Advice on language when declining a sit

We were invited to apply for a sit that checks all of our boxes when looking for a sit but they do want utilities paid. We never apply for sits that ask for utilities to be paid (our preference, I understand others feel differently) so we don’t usually have to address this. I’m just wondering if anyone has some friendly language I can use when declining the sit?

HI @Dannep thank you for posting at what point did they ask for a contribution towards utilities and has the sit been offered to you or confirmed?

You should be honest and say that while you appreciate the opportunity you didn’t realise there were costs involved, which is usually stated in an owner’s listing making sitters aware before they apply and have decided that on this occasion the sit isn’t the right fit for you.

Could you Direct Message me the details of the sit please and I will have Membership Services contact the owners to update their listing to include the contribution to utility costs.

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Hi Angela, sorry I wasn’t clear. We were invited to apply for the sit, not confirmed. The listing mentioned utilities but I wasn’t sure if we would be responsible for paying them for the homeowner or paying for them oursleves so I asked for clarification. We had a good exchange but when she listed the costs for utilities that we would have to pay I knew it wasn’t for us. I just wanted some friendly verbiage to tell her we wouldn’t be applying since we had a good rapport up til then.

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HI I understand but please DM the details to me as perhaps they need to make the situation clearer for other applicants too.

I would be honest, in a respectful and considerate way, saying how much you enjoyed the conversation, thank them for the opportunity but that you have to be honest and say that you were not quite clear on what was needed, relative to the utilities, but thought it was prudent to ask for clarification and now that you are aware would rather not be responsible for the costs associated with the sit.


I think you can just tell her you typically don’t take sits where you are required to pay utilities or other costs without worrying too much about how to say it–you are certainly not the only person to feel that way, and I am sure owners understand there are plenty of opportunities where this would not be necessary and is definitely not a ‘plus’ for an assignment.

I have had a couple of sits where we were asked to pay the utilities and internet bill , and we were fine with it because the cost of living in these countries is very low, and they seemed like interesting opportunities. I didn’t care paying 20 bucks for electric. But I wouldn’t be interested in a sit where I’m laying out hundreds of dollars, unless if was some one of a kind opportunity.

Generally, I think owners should pay home expenses, especially service people like gardeners, cleaners,etc…they want to continue coming in their absence. But in some cases, I think asking for a contribution may be reasonable when discussed beforehand–for example, if the owner rarely uses their heating or AC, but if you were someone who used it a lot and there was a much bigger bill than normal, or internet that isn’t unlimited and you may be using it more than they normally pay for.

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I’ve never been asked to pay utilities and don’t think I would unless maybe I was sitting for 6 months or so. When I’m allowed use of the HO’s car I do fill the tank up before I leave and on my 2 UK sits I’ve offered to pay the excess for covering me on the auto insurance but neither accepted. My current sit even left cash to pay for the transport to and from the airport.

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I’ve never been asked to pay for utilities but I only do sits for a few days or a week
to 10 days so I wouldn’t expect to pay.
I don’t do sits outside of the UK so far.
If I was doing a long term sit say for 6 or 12 months then I would have no problem paying for utilities except for council tax!