Are our expectations unrealistic?

Hi. We are first time users of THS as HO. We have had reasonable interest in our listing which is fantastic, but not having much luck with applicants. The first did not have a car which was flagged as a need in the listing - easy to miss so no great problem. The second said they would need to leave for about 3 days in the middle of the sit for a conference (asking if a neighbour could step in for those days) and the most recent said her boyfriend would be ‘tagging along’ for the sit (her profile notes she sits as a single person) and that she would be charging a ‘small fee’. We have politely declined all three. Are our expectations too high or is this fairly normal? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.


Wow!! No that is not normal @KAT1 and good on you for declining them all. Delete their applications and open yourselves up to 5 more wonderful sitters! They will come (& good on you for flagging them on the forum ). Please report the one that asked for payment to Membership services, that’s a massive no-no. Best of luck :raised_hands:t3:


The car issue comes up a lot. What it often comes down to–is it really essential for a sitter to have a car for the sit? Could you offer to pick up the person somewhere?

How long is the sit?
For a longer sit, I think a short break for a commitment like a work conference or personal matter is not unreasonable.


Yes, a car is essential. While there is a small shopping centre within a decent walking distance, there is no public transport. The sit is for three weeks son that’s a fair amount of time to be without a car.

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@KAT1 A very warm welcome to the community forum, you have come to the right place to connect with like-minded and experienced members that can help answer your questions.

As @Cuttlefish mentioned sitters should not be asking for any money, so please reach out to membership services and let them know. Please email

What might also be helpful is if you add your THS home listing to your forum profile, that way other members can view it and offer you helpful feedback and tips.

Here is how to add it:

If you would like me to add it for you, just let me know :slight_smile:


I do not quite understand why that would make a car an essential prerequisite. People can get around on foot, by bicycle, hitchhiking, electrical scooters, various taxi services, etcetera.

I have taken sits where “car necessary” was in the listing and I did not feel the necessity. It was nice that HO could pick me up at the train station and drop me off there after the sit, but also that is something that I could have managed without help.


If there is no reasonable transport in the area then a car is a must for a long sit. While I don’t charge for long sits more often than not I am given some money as a long sit with animals is truly a job. Keep in mind that I also have a US passport and I am over 40 and responsible with a clear criminal and driving record. As for the boyfriend that is a no go all the way around as he is not covered by the insurance.


What this boils down to is that your applicants are not reading your profile in full.
Three weeks is a fairly short time for a sitter and they should not be asking for 3 days off.
Tagging someone else along is not normal.
Payment has been covered by others but you should not feel pressured to provide any sort of payment .
You are not being unreasonable and you must feel happy that your chosen sitter is there for the correct reasons


Not unreasonable at all. I think you have just been very unlucky so far.
Asking for payment is totally unacceptable, if you report them to THS their profile might even get deleted for this.
I agree with @pietkuip though, some people might not want to move around much and might be OK without a car, especially is there is a shopping centre nearby.


Thank you - I have added my listing to my profile and will reach out to member services as suggested.


While I appreciate what you are saying, the reality is that we live in a rural township a good half hour drive from the closest major town in Central Queensland, Australia. There are no electric scooters or bicycles available to hire in our neighbourhood - they are in the closest town - and riding them to and from our residence would be challenging to say the least. hitchhiking is illegal in my home State. Taxi fares to the closest town cost around $70 to $100 each way. The sitters can walk to the shops if they are keen but there is not much else of interest within walking distance. I would have thought the whole attraction of house sitting in a different location was to be able to explore the region which in this case would be extremely difficult to do without your own transport.


Hi @KAT1 from another Qlder. Stick to your guns. Sitters will definitely need a car where you are. I don’t think sitters from outside Queensland understand how big our state is (more than twice the size of the UK including Ireland) and how remote places are when you get into Central Qld where you are. It’s not reasonable for sitters to want 3 days off in a 3 week sit. Definitely against THS rules for sitters to charge a fee and have someone “tag along”. You dodged 3 bullets by declining these 3! I note you have 1 applicant so hopefully they are suitable. You live in an amzung part of our state and winter is a great time to visit for warm sunny days and cool nights with big clear open skies.


Thanks for the encouraging words @Crookie . Am still very hopeful we will find someone to look after our furbabies and the experience will be amazing on both sides :blush:


Hi @KAT1. Thanks for sharing your story so far and asking for feedback. Hmm…

I would try to think of each applicant individually. You really have three distinct people, and three distinct cases.

The first might’ve seen your sit and wanted to get their application in quickly because of the 5-app pausing rule. It’s really hard to guess whether a new listing will fill up quickly.

The second might like your sit and was just thinking how it could work, so they asked about the 3 days in the middle. I may be biased as I was recently in a similar situation, but I don’t see the problem with simply asking.

The third is an issue. At the very least, as others have noted, charging money isn’t allowed. Asking if her bf could come (or saying that if she is to do the sit, her bf would be coming), makes sense. Maybe it’s a relatively new bf and they want a vacation together.

The only commonality all three have is that they may not be your ideal sitter. It’s fine to hope for that perfect sitter match, but honestly it depends on a lot, like the season, location, and the quality of your listing (e.g., communicating what you have, and what you want). And as you are new to TH as HO, you might not even know what a perfect match would be like. =)

If I had your three applicants:

  • To the first, I would explain why a car is needed. I might say if they can find a car, then they’re welcome to re-apply.
    • BTW, looking at your listing, I can see someone still applying. Is it unreasonable to think an HO may have a bike to borrow, or that one could Uber to supermarket that is 5–10 minutes away? Some applicants take things at face value; some applicants think, “How can we make this a win-win?” If you don’t like the latter, then just decline them quickly and generically. No harm, no foul?
  • To the second, I would say that we’d really like someone for the whole time, or explain why there is no neighbor if that’s the case. I might still proceed with a video call here, if I felt it might work out. Or I might decline the applicant but say that if we can’t find anyone by X date, we may be back in touch. Of course, that sitter may have found something else by then.
    • Also, an HO should always have a backup/emergency plan. What if the sitter has an accident/illness before/during the sit, and you need 3 days of coverage? What if they lock themselves out?
  • The third sitter I would decline, note that charging is against TH guidelines. And I would report them to membership services with a record of the communication.

Looking at your sit … I don’t know enough about car availability, but otherwise I think it looks good and you’ll find a good match. That said, I wish there were more info on pet responsibilities. How often do you walk Rudy? How often can the pets be left alone? You say mowing is required: How often and how long might that take? Where I live, people can spend 5 hours mowing their lawn; and they have big mowers…

Best of luck! –Geoff


@KAT1 Please do reach out to Member Services as this is a total infraction with THS.

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@Debbie thanks for your message. I emailed member services yesterday to report the applicant.


@geoff.hom thanks for your feedback and advice. We did have discussions with the applicants rather than just decline them outright before deciding it was not going to be a good fit. Being our first time advertising we figured it was going to be a too much information/not enough information scenario and our theory was to try and give enough to see if someone was interested and then hash out the finer details in person. Great tips though for us moving forward.


This Victorian understands how big Queensland is @Crookie :wink:


If you offer a car, you probably will get higher quality applications. I was just writing about this on another post. As a five start sitter with glowing reviews, I see a lot of sits in remote places that I would like to do, but don’t for a few reasons:

  1. I am working as a digital nomad and travel between two continents. Owning a car is not possible. Even if I had a car, do I want to drive hours or days to get to a sit? Happy to take a train as I can still work and don’t have to take a day off (I can’t inconvenience my employer with the multiple moves I may make in a month). I get really carsick so cannot do buses at all. However, I love bicycles and would love if an owner lent me one!

  2. What if there is an emergency (of any kind)?

  3. I accept the expense of getting to the sit in exchange for lodging. This saves the pet parent a lot on boarding or paid sitters. In some places, I could run easily $500-1000/week for a rental car. Unless it’s a $10 million villa with a pool for a short period, I cannot spend that 1-4x a month. It is actually work to care for a pet/pets, keep the house in perfect order, do the garden/plants/mail. Loaning me the car costs them nothing and I return it clean and with a filled tank.

  4. In general, I find that pet parents who loan the cars are generally more trusting and have less challenging anxiety. I’ve had some pet parents who had extreme anxiety issues and were very unreasonable, so I look for signs that they have a “healthy” amount of anxiety (e.g., take precautions, ask questions pre-sit, follow THS rules, don’t overwhelm me with ten documents of care instructions in different places, texting 10+/day…). I work super hard to provide a five star service while managing my own anxieties, so I’m not in a position to add further challenges to a job.

It really depends on what your expectations are, but many of us are serious professionals with great reviews - you can trust us. It’s important to weigh the costs of the sit for the sitter vs. the savings you make as an owner. :slight_smile:


@LivSeglare we indicated in our ad that a car would be needed - not only because of the location of the sit but also because we will be using our vehicle for our holiday, so there is no vehicle to be offered. I wouldn’t think that would be a particularly unusual case, especially in Australia. We also do not own a bicycle that could be offered. If that affects the quality and/or number of applicants, then we’ll have to live with that and potentially explore other avenues.