Cancelled sitters

Has anyone else had issues with cancelled sits? I had a sitter accept a sit months ago and cancel a week ago. I posted the sit early as this is an international trip for me and I will be gone almost three weeks. I reposted the sit and another sitter applied for the sit a little over a week ago and just cancelled today. I must say I am very nervous now about any potential sitters. I plan for this trip two years in advance so it’s a big deal to me. Airline tickets are purchased and accommodations are paid for. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

That’s terrible! Did these sitters have excellent reviews from previous THS sits, or were they new to the platform? Did you have a video chat with them? Were there any red flags in their reviews - or lack of reviews - or during a video chat? If they’re new, did you have other ways to vet them aside from their own profile (like AirBnb reviews). There’s really no way to guarantee a sitter won’t cancel, unfortunately there are flaky people out there, but is there any way you can be more selective? Not that this is your fault, it’s definitely theirs, I’m just trying to think of different ways you could approach choosing a sitter. And you might want to get a solid back-up plan in place, a friend or paid sitter, just in case.

If you’ve got less than a week to go, I’d strongly recommend using the last minute sit thread: How to use the Last Minute Sit Category - #13 by anon27523372

Otherwise, it’s unfortunate that THS doesn’t keep tabs on sitters or petparents who cancel, so a sitter with a great track record on completed sits, might have a secret tendency to cancel that won’t be recorded. If the reasons for cancelling seem flaky, you can report this to THS. They will “watch” the sitter’s account, but as most cancellations are “undisputed” the patterns can continue under the radar.

The best thing you can do is get in touch with previous sitters if you have any to see if they’re interested. You can also start a forum thread to work on your listing and make it the best it can be to attract sitters.

I tend to look for sitters who I feel comfortable with and who have a record of trust, not just based on their sits, but also external references, and even linkedin and airbnb. The more trustworthy the person is, the less likely to flake on a sit for no good reason.

But most people don’t. So this is for September? You have a bunch of positive reviews by previous sitters. I don’t think it would be too difficult for you to find somebody.

I’m sorry this has happened - how frustrating.

I generally post my sits (half of which have been for 4-5 weeks in duration) about 2-3 months prior to the sit - I know there are a lot of sitters on THS who plan their sits much further in advance, but for me, that’s the mark where flights are not too outrageous, and there is less chance of a sitter having a life change that would mean cancelling the sit.

My one exception was for my end of year holiday sit, which I posted almost 5 months in advance because holidays are a whole different animal.

All this to say, if you are referring to your September sit, I think you will be able to secure a sitter. You’ve got great reviews, and fall sounds like a lovely time to be in your region! Good luck :slight_smile:

Unless I missed something, you haven’t said why they cancelled. Stuff happens. I almost had to cancel a sit booked 5 months ahead because my house-checking person ended up in the hospital 3 days before I had to leave. People get sick, accidents happen… Frankly, months in advance is much farther than I’d like to commit as a sitter.
It’s a different matter if they just decided they didn’t want to do it anymore.

This sounds like a bad situation and I hope you can find a sitter for your trip. I’m wondering, were these confirmed sitters? Did you formally invite the sitters and did they formally accept, through the Trusted Housesitter’s process?

As a sitter, if I’ve confirmed a sit months in advance I send a brief message to the homeowner once a month or so to check in and say that all is well. There’s usually something small to chat about. This provides an opportunity for a homeowner to mention if there have been any changes on their end and the communication is ongoing.

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Thank you all for the reply’s. You do offer good advice. They both were new to THS and only had family or friends for references. I do need to be more selective but I’ve had the best pet sitters so far and was trusting my instincts I guess. Lesson learned.

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Thank you for your response. One said another sit came up and the other had something else to do. Life shattering events. I know.

@Gailzambon - if these were confirmed sits on your dashboard and they cancelled for anything other than extraordinary reasons they have broken the Code of Conduct.
It is irrelevant if the sit isn’t until September as a commitment should be a commitment.
You are within your rights to report them to THS so they can monitor the sitter’s behaviour.


How do I report her? It was a confirmed sit the first time.

@Gailzambon email

Just to be clear when a homeowner says their sitter has cancelled it should mean the sitter has backed out of a confirmed sit.
Some homeowners say their sitter ‘cancelled’ when they really mean they have had interest from a sitter but they have withdrawn their application before confirmation. The sit was never confirmed so it is not a cancellation.


Just read through the thread and to add… There are several posts on how to vet sitters that you can search for on here and also some articles on TH site worth reading. It’s really important to properly vet people and I hate to say it but green HS And HO pose more risk than those that can demonstrate experience…doesn’t mean you won’t find a good one with less experience but really important to vet well for that.

As HO, it also may be worth considering getting the premium membership as a cancellation within a 2 weeks of your sit would be covered by insurance.

Lastly, always have a back up to the back up to the back up. We have a list of local options and family/friends we can fall back on in a bind and have put contingencies in place in case TH HS let us down.

+1 to reporting any and all HS who confirmed and cancelled on you for a reason like that.