requirements for your pets;

(iv)  garden maintenance;

(v)   some information on local amenities e.g. dog walks, shops and public transport facilities;

Do I need a House Sitting Agreement?

There is no requirement for a House Sitting Agreement but we strongly recommend that a written contract be put in place to accurately reflect the agreement between the parties and protect your interests. The agreement should include the terms and conditions under which a house sitter may occupy your home and include any specific instructions e.g. instructions for pet care. The agreement should also specify the utility billing arrangement (if any) for the duration of the house sitting stay.

Is a deposit or bond necessary?

Ultimately, the requirement for a deposit or bond will be at the discretion of the homeowner.

Who pays the utility bills during a house sitting arrangement?

This is negotiable between the homeowner and house sitter depending on the case and the circumstances. Generally, the homeowner pays the utility bills. However, for house sitting stays of a longer duration e.g. a number of months, an arrangement may be agreed between the parties whereby the house sitter would pay the utility bills.

Do homeowners provide a car?

There is no obligation on homeowners to provide transport. However, this may be a consideration if you live in a rural area and public transport and/or car rental is not an option.

Home and Contents Insurance

You should contact your policy provider to ascertain how house sitting will affect your home and contents insurance policy. In addition, you should advise house sitters if their personal belongings are covered by your home and contents insurance policy.

References and Police Checks

Professional House Sitters Ltd. does not conduct background checks on our members or take any responsibility for representations made by our members. It is your responsibility to verify the identity and experience of the house sitter.

House sitters must provide a police (criminal records) check and a minimum of two references which may be from employers, previous house sits or character references from a landlord. Homeowners should always contact the referees to verify the contents of the references provided.

House sitters can obtain a police (criminal records) check from their national/local police authority. You may find the following links useful:

UK Nationals:

www.disclosurescotland.co.uk

Irish Nationals:

www.garda.ie/controller.aspx

Download the Form F20

French Nationals:

www.cjn.justice.gouv.fr

Spanish Nationals:

www.mjusticia.gob.es

Australian Nationals:

www.afp.gov.au

New Zealand Nationals:

www.justice.govt.nz

American Nationals:

usacriminalbackground.com

South African Nationals:

www.saps.gov.za

Cancellation

Hopefully this won’t happen as both parties know that travel arrangements have been made. However, if a house sitter cancels without reasonable cause we will cancel their membership with immediate effect.