Cleaning house

I am a first-time owner here. I am going to have my house cleaned before leaving for six weeks. I am wondering if I am obligated to have someone clean during the time I am away, or for that matter, if I can have someone do minor work while I’m away. This is a four-bedroom house. Thank you

Welcome :wave:t3: - the rule is no third parties whilst the sit takes place as per the THS Ts & Cs. That said, cleaners and gardeners are exceptions to the rule as long as the sitter knows in advance. Minor works is a bit vague, so maybe talk to them about that one. We had “‘minor works” that turned out to be 6 electricians for a full day complete with blaring music and antisocial habits on one sit. Not to be repeated… comms is everything @Dog. Just talk to your sitter & agree what works best for all of you.

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You are under no obligation to have a cleaner come in while you are away, we have regular sits and most of them dont’ have the cleaners come while we are there, the cleaners either have the time up or pick up other work if they need it.
Works/Minor or other, if you let the sitters know or potential sitters know that eg: you have to have works done inside or outside and it is while you are away as they could not fit your job in before you left, they are usually pretty good about it, also let the owner of the works know also that the people are caring for your pets and looking after your home and for the workmen to be considerate and also if things need to be moved for them etc.
We had a sit where all the windows were being replaced it was 3 days work, however the trucks to deliver the scaffolding, skip and the new windows/doors all had to get access to drops off, we ended up leaving our car parked out on the street as it was a bother having to go and move it all the time, the trucks made a right old mess of the driveway which led to mud being tracked everywhere and I had to remove all the ornaments etc off the window sills and move furniture for them to gain access to the windows, the workmen were very considerate and as quiet as they could be, drilling, hammer and saws etc.
Most sitters are very understanding that work needs to be done sometimes and sometimes it’s while the owners are away, eg if there was an emergency in the house, like the water heater broke etc, it needs to be repaired, replaced and that’s life, things need to be moved and tidied up.
Have a great time away.

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You’re not obligated to, but the hosts I’ve sat for who have cleaners (and gardeners) have kept them coming on their regular schedule, at their expense. That’s the case with my current sit, for example.

I don’t know what you mean by “minor work,” but that would be against THS terms, because of third-party restrictions, so you should make that clear upfront so a sitter can make an informed choice. Otherwise, you wouldn’t want them canceling the sit if they’re surprised under suboptimal conditions. You could possibly leave yourself in a jam with your pets and home, as well as whatever work you’ve got planned.

Personally, I’m a telecommuter and don’t want work of the construction kind going on while I sit. I don’t want to be surprised by having to let people in and out or having to coordinate them, monitor them, etc. And I don’t want to be responsible if someone potentially breaks things, steals, etc.


I dont think its necessary but is a nice add on. We have done sits where a cleaner came while we were there and had no issues and we have had sitters stay with us while our cleaner came.

You have had responses about the Third Party Policy, I disagree with the above response.

I can’t imagine many sitters agreeing with this unless it is an emergency. It is certainly against the Code of Conduct and you should not be putting the sitter in the position where they will feel awkward saying no.


Agreed, I don’t think there would be many sitters who would be okay with it. The HO disclosed it up front, we were fine with it, it didn’t go as it was meant to, mostly it was all the trucks and deliveries, I was not bothered about having to move ornaments etc.

Minor work is no problem for me.

On a sit in Copenhagen last month, there was someone at the door for doing some work on the windows. That was just five minutes, I think.

It was only afterwards that I found the announcement by the housing corporation in the mailbox. It had come after the pet owner had left, so they were not aware.

On another occasion there was someone who needed access to the garden for work on a neighbour’s balcony.


It really does depend on what the minor work is and if it’s really necessary that it is done while you are away or if it’s not an emergency can it be scheduled for your return?

Some things to consider does the “minor work” require access to the interior of the property for some or all of the work ? Will the sitter have to wait in for a contractor to arrive ? Will the sitter have to supervise the work of contractor? Will the sitter be required to Stay at home for the duration of the work or can they leave the contractor unsupervised at the property to go out sight-seeing ? Will it be noisy / create mess or dust ? Will you expect the sitter to clean up after the contractor ? Will any pets have to be kept out of the way whilst work is going on? Will the electricity supply and therefore the wi-fi be disrupted for the work to be done ? If it’s external will it interrupt the sitters enjoyment of the garden ? Will pets have to be kept out of the way ? If contractors can be left unsupervised by the sitter, who will be responsible for keeping the pets out of danger / preventing them from escaping whilst the contractors have access to the property?

As a homeowner, I do not have cleaners come while my sitters are here. We are leaving on a 6 week vacation next month, and I will have the cleaners come right before the sitters arrive and right after they leave. My confirmed sitters both work from home and need space and quiet while they work and my cleaning service brings in 4, sometimes 5 people, and they are all over the house at once, leaving no place for quiet. Plus, our dog doesn’t like the commotion, so we go down in the basement with her to stay out of their way since they only clean there once a month.
As a sitter, I’ve been at homes where the owners did have a regular housekeeper which was discussed with me in advance and it was fine. One owner required that I leave while the cleaner was there, which was fine for me but I don’t work from home.
I think it all depends on your situation, your pets’ preference and the preference of your sitters. As stated, communication is key.
I think it’s great that you asked here on the forum – a sign that you will be a great homeowner for whom sitters will enjoy sitting!


Hi @Dog
I’ve done 12 sits last year and about half asked if it was ok for the cleaner to come while I was there. I’m fine with such. Just check with your sitter first.
On my current sit there was an issue with no hot water so the HO arranged for someone to come out. They were in and out of the house all day fixing the issue. This was understandable as it was an emergency. I’d not like to be left with a team of workman redesigning the kitchen and being responsible for such.


@Dog does your owner know you are posting?

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As a homeowner, I avoid having cleaners come while my sitters are present. We are heading off on a Rendon countdown next month, so I’ll schedule the cleaners to come just before the sitters arrive and right after they leave. Both of my confirmed sitters work from home and require a quiet environment, whereas my cleaning service typically involves a team of Rendon people, who move throughout the house simultaneously, creating a lot of noise. Additionally, our dog gets anxious with all the activity, so we retreat to the basement with her since it’s only cleaned once a Rendon.

In my experience as a sitter, I’ve stayed in homes where the owners had a regular housekeeper, and as long as it was communicated in advance, it worked out fine. One homeowner asked that I leave the house while the cleaner was there, which wasn’t a problem for me since I don’t work from home.

Ultimately, it depends on your specific situation, your pets’ needs, and the preferences of your sitters. Clear communication is crucial. It’s wonderful that you asked about this in the forum – it shows you’re considerate, and sitters will appreciate working with you!


We recently turned down a fabulous sit when the PP announced that cleaners would be attending on 4 afternoons per week, from 12:30 - 17:00, and a gardener on another day. Once a week is fine for regular cleaners but this felt intrusive, to us.

Why would anyone feel it’s okay to schedule ‘minor works’ during a sit? We’re house and pet sitters, not project managers! In the early days, we did 2 sits where the PPs very sneakily arranged for works to be done without first liaising with us; the first messaged during the sit to say painters and decorators would be arriving to do their ensuite, the outside fascia boards and the teak garden furniture, but it ‘wouldnt bother us’. The second sent someone to repair the tennis court, an electrician to install lighting in their newly-built barn and another person to fix their electric gates. When we then received a message asking if it’d be okay for a painter to come and make a start on the house windows, we said no. Our refusal was not well received.

We always now ask whether tradespeople will be attending during the sit and if that’s the case, we decline. We cannot be held responsible for the safety of home and pets when tradespeople are present and we’ll never again agree to be inconvenienced in this manner. It’s not relaxing when there are people coming and going. In any case, it’s against the T&Cs, which state only gardeners and cleaners are allowed to attend and only if clearly stated in the listing.


I completely agree.
Conflicts between grooming and dog care are best avoided.
Before we go on holiday we schedule cleanings to be done just before the dog sitter arrives and just after they leave.
This way we avoid any mess or noise that will upset both the dog sitter and our dogs.
Clear communication is key so it’s important that we discuss these details with our dog sitter.