Blanket rejection without reply

No one likes a rejection do they? But a few sentences explaining why you haven’t been considered does soften the blow.

I spent some time composing a message to a HO only to get back a ‘sorry you weren’t chosen’ automated reply within a few hours.

Are HOs not encouraged to say a few words to the rejectee? On Airbnb there’s always a prompt to underpin decisions which just involve pressing a button.
I got back to the HO and she explained she’d had a lot of inquiries and already had a short list. On her ad it said 0-3 applicants so a bit confusing. Just wonder what your experiences are? Thanks.


I don’t take it personally! It is nice to get a reply and maybe an explanation, but for me, not a bother if someone doesn’t respond.

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She was probably doing the correct thing, whittling the applicants down to a manageable level. That’s why only three are showing now.
Thank you, but no thank you are easier to deal with as time goes on. I used to get myself in a tizzy and analysis my application to try and find out why they didn’t want me. Now, after four years, I barely acknowledge it.
Don’t take it personally. There will be others out there that are a perfect match.


Hi @Tuppence,
As a sitter I understand your perspective. As an owner I can tell you that the majority of the sitter applicants we get appear to be of very high standard and we would be pleased to have most of them sit. The reason most are not selected is simply more applications than openings … hence there is no reason (related to the sitter) to explain and nothing to have angst about.

We do send a note thanking the declined sitters for their applications and inviting them to favorite our listing and apply again on future. In the rare case we see a sitter that we think is not a fit, we send a note of thanks and omit the part about applying again but do not provide any specifics unless there’s some constructive feedback we can provide (e.g to those few sitters who apply but provide absolutely no personal note in the application to indicate they understand the nature of the sit and why they’re a good fit for it).

So, to echo others, please don’t take declined applications personally unless you get some specific suggestion that you might choose to act on!

Wishing all good sits for you!


I’ve just secured my first sitter as a homeowner and did the same thing as @Pawtastic , I didn’t want anyone to get the automated reply before I sent a personal note to the applicants I was declining to thank them for taking the time to apply and appreciating their offer to look after my home & dog.

I know we shouldn’t take the automated rejection personally, and after sitting for a few years I don’t, but the wording is rather cold so I can see how many people would, especially new sitters. If a sitter takes the time to put together a personalized application for me I feel the least I can do on the owner’s side is acknowledge it and thank them for their time. It takes less than a minute to send a short, kind note.

Besides, you never know if you may need sitters at a future date, and that extra bit of polite communication could determine whether someone applies for your sit again or not. I know I wouldn’t apply again for a sit where my application wasn’t even acknowledged.


Hi Lindsay,
You’ve worded this reply really well. I’m not a new sitter but use other sites more often than THS. On another comparable site I get rejections for sits I haven’t even applied for! It seems that then a HO can shortlist you without making contact. Very odd!

the home owner on THS got back to me to apologise, she hadn’t realised I would get an automated rejection. So all good!
Cheers anyhow. Great to feel one is not alone in these endeavours!


Thanks, Elsie. I suppose everyone processes rejection in a different way depending on what else is happening in one’s life at that moment. Now I understand the shortcomings of this site I will be more philosophical about it.

Thank you. I didn’t know that either. That is certainly unclear for newbie HOs.

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We’ve just had a rejection for a sit we didn’t apply for in Australia?! They came to us and asked us to house swap in Turkey which we declined as our house is a)rented out & b) in another country. Really odd….:crazy_face:

As a sitter, I also don’t like getting just the automated unsuccessful message and used to think owners very rude who didn’t send a short unsucessful note to us. I didn’t know that the system sent these auto messages until recently when I read it on the forum. I recently became a HO and made sure I sent the numerous unsuccessful sitters a short note each (copy/paste was very useful) as soon as I hit the confirmed button for our chosen sitter. THS really need to let owners know about this (I still think it’s rude not to get a tailored message).


Hi Crookie,
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Yes, that was my initial reaction. How rude! Especially when I’d spent the best part of half an hour composing my application email. I plan to use this site as a HO too since we now have our own little dog. I will make sure I give everyone a fair reply. I guess when this system was put together the idea was not to keep sitters hanging on unnecessarily, and be fully informed it was time to apply for another house-sit, but indignant feelings have been the unfortunate spin-off…

I agree, having recently had my first house sit as a HO I had no idea about automated replies. Thank you for this, I will make sure to send a personal reply in the future.
I will say that it also works both ways, I contacted an enormous amount of sitters at the beginning as presumably being a first timer I had no applicants at the start. Many replied, but not all, even those who had saved the sit and to whom I reoffered /asked to sit.


I applied for a sit and although I have corresponded with the HO, I have not received a rejection or acceptance but have noticed the sit no longer has dates available.

I can understand that HO can be overwhelmed by too many applicants and when I apply, if I am not chosen, well that is the way it is. I am not concerned about no response to my application. What does bother me me is if I get a personal invitation to house sit, which I need to decline because I am not available, and I respond with a personal message, they don’t even acknowledge my message. I can see they have read it. How about a thanks for your response? Maybe next time?

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If I do not accept an applicant who has met all my requirements (they are clearly listed in my posting), I typically send a nice thank you for applying however… If I receive many applications from sitters who obviously do not read or just want to contact me so I consider them for other dates (snowbirds who only want winter getaways), I reject the application period.

My partner and I had 32 rejections before we got our first sit, we are now on our 26th sit, we had a rejection recently from a sit we applied for over 4 months ago… and the HO hadn’t even read our application.
Don’t take it personally, life has something better planed for you.
learn to move on.