Airbnb vs TrustedHousesitters

I did something similar on a recent sit. An older doggie was no longer allowed to sleep on the bed because of possible bladder leakage. I couldn’t take her crying to come up, so we both slept on the couch, which she was allowed on. Animal lovers all.


I took care of 4 young cats. Within hours of the HO leaving, one of them shattered their leg and had to go to the vet. I had to carry them in a laundry basket through the entire village to get them there. Then I went daily to visit them, bring them treats, try to get them to eat, coordinate between the vet and the owner, etc. That was my job as a house sitter. If I was an airbnb guest paying YOU to be there, my call to you would have been asking who was taking over caring for the cat because that is not what I signed up for when paying for a place to stay.

Being young and healthy means little.


I get so sad when HOs don’t let the animals sleep in the room. :frowning: I love having a creature cuddle at night or waking with a cat on my head.


Thank you all for your responses, but I would like to report that my housesitter that I confirmed 2 months ago
for a 3 week trip to Egypt starting mid January has cancelled. And he had the best reviews. This is what I am
talking about when I started this post. It is only my second time having a sitter. His reason is that he has a friend
with health issues and may need to be nearby. My house is about 40 min from him. A paying person might
not be fabulous with the cats, but I am pretty sure they would be showing up!

That is awful! I am so sorry that happened to your poor kitty and you!

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@cmalexan , I’m so sorry this happened to you. Very inconsiderate of the sitter to wait until this late date to let you know — unless it was something he also didn’t foresee. If you relist right away (and possibly sweeten the offer with use of a car), you might find a good replacement. Where are you located? You can start by adding your listing to your forum profile, so it will reach readers of the forum.
Here’s how:

And @Angela-HeadOfCommunity may be able to boost it and with your permission, advertise it on social media.

Especially in these uncertain times, it’s always a good idea to have a plan B. Best of luck. Your trip sounds awesome.


Thanks, Mars.

Thanks gracefulwolf.

Hi @cmalexan - I am so sorry to hear that your sitter has cancelled - It is so unprofessional of him to leave it so late to inform you - please re list ASAP, there may still be time to get a replacement - Good Luck!

One thing I would say is that you should try to not keep comparing THS with Airbnb, and In doing so you are painting a false sense of security around having Airbnb guests that I am concerned may backfire on you- I took a look at the last weeks Airbnb host forum and picked out a few quotes for you to see -

I did not include any from hosts complaining of damage done to their properties or of guests creating excessive noise and disturbing their neighbours but just randomly selected some from hosts suffering because guests don’t always show up…

These are all quotes taken from comments that Airbnb hosts posted in the last 7 days

“Hi We’ve just had guests cancel for tomorrow”

“What should I reply to a guest who is due to arrive this afternoon but has just requested a date alteration for March”

“Guest coming 27-30 December has had to cancel”

“Our 2 bed flat has had several cancellations this month and next”

“My Christmas booking has just cancelled.”

I am not saying Airbnb guests not showing up is common, it isn’t , but neither is THS sitters not showing up common. Unfortunately though, things happen and there will always be a very small risk using either platform.

However this does not alter the main fact of your original post - In the vast majority of cases TH sitters do turn up, and when they do, they have come knowing that their number one priority is to care for your pets - The vast majority of Airbnb guests also turn up, but when they do, your pets would most definitely not be their number one priority.


And, I would like to add, the HO can choose someone local to avoid travel disruptions!


Agreed. I have had to cancel airbnb reservations for multiple reasons, up to and including, I just didn’t want to go there any more. Sometimes I give a few months notice, sometimes a few hours. I don’t give it a second thought because there is a policy in place for cancelling and it’s automatically handled, including any penalties I have to pay. I have NEVER, in my years of sitting, cancelled a sit. Outside of a dire emergency, I never would. I’m unsure of where this idea that airbnb guests are so much more reliable is coming from. Most of my friends are nomads and travel full time. They all cancel airbnbs regularly. A friend just cancelled literally a month worth in 5 different cities. You pay the fee and move on, no big deal. No one cares about the impact on the host because cancellations are built into the business model. I certainly wouldn’t feel more obligated to keep my reservation.

A friend of mine rents his place on airbnb. He said the other day that since covid started, there is about an 80% chance his reservations will cancel.


Agree with your friend. Best bit of advice I got when starting up renting out on airbnb was never count the money till it’s in the bank. A Christmas guest cancelled a week stay with two days notice……ouch. I did get a rebooking but at a much lower cost.
Interesting to here your friends cancel Willy nilly without caring about the financial loss that might be incurred by them and the host. My cancellation is free up to five days in advance then the guest loses everything. I go out my way to try and avoid any financial losses to my guests by letting them change their dates or if I get another booking on their cancelled dates partially refunding their money. I may change my attitude now.


My friends are edge cases when it comes to airbnb use and travel in general. As nomads we likely travel significantly differently than the vast majority of your guests so I probably wouldn’t judge everyone by us or what we tend to do. When you have literally no schedule and no reason to go anywhere, changing on a whim is much more likely than someone who has limited vacation that has to be used on certain dates.

My feeling is as a HO. They are two separate things. Airbnb was a great idea but now in many cities like Edinborough it has had a disastrous effect on local housing in both the buying and long term rented sector. Whereas THS seems to me beneficial to the owner , the animals and the sitter.

One of the few really win win situations!

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Yeah, Airbnb has done that in many cities. It’s awful. I HATE using them but there is no really viable alternative at this point.

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@tombell13 , what exactly has negatively affected the local housing market? Is it because people do not want to buy near AirBnb homes and the neighbors do not like living near them with strangers coming and going at any hour of the day?
@CreatureCuddler , is this because they have gotten expensive? I have stayed in seven or eight AirBnbs – they are convenient but, for me, are typically not as comfortable as a hotel room.

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For the local market impact, landlords can generally (non covid times) make more money from renting out on airbnb than they can by renting long-term. So, many apartments in popular city centers are being bulk rented by management companies and used as airbnbs. This means either less housing for locals or more expensive housing for locals. Which means many locals are having to leave the areas they’ve always lived. Look at Venice. It’s basically just a giant island hotel/airbnb now. Very few locals can afford to live in the city any more and airbnb has a lot to do with that.

I choose airbnbs because I tend to stay places long term so a hotel just isn’t viable. I need a kitchen, separate living area, etc. But yes, they’ve also gotten expensive, especially during covid.


Thats about it in a nutshell. It has had a devastating affect on normal people’s lives. My own view s that second hone owners in the UK should pay 2-3x the usual local taxes …. Even that may not be enough …. The original idea of airbnb was wonderful but it has morphed sadly. THS otoh is good all round

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I once stayed in an Airbnb for a couple of nights where I did also look after the cat :slight_smile: .

That was the added attraction?

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