My question is mainly directed at HomeOwners.
What do you think of Housesitters asking if it’s okay for friends/family to stay over on a longer sit?
I’m asking because soon we’ll be doing a longer sit, around 3 months. We do it for the cute cat and the scenery, but still normally we wouldn’t go that long without seeing friends and family. We want to ask the HO if it’s okay if we have an occasional visitor, and of course we’d respect their wishes if the answer is ‘no’ and simply have our guests take an airbnb or hotel. We’re afraid though that even asking the question might make the HO doubt us or our intentions, and make them worry because they are away and they have no way of knowing for sure if we really respected their answer.
What are your experiences?
@selma2202 Good question. Yes, this is something you have to talk to the HOs about. Some are OK with it, others are not, so communication is key!
We are sitters and HOs. So we do understand both sides and why you’d be asking.
We do not permit sitters to have overnight guests for many reasons. One which I’ll discuss here is there is only one room with one bed that sitters use – the large guest room. So, other people don’t have anywhere to sleep, anyway. We don’t want them sleeping on couches or in our master bedroom.
You, as a sitter, are vetted in ways by THS. Guests are not. We have no idea who these folks are.
We are totally OK with day visitors, though. If you go to our listing (which is embedded in our forum profile image), you’ll see how we word it. As long as we discuss day visitors during the video chat, we’re OK with it!
I’m fine with sitters friends or family staying in my home with them. I’m currently away for a month and my sitters mother is staying the entire month. He took care of my house/cats in the summer and his daughter came for two weeks. I have three available rooms so space is not an issue.
Another sitter of mine has a son and grand-children very near by, its one of the reasons she likes sitting at my place. I’ve told her that I’m fine with them coming over and using the pool.
I wouldn’t be okay with them doing it without first discussing with me.
And, I might not ALWAYS be okay with it. For me, its kind of more about what kind of connection do I have with the sitter and, is the request reasonable?
I tend to be gone fairly long stretches- 3 - 7 weeks so far, and next spring I’m planning to be gone 3 months. I want them to feel comfortable and treat this as their house during that time. Of course, so long as I feel they would treat their house well. And, if I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t pick them anyway.
Hi @selma2202. This is a great question! I’ve been on sits where the pet parents/owners didn’t care if I had a visitor, and one where there was so little parking, it really wasn’t possible to even have someone come over to sit on the deck for some tea and conversation. So do as @KenandMary1998 suggests, and talk with the pet parent/owner. They may or may not care but will appreciate the fact that you brought it up and didn’t just assume one way or the other.
No harm in asking, they can only say yes or no! I’ve only ever asked if it’s ok to invite friends in for tea or lunch and then that has occasionally led to owners saying they can stay if they wish. On two occasions the owners have told me I can have friends to stay without my asking, and shown me the bedrooms for their use. I took these offers up and it made such a difference as I sit alone
As a HO I feel it’s important that the request for guests to visit /stay over is asked before the sit is confirmed. A sitter asking after the confirmation would make me feel uncomfortable.
I have had no problem agreeing to a friend or a family member accompanying the sitter when discussed prior to my sit being confirmed.
HI @selma2202 you already have some really helpful contributions from members and this subject has been raised on the forum a few times, you can always search for topics of interest using the spyglass and key words. This conversation which has some great feedback was was started by a pet parent/owner who asked the question from their perspective … Pet sitters asking for guests to stay as well
Thanks everybody! Of course we’d never invite guests without asking first, that goes without saying. We’ve decided to not ask for guests this time around, since we already confirmed the sit. Thanks all for the perspecives and thanks for the link to the existing topic for more perspectives
I have had the same experience as @Smiley
I recommend that you contact them now, asking if it would be ok for your friends/relatives to drop by for a coffee/lunch. You may be pleasantly surprised if the HOs say yes, and they can stay if they want.
When we do petsits that are not too far from my home (around max 2 hours driving) I always ask the HO would they object a visit of one of my children. They are both adult (34 and 35 now) and also both single. Perhaps they could need some parental advice Especially my daughter has a very busy job and social life, and therefore no pets, but really loves to cuddle them and have a walk together when there are dog(s). I always got this permission and even more, she was welcome to stay overnight in the weekend, which she never did and was not intented. She came on several occasions and for the animal(s) it was a huge plus as they got soooo much more attention and cuddles :-), and daughter had a nice day out.
When asked ahead it never was a problem! It would be awkward though when neighours later tell the HO’s there were also visiters in their home when it was not communicated, it than is a breech of trust.
Wondering how everybody approaches the guests’ conversation during the application process?
My husband and I are becoming full-time house sitters and would like to have family members or friends over at some destinations for dinner or holidays.
I feel that if a pet owner doesn’t allow to have guests over, for a long term at least, it’d feel like being in jail, in my personal opinion.
What’s your experience with this subject?
P.S we’re experienced sitters with all 5 starts reviews
We mainly sit in school holidays, so haven’t done any very long sits. We do usually do a housesit fairly close to home over Christmas, and we ask permission for my mother to come and spend Christmas Day with us. We always do this before the sit is confirmed. This year we included the request in our application for the sit, and the homeowners were happy to allow it. The homeowner we sat for last Christmas actually asked if my mum needed a bed to stay over, but we declined this kind offer, as it was better for her to return home to her flat with no stairs!
If this is asked during the application process, it allows the homeowner to decide if they are comfortable having guests. If they decline, you have the option to go ahead with the sit without having guests or to move on and find a different sit, while no commitment has been made.
We have met up with friends on other housesits, but have chosen to do it at a park or cafe, or at their house.
As a single sitter, I have it in my Profile that although I mainly do sits solo, IF ALLOWED by Home Owner, I might like to invite a friend/family member along to do a sit with me. It is especially helpful to have a second person if there are 3+ pets etc… or if the sit is in a remote area, for company. If I’m applying for a sit that I want to do with a friend, I mention the friend in my initial application… and offer details about the guest. If I’m doing a sit near a friend that I plan on seeing, I mention the friend and ask if they can meet at the house or not. I’ve never asked to have a friend join after a sit was confirmed as a “solo sit”, which I feel puts the HomeOwner in an awkward position.
Since a possible guest is mentioned in my profile, guests allowed/not allowed are usually discussed in the FaceTime pre-screen meeting. Even if I apply specifically as a solo sitter. I’ve had home owners tell me “they are private people and don’t want anyone coming to the house except me” OR “That I was welcome to invite anyone, just let them know beforehand.”. Communication is key to keeping trust flowing !!
Personally I have made it quite clear that no additional people other than the agreed can stay at the house, in fact I would go further and state no visitors at all! The main reason is because of the cats. Several people moving around, particularly kids would frighten them. I think it wrong that anyone should ask if they can bring friends or have visitors. The home owner would have engaged the sitter on the basis of them alone coming. To then put them in an awkward position by asking is, in my view, completely wrong. If someone asked me I would say no and of course that would also raise a doubt in my mind as to the suitability of the sitter!!
Thanks for your point of view. All my sits (20 of them) hosts have been ok with visitors, other even ok with additional guests overnight. We haven’t had to ask, they let us know during the first call.
They all understand that this is a free service and we’re allow to live our life’s normally while helping them out. We’re not they’re slaves.
I only sign up to collaborate with respectfully hosts.
I understand that completely but I have to say this is an exchange for the benefit of animals, not sitters or HO ! The animals come first, not second, and if any sitter were to think that wasn’t the case then I wouldn’t want them in my house. Of course I expect sitters to take advantage of visiting a new area, region or country that is perfectly acceptable and considered normal. But; the bottom line is they are there for the animals first and foremost! I have made it clear to every sitter that there are to be no additional visitors, with or without my agreement and I would expect that to be honoured.
That’s great that you have been able to find sitters willing to accommodate your requests.
I’ve had a sitter ask if her daughter who was home from college could come, which I thought was great because we live pretty rural and they got to enjoy a nice vacation-with-pets together. On the other hand a sitter asked if her “friend” could come but I got the impression it was just some guy she’d been seeing for a short while. When I asked for more details she immediately rescinded the request, so I’m glad I didn’t just accept with no questions. She did the sit alone and all was well. I’ve also told long term sitters they could have friends visit (not staying over) and they’ve refused because they didn’t want to take the risk. So as with anything, it’s all about communication, every situation is different, although I agree that before the sit is confirmed is better than after.
Never had any problems. Everyone has been very nice. Communication is the key! Civilised discourse and there can’t be any problems.
As sitters, we would not feel comfortable asking the HO to have anyone come by unless we had sat prior and had a good relationship.
As HO, it depends on the situation. If they asked about visitors early and up front, the chance is pretty good we’d say yes. Asking after they’d been selected wouldn’t settle well with us. If they had someone over without asking, well…that’s not acceptable at all.
We had a family from overseas apply and asked up front if they could have another family visit for the day. Absolutely fine with us. As many have said, it’s ALL about communication.