Cameras, Cameras, Cameras

They sound like they think the sitter should be grateful that there aren’t cameras recording them in the bathroom.

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@BJane Have you reported them to THS? THS must contact them and tell them that no cameras are permitted inside the home.

Please let us know what support at THS tells you.

I think turning the tables on the homeowner gets them to think about how they would feel if they were being taped, watched, listened to…They certainly wouldnt like it either . Hey “Jane”, have fun on your cruise while I watch your kitties…certainly hope your room doesnt have a camera in it. But have a blast! Haha, I would never say that, but it gets the point across, right!?

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I find this a difficult one as we have cameras in my house. I always point these out to sitter and explain the rationale. My cameras are not operational until you set the alarm and leave the property - so not running while the sitter is inside. They are not even running when no-one is home unless the alarm is activated. They are there to capture any images of intruders and are still photographs not a running video. The cameras never take photos of people in the house.

I have never had a sitter object once I explain they are not being photographed AT ANY TIME.

I hope my cameras are still within the rules.

Yes I have reported it to THS support

@Enjaybee I think those cameras could be within the rules, as the sitter is in control to switch them on and off.

However, I don’t think I would apply to properties where I was told to switch on alarms etc when I went out with the dog etc. Yes, I would want to be told before such sits were confirmed.

They really don’t read the listings. Maybe a bot or human goes thnrough an initial listing before it’s appoved but not any revisions. I wrote to the site weeks ago about a sit I came across when it was being mentioned on an outside forum. It involved what was clearly a shelter – maybe a home shelter, maybe an unlicensed shelter but clearly a shelter. The exact number of pets was not known as it was a SHELTER. Some of the breeds were considered dangerous breeds. There were ominous warnings within the listing about not letting the dogs dominate you, and that there would be a number to call if you were injured or needed help. It was an insane listing. I actually wrote to THS about this. I received a response back that seemed to be written by a human informing me that there was no limit to the number of animals and that it was “a ranch” and some sitters liked sits on ranches. But there was a reference to some other issue and so they were “working with the homeowner.” However, I still think when you come across something like that, it’s worth it to report it.

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If I were surprised by cameras that violate THS terms once I arrived at a sit and they bothered me, I’d just unplug every camera I could find. If you’re a sitter and are wary about hidden cameras, you can shop for hidden camera detectors, BTW.

Sitters also could mention in reviews that the host had hidden or undeclared cameras, violating THS terms. If so, many sitters probably would avoid those hosts in the future. And you could report the host to THS.

Depending on the jurisdiction, secretly recording someone — even if it’s in the host’s home — is illegal. In such cases, you could file a complaint with the police, for example.

If I were a host considering secretly recording or observing a sitter, I’d consider this: You could potentially anger them, and they’d be in your home and with your pet(s). To me, that’s a risky and stupid thing to do, because I sure wouldn’t want an angry person in my home, especially while I was away.

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Could you take a look at the wording in the Terms and Conditions and the explanation of how the camera works? If it’s only “on” when the alarm is on AND the alarm has been tripped then it shouldn’t be any worry for the housesitter.

Thank you for that, I will make sure I include this in my future listings.

Is is so unusual for a house to have an alarm system to alert to intruders. If my sitters do not activate the alarm the cameras are not on.

Exactly!
I am a host but if I hear these stories about indoor cameras -wow! I would make a complaint by the police because this is completely illegal and every owner knows this.
My trust in such owners would be immediately stopped.

I wouldn’t find that a problem as long as it was clearly explained prior to the sit. I sat for people who had a terrible home burglary and installed similar cameras as part of their security review. I totally understood the situation.

Hi @frenchlife

Great idea to get in touch with Trusted Housesitters to talk this over - Membership Services will be able to help advise you on this one. Feel free to pop back and let us know what they say!

Jenny

EXACTLY, the camera is not on when people are in the house, only when the house is empty but the alarm is tripped. I am waiting to speak to someone from admin.

Yes these are part of an external alarm system. No I cannot access them or any pictures - they only do stills - yes they are only activated when the alarm system goes off indicating an intruder.

I have just checked my listing and I have declared we have security cameras in our home. The information then says these should be pointed out and discussed with any potential sitters, which we do.

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The url is in your profile on this forum.

I assume that you put it there!

Hi @frenchlife

It looks like you opted to add your THS profile link to your Forum profile page, and it’s quite normal for members to take a look at each other’s links, for example if they are giving quite specific advice.

Your Forum profile is only as anonymous as you make it, e.g. some members don’t share links or a profile picture showing their face and others do.

You can remove your profile link if you’d prefer more privacy, or I can do that for you.

Our members mean no harm, they’re a clever, helpful group of people, but I’m sorry if any replies that mentioned your profile were worrisome.

Hope this helps clear things up.

Jenny

I do under Safety and Security in Amenities