Cleaning responsibilities

Hi advice please
We have just returned from a holiday having used TH as per usual. I always leave the house very clean and on most occasions we have come home to a clean house. This time although the house was superficially clean the bathroom and shower room had not been touched. The shower was full of hair and really not a nice job to come back to!
Am I being unreasonable to expect sitters to clean the bathroom and shower ? I guess I feel that when we use Airbnb and cottages we always leave them as we found them.
I don’t know what to do about the review as they were lovely girls and clearly looked after our pets but I was a little put out by this issue.


No not unreasonable, it’s in the code of conduct that members agree to .

“ I will make every effort to leave the home as I found it ”

The sitters guidelines say
As your house sit comes to an end

  • Prepare for the owner’s arrival home by ensuring the property is clean and tidy”

and there is a sitters cleaning checklist that says
“ Clean the bathroom, including the shower/bath and toilet, ”

( However your sitters may not be aware of this checklist as THS don’t always send it out … some sitters get it , many have never received it )

For the review there is now a specific category where you rate cleanliness - you don’t have to deduct stars from the overall rating but just for this category- if that’s what you feel is appropriate.

There is a separate category for pet care so you can give them 5 stars for that .


You’re not being unreasonable @Janeyw36 but at the same time it’s great the pets were happy. Deduct a star or two in the cleanliness category as @Silversitters has illustrated and then give them an overall rating for the sit. They can see they need to do more cleaning (as agreed on their Ts & Cs) & you’ll feel you were fair and reasonable in your approach and review. #truthisagoodthing

PS THS are hopeless at sending out that checklist (never for us)

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Regardless of whether THS sends out checklists or not, it falls into the realms of common sense, sadly not very common.
If someone could invent common sense, it should be bottled and prescribed to those without any.


No, not unreasonable at all to expect a clean house upon return. If they are inexperienced at THS maybe they just didn’t know? We’ve had some sitters that go above & beyond on cleaning and others that we’ve had to clean the house when we got home, which is never fun after a long trip. However, our cat was well cared for so that is the highest priority for me.

Leave a written review that shows how well they did, except for the cleaning. I personally wouldn’t mention the cleaning in the written review. However, you should reduce the Tidy & Clean star category to whatever you feel is appropriate. Hopefully, they will know from the reduced star that cleaning was an issue.

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I don’t think you are being unreasonable. Cleaning the bathroom is basic and I’ve been disapointed to arrive home to find an unclean shower. If you deduct stars for Cleanliness, please mention the reason in your review. I always find it frustrating when someone dings a star but doesn’t explain why, forcing me to guess what went wrong. You can be gentle, e,g, saying that “One suggestion for improvement is for Mary and Jane to clean the bathroom before they leave.” Without an explanation, I don’t know if your complaint was reasonable or not.


Hi Janey, no, you’re not being unreasonable and, as sitters, we always try to leave the house clean and pleasant for the HO to return to. We admit that cleaning is not our forte but we do our very best. We had a horrible experience recently where we thought everything was fine with the HO including messages after she returned home, but then the review was dominated by her fury at the state of the house! She gave us 1* for cleanliness which was so vindictive and unreasonable. We were (and remain) hurt that she didn’t address the issue with us and given us more constructive feedback. THS won’t intervene re:reviews. Anyway, I hope this helps you to think about how to respond to your sitters &how not to!). Just to say, also, that it’s helpful to give sitters the heads up if cleanliness is particularly important to you, so they know to focus on it as a priority. Different people have different priorities in this respect. Good luck!


I’m so sorry you had that experience it sounds a bit over the top to me. I’m certainly not furious but the shower was particularly bad with great clumps of hair in the drain :weary:
After all the advice I did a nice review and only left one star off the cleaning one. If they ask me why I will explain.
Hope you have a better experience next time.

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Like others have said, definitely reasonable to expect a clean shower and bathroom especially. These are two parts of the home that can get gross quickly so it is so strange to me when homeowners mention that people appeared to clean most of the house but not those areas specifically.

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Yes please, writing the reason for deducting stars is important :heart:


I read your review. You could have said something like, “The house/bathroom was not as clean as I would have liked.” That is tactful without details. Good for you to give them only 4 stars for cleaning.

If you have not already given them some feedback personally, you might mention the bathroom to them. As others have said, that is “common sense” to clean the bathroom and especially to make sure there is no hair in the bathroom! Gross. They could do better in their housesitting adventures.

You should definitely return to your home in at least the condition you left it. For me, you should not leave more than 3 stars for cleaning and explain why. You had to come home and clean up the bathroom from their use. That’s not okay from my perspective. I would indicate how you left it and how you found it when you returned. To me, everyone should clean up after themselves at a minimum. They know someone has to do it if they did not.

I have sometimes couchsurfers (or via BeWelcome etc). They are guests. I do not expect them to do any vacuuming or scrubbing.

And do people really do that in Airbnb?

“Superficially clean” should be good enough. Certainly when those guests also took care of pets, and of their poo etc etc.


Hi @Janeyw36
The sitters should have left you with a clean house. So yes you should rightly mark and mention the lack of cleaning in your review.

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Yes I decided to do it via the stars ! They have sent a message asking why I only gave them 4 stars. I have replied in more detail explaining that the shower outlet was full of hair !!! I think it’s important to be honest but kind so hope they are not too offended.


As I hoped they have now asked me why I only gave them 4 stars for cleaning so I have explained in full. I kept it very polite and hope they don’t take offence.


We will have to agree to disagree.

I had a sitter recently who didn’t vacuum the floor of the living areas when she left and I was quite peeved that I had to vaccum after a long trip. She was obviously pretty livid when I gave her a 4/5 for clean and tidy - she also challenged me in a very passive aggressive way in the THS inbox and told me I should ‘include instructions for this in the guide’… I would think that vacuuming on vacating the property would be a given (also, it’s a tiny flat!). It left me feeling very uneasy as she wouldn’t let it lie. I really wish there was a way to block these kinds of people.


My mother taught me to leave anywhere I stay better than I found it. That is my rule if thumb. I like a clean refrigerator inside. If it’s not clean when I arrive it is when I leave.
Rule of thumb is probably to stay on top of the cleaning whilst you are there, and spend the last day cleaning or sprucing up to place.


Just realised my comments were outdated…
Good that you kept your comments kind and respectful. It can be very upsetting for sitters to get critical comments after completing a pet sit and doing their best. But if it’s done nicely, it might help them for the future