Last update 01.06.2022

Moderation of the Forum

Our forum is managed by Angela, our Head of Community, and Vanessa, Community Manager (CM), who together with a team of moderators from TrustedHousesitters, aim to keep this a friendly and informative space where you can share advice, find support, and discuss all things house sitting, pets, travel, and more.

We are a global community and our members include new and experienced house sitters and owners. It’s been so encouraging to see our community working at its best with our members helping and supporting one another, and often providing the perfect solution without our intervention.

To see all managers, admins and moderators click ‘About’ on the forum’s top menu bar.

Here you will find some guidelines to help you with questions you may have about what is acceptable without this space.

Be kind and courteous

We’re all in this space together to create a welcoming environment for both existing and potential members of TrustedHousesitters. We should treat each other with respect. Healthy debate is encouraged however kindness is required - rudeness, personal insults, or judgments will not be permitted. If a member has taken the time to comment on a question, please take the time to thank, acknowledge or reply to them.

This is our safe place

Any form of prejudice is not permitted. We must all feel safe. Negative comments about race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, age, gender or identity will not be tolerated. Discussions about religion and politics are discouraged due to the negative trend such discussions can take. Forum moderators reserve the right to close topics or remove any posts that achieve nothing but disharmony among members.

Membership Services for Support & Dispute Resolution

There are situations where communication regarding membership matters needs to be carried out on a one to one basis and in a completely private environment in order to help resolve a dispute or to provide the best advice in a difficult situation. The forum was not created to be an extension of Membership Services or to provide solutions for membership issues.

At all times our prime objective on the Forum is to protect the privacy of our members, not to provide a space where that privacy might be compromised.

The TrustedHousesitters’ proposition is one of intimate relationships built on trust and when the outcome of a sit arrangement is less than perfect emotions run high resulting in the possibility of accounts of the event becoming detailed and personal and if posted on the Forum, which is a public space of members from across our community, it is very possible that one or more parties could be identified, directly or indirectly resulting in a potentially unpleasant situation for everyone involved, including the wider community.

In these instances we will refer the matter directly to the Membership Services Team to manage. If a member’s privacy is breached publicly on the Forum, we will close and delete the topic. If presented through a Pending Post we will not publish the post instead it will be referred directly to Membership Services.

We do not take these decisions lightly and they are always discussed by the forum team.

How to determine if your question is appropriate for the forum

For owners and sitters, the way to assess whether a situation should be dealt with directly by membership services support can quite easily be determined by asking:

  • Is your topic related to a current or recent negative house sit outcome?

  • Is your topic related to an existing or completed Membership Services dispute?

  • Is your topic related to a house sit that hasn’t yet been completed to the satisfaction of all parties?

  • Does your topic contain information that might compromise or identify the other party involved, e.g. explicit details of the sit, the home, the pets, or the member, their actions or other personal information etc.?

If one or more of the aforementioned applies to you or your post your first point of contact must always be membership services who can be contacted at support@trustedhousesitters.com

Written Language

Our members join us from over 130 different countries around the world, but our website is currently only available in English. This is something that we are looking at changing in the future. For the forum we advise that for the best engagement you post in English, or in your own language with a translation underneath. Free translations can be found through Google.

No promotions, solicitations or spam

Give more than you take from our community. Self-promotion: solicitation of members for self promotion, ie blogs, websites and social channels is not allowed. Spam and irrelevant links are not allowed and will be deleted. This includes RAF (Refer-a-Friend) discount codes, affiliate links and self-promotional or irrelevant social media links.

Images

We encourage sharing of images however they must be of an acceptable quality and content. Please do not upload explicit images of a sexual nature. Third party image sharing with permission from the originator only.

Respect each others privacy

Being part of our community requires mutual trust and respect. Authentic, lively discussions make our community forum an interesting place to be and what’s shared between us here should stay here.

Bad language

Bad language and profanities are not permitted, if it’s something you wouldn’t say in front of a child - please don’t say it here.

Post only your own stuff

You may not post anything digital that belongs to someone else without permission. You may not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.

Owners - Posting links to listings or details of house sits

For safety and privacy reasons, we kindly ask that you do not upload house sit listings in forum topics or comments - they will be removed. This includes creating a topic or comment for the sole or partial purpose of promoting your current dates which will be removed. However, you may add a link within your forum profile.

Our forum is designed to be a place where members can chat, share advice and their experiences, rather than being another platform to find a sit or a sitter.

Keeping listings and profiles on the TrustedHousesitters website (including cancellations beyond 7 day starts - see ‘exceptions’ below) also ensures that every member (even those not signed up to the forum) gets a fair and equal chance to apply for a house sit or reach out to a sitter. It also ensures that best practices are followed and there is no confusion about how the process works for either sitters and owners.

EXCEPTION : Last Minute Sits - If you have a sit that begins with 7 days you may post the link and the details in the Last Minute Sit category, following the appropriate guidelines pinned in that space.

Sitters - Posting links to profiles or details of house sit dates and requirements

For safety and privacy reasons, we kindly ask that you do not upload house sitter profiles in forum topics or comments - they will be removed. This includes creating a topic or comment for the sole or partial purpose of promoting your current dates and requirements.

Our forum is designed to be a place where members can chat, share advice and their experiences, rather than being another platform to find a sit or a sitter.

Keeping listings and profiles (including cancellations) on the TrustedHousesitters website also ensures that every member (even those not signed up to the forum) gets a fair and equal chance to apply for a house sit or reach out to a sitter. It also ensures that best practices are followed and there is no confusion about how the process works for either sitters and owners.

Moderation - Merging topics

We thrive as a community on our member’s contributions and the creation of individual topics, however there are occasions when a topic may have already been discussed and the new post is a variation on an existing subject.

When this happens, and to help members locate topics of interest keeping all relevant information in one place, we merge the individual post into the most relevant topic covering this conversation.

Members have their own reasons for creating a post, even if it is about the same topic and in order to respect these contributions we will leave the individual post in place for 48 hours. If after that period of time the post receives no engagement moderators will merge into the relevant topic or close the post, whichever is more appropriate. An “Admin Notice” will be place on the post to advise the member of what action has been taken.

If you see a problem, flag it

Admins have special authority; they are responsible for this forum. But so are you.

If you see bad behaviour, don’t reply. It encourages a continuation of the bad behaviour, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.

In order to maintain our community, admins reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Site Operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.

Banning & Infraction Notices

It is not possible to consider every eventuality in advance. As general guidance, a breach of the Forum rules will result in an instant and permanent ban; a breach of conduct will result in an infraction notice being issued. The final decision in all matters rests with the Forum Moderators and Administrators. All decisions are made with the best interests of the Forum in mind.

Terms of Service

We must protect ourselves – and by extension, you and your data – against unfriendly folks. We have a Terms of Service describing your (and our) behavior and rights related to content, privacy, and laws. To use this service, you must agree to abide by our TOS.

Guide to using our Forum

For more information about how to make the most of the basic options within the Forum, here is the link to our “How to use our community forum” guide.