Avoiding dirty homes

New here so I don’t know if this is the right place to put this. I’m on my 7th sit and I’ve had some messy/dirty homes but this one really unsettled me. My room is small and the bed is unbelievably uncomfortable, all stuff I can live with but the bed sheets were dirty and on one corner of the duvet I found the sheet was stuck together by something (I can’t even begin to think what). Of course I washed the sheets immediately. The bathroom was disgusting. The floor of the shower was coated in sludge. How do you leave an honest review for this? I feel bad because the dog is so lovely and the owners seem ok.
Also, how can I avoid places like this in the future? What questions should I ask? On the whole, I’m loving travelling and the app but I can’t do this again.

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Sorry to hear @Travelingtails - I think it is hard to tell, so it’s the little clues in the photos or during the video call that can alert you. General messiness in the background or an owner who seems very flustered or busy, or who apologizes for “the state” of their home.
Not all of these mean their house will be dirty, of course, and it is really only when you see it that you really know the extent of cleaning that will be needed.
Perhaps add to your profile that you prefer clean homes to improve your chances of matching with the right owners for you.

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That sounds horrible :confused:

Questions you could ask - do you have a cleaner, how often do they come, which rooms do they clean? Where are the spare bedding and towels kept?

(These are all things I include in my welcome guide for sitters.)

More generally - what are their expectations for you as regards cleaning? You and i know that of course youll be leaving their home as you found it or better but you could use this as a conversation opener to talk about cleanliness standards, joke about some of your horrible experiences and shoe-horn in that you expect clean sheets and a scrubbed bathroom…

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Yeah it definitely is hard to tell, especially because I don’t want to miss out on a good sit and just catch someone on a bad day.

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Look at the photos with a critical eye. Read the reviews, try to read a bit between the lines. And ask where you will sleep. (I slept in “the wrong bed” on my last sit, as they sent me the instruction to use the guest room only after the first night. The WG had told me to choose.)

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Thanks for the advice, particularly about the spare bedding! I definitely don’t have unrealistic expectations but sticky stained sheets are just not ok.

@Travelingtails Oh that’s just horrible! We’ve had dirty houses occasionally but only one which also had dirty sheets too- eek! Its always horrible to feel disrespected in this way and to have to start a sit with deep cleaning and/or washing.
For reasons like this its good that we have blind reviews now so you can feel free to be more honest. You should definitely mark them down 2 or 3 stars for cleanliness. In the written part you can mention the positive (dog) and negative (lack of cleaning) but if you feel unable to write the negs at least the drop in stars will inform future sitters. There is no need to be kind to such disrespectful hosts- they need to learn how to treat sitters properly.
In future analyze the pictures very carefully and if not enough are shown ask for more. If you see signs of clutter, mess, unmade beds etc that’s not a good sign. But if you get to the video call stage you can ask for a video tour around the house- that can be helpful for getting a better impression. Always go with your gut feeling.
Good luck in future! :crossed_fingers:

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Thanks for the advice! what are blind reviews?

Report this to THS. They should contact the HO and deal with it for you.

@Travelingtails - Sitters and homeowners have a 14 day window after a sit to write their review. Neither will see their review until either both have been submitted or the 14 days have passed. Hope that makes sense.

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Blind reviews are the new system THS recently introduced. Similar to airbnb. 14 days during which you and the host can write your reviews. Neither side sees the reviews till both are written or, if only one side writes, till after 14 days pass. After the reviews are published you can reply (once) if you want to. E.g if you don’t agree with something that is written about you, or to say thanks!

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@Carla or @Jenny - why is there a green Solution tick at the side of my last post. To my knowledge I didn’t do it? Thanks

  1. Not sure why you feel bad about leaving an honest review when you were stuck with a dirty home. You didn’t create that situation. The host did.

  2. Another sitter could’ve warned you off by writing an honest review. Now you have the chance to do that for someone else.

  3. It doesn’t matter if the host is OK or better, or if the pet(s) were lovely. There are many sits with good hosts and lovely pets that aren’t dirty. Those sits deserve greater consideration by sitters and you can help make that happen.

  4. If all sitters felt bad like you do and didn’t write honest reviews, you’d probably get dirty sits more often. You have agency and the only question is will you exercise it.

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You are absolutely right, I just haven’t left a bad review before. Thanks for the advice :+1:

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@Travelingtails Just be honest and factual in your review. Please help other sitters avoid this situation in the future! It’s really a shame that previous sitters didn’t mention it. Hopefully the new blind review system will help.

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Hello, @Twitcher The green solution button is chosen by the OP if they feel this is the best answer or answers their question. An OP will get a little pop-up encouraging them to choose the best solution after a few replies. We openly encourage it as we would like to make sure those forum users who help give the best solutions often are recognised - we are looking at adding this to the monthly roundup!

Apologies for heading off topic - back to ‘Avoiding dirty homes’ :smiling_face:

I am learning to read between the lines in reviews. If they tend to mention the lovely pet and great views, but nothing about the lovely clean home then this might be an indication.

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With the recent change to make reviews blind and the very new implementation of ratings for Owners in various categories (one of them being Cleanliness), it should be MUCH easier in the future to figure out if Owners are clean or not!

Everyone, please, please leave honest reviews. If you would never return to that home anyway, you don’t have to “be nice” when they were not nice to you! You will never see them again!

Also, you mention a few specific details, but I can only imagine the 20 other yucky things that you discovered!!

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You can frame your review constructively. Eg, rather than saying their sheets and house were dirty, you could say that for future sitters you hope the hosts will pay closer attention to cleanliness in preparing for a sitter, as sitters appreciate a clean home and bedlinen. Save your fully-blasted ire for hosts who are both dirty and not very nice.

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@Travelingtails also the blind reviews have a new layer of categories that thsitters fill out.

There will be a category for cleanliness where you could leave 2 stars.

Without being repetitive…I fully underscore @Maggie8K’ s 4 points.