A discussion on locked rooms

As a sitter and owner with many sits and sitter experiences I can honestly say when on a sit I have never opened a draw, cupboard etc that I have not had reason to. I am not remotely interested in anything outside of the pets in my care and the parts of the home I need to use. I will run a vac and duster around rooms I don’t use but otherwise my focus is solely on my responsibilities and I truly believe that is our way, that is why our community works.

As an owner I have treated my sitters in exactly the same way but we each have different comfort levels and owners need to do whatever is right for them, including what to do with precious items.

A locked room is certainly not going to offend me but as @Snowbird says make certain that it is a room where access is not needed for any essential maintenance.


It makes total sense to have a room or designated areas that are locked or off limits to sitters. After all, you do not truly know who you are letting into your home. Just because they have great references(some fake, may be references from friends) or good reviews does not always mean that they are desirable people. You can only tell by how they introduce themselves, address you, what verifiable information they share with you and your own gut feeling. Its always safer to have a lock off limits area stating that there is a camera although you may nothave got around to buying a camera. As a sitter, I am more comfortable with having fewer areas that dont need tidying if all the pet needs can be kept in the sitter designated areas.

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HI @Willexcell we encourage all members to manage sits in the way which makes everyone feel the most comfortable and to communicate this from the very beginning so that arrangements are clearly understood and agreed.

The policy on cameras is that all devices are disarmed and non functioning while sitters are in the home, even in designated closed rooms. Tt’s unlikely but possible, that even closed rooms might need to be accessed with the owner’s knowledge and permission.

We mustn’t forget TrustedHousesitters is an arrangement built on mutual trust … again whatever makes members comfortable, with the exception of operational internal cameras.


We are new to THS, and I have a question for the HOs out there. Do you keep a room in your home under lock and key for important/valuable personal items?

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Hi @Elvador that is a great question and one that I actually posed a while back. We always kept our office locked as it was just easier not to have to worry about private paperwork, but many sitters here have expressed that they would never look in a room that they are not using and also expressed the concern if there was an issue with a leak, etc. I always felt if there was an issue, they could contact me and I would advise where I kept the key, but this is totally your call…your home, your decision!

@Elvador welcome to the community forum and to TrustedHousesitters.

@Debbie-L my only question to you is what if it’s a burst pipe and you’re on a flight, or out for a swim? I’ve done a long-term rental where the owner thought our question for the shut-off value was a little over-the-top. Then our adjoining neighbour (one-storey units) had exactly that happen and came running to see if we could help as he couldn’t reach the owner. My husband had the water turned off in minutes and saved a lot of damage. Something to consider. :thinking: I always ask for the location of the electricity breakers (or equivalent) and the shut-off valves on any sit.

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We find that having a locked file cabinet is adequate to our needs. However, we don’t have expensive toys, jewelry, coins, etc. to worry about.

You may lock a room which has no pipes and not any flood risk…

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It’s funny but I get worried if asked specifically by a HO to check drawers for an item. my last sit the batteries went on the automatic cat feeder and the HO told me she had some in a drawer in her walk in wardrobe. She couldn’t remember which drawer so was asked to just open drawers until I found the batteries. It felt weird to me doing so even though I was doing so at the request of the HO.
My current sit I was asked to brush one of their cats but couldn’t the brush. The HO asked if I’d checked some drawers in the living room. I stated I had not as I have no interest in opening any drawers with the exception of the kitchen to look for kitchen items or in the bedroom I’ve been given to put my clothes in.
I cat sit quite a bit for my brother and sister in law and again I don’t go through their drawers. To me it’s a respect and trust thing.

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I had a funny request once: The HO was a volunteer bookkeeper for the local fire brigade, and she had to make a payment, but forgot her bank dongle at home. So while on a call with her, I had to locate the bank dongle and generate a code to enable her to finalise the transaction. Luckily I’m a bookkeeper with a bag of dongles for various clients, so I wasn’t phased the least bit. But it was a bit of a random one!

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You’re awesome


In the USA sitters are background checked & we have to provide government issued ID. I doubt any person looking to steal or snoop would go to the trouble via this website since they’d be able to locate you instantly for the crime. We are after all “Trusted House Sitters”. This is a community trust is important.
Admin Notice: Post Moderated

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I value my privacy and respect the privacy of homeowners. I was on a sit where there was a problem with the heating boiler/gas supply. During a phone call with the owner he told me to go to his study and find a file containing the bills from the gas company so that I could get their phone number. I felt very uncomfortable doing that even though it was totally necessary.

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gardengirl - I’m like you. one of the cats feeders on a sit stopped working due to the battery running out. I advised the HO who advised there was a load in a drawer in their walk in closet but couldn’t remember exactly which one and just to open them until I found the batteries. Felt weird as the HO’s had drawers of personal stuff in there.


Thanks for sharing such an informative article. I really appreciate it.
I’m also writing stuff on cats’ basic needs and utilities: like the best brushes for long-haired ragdoll cats or the best food and treats, and also about litter and cat toys.

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Hi @rabbiali72
A big welcome to the forum. I am confident you will find many interesting discussions here on all sorts of topics.
Unfortunately, I have had to remove your blog link as this is against our t & c’s and as the forum is a public space. Please do continue to add your voice, as we value all our forum members’ contributions.

I am not sure if you are a sitter or an owner, so please do share your link on your forum profile.

The way to add your profile link is here >> https://forum.trustedhousesitters.com/t/how-to-add-a-listing-or-profile-link-to-your-forum-profile

Best Wishes

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