Comments from sitters

This is just a bit of advice to sitters. I was searching for a sitter and I, of course, read their reviews and the sitters comments on reviews and I would like to say one thing that I keep seeing and it bothers me so I thought I would say something.
Keep in mind that not only do I use sitters for my home but I am also a sitters. I have nothing but 5 star reviews so, understand where I am coming from.
I notice that when sitters get a bad review that some respond directly to that review and that is fine but the comment that gets my goat is, “We are sitting for free, so…blah blah blah.” Ok, You are NOT sitting for free. You are getting a (most likely) a very nice home at no cost, no taxes, no fees. You will probably use the rice and pasta, oil seasoning etcs and will save money cooking sometimes.
If you were in an airbnb you would be expected to clean, too. Stop acting like you get nothing out of the exchange. THS is supposed to be mutually beneficial and I believe it truly is but when I see a comment like that, you can believe I will never have that person sit for me. And, I get it. When someone has something negative to sa about you, it can be hurtful but I can overlook some complaints, depending on the severity of the problem, but, when I see a sitter saying, " I am sitting for free". I’m thinking you have the wrong attitude for this site.


Airbnb guests are not expected to clean. However, it has become common lately for them to be charged for cleaning.



It costs money to do housesitting. Most of that is travel and nights in paid accommodation.

The only thing HOs see when they get back (what some seem to be searching for!) is things like a bit of pasta in the kitchen sink and missing ice cubes in the fridge.

In an airbnb I would not have pets waking me up in the night. I would not have to get up early to walk a dog. I could stay out all day without worrying about accidents that I would have to clean up. My comings and goings would not be scrutinized with cameras.

Personally I do not care much about the market price of the real estate that I am sitting in. Especially in the “nicer” ones, it seems rare that the HO allows guests. I am just as comfortable in an ordinary home.

For short stays, a pet sit is not worth the hassle for me.


I think we can all agree that HO get the better deal when things like potential Boarding Costs are considered, if not using sitters.
Also, sitters travelling costs can be quite expensive too, it is their choice to accept the sit though.


At the end of the day, when all the dollars and cents have been counted, it is my firm belief that THS’s free sits are financially more beneficial to pet owners than pet sitters.

As for the ‘I do it for free’ attitude, it is my observation that such a response is almost always provoked by pet owners’ unreasonable demands and/or complaints.


I’ll rephrase to ‘home owners benefit most financially’ We can all agree on that surely.

I did state it was the sitters choice, no need for you to raise that point again really.

You are making it a them and us argument which shouldn’t be the case. I suggest you agree to disagree, with most people, close the thread and move on.

Onwards and upwards :grinning:


I agree with you @Hallt64
I don’t like the way this thread is going.


Must say I have never seen a review where the sitter has used these terms but I’m happy to concede that some may have responded to negative reviews in this way. If that was the case I would imagine the red flags would have been waving for you anyway. As a HO you are in control of the catalyst resource so the power is in your hands. Choose whomever you feel most comfortable with. Going in (for the HO or sitter) with the right attitude is the key. If you see trapdoors everywhere you inevitably will be cautious.



why the need to create such an aggressive and divisive post? It’s not an us and them.

Better to keep harmony and come here for some positive vibes :sparkles:

Edited to meet posting guidelines


This is a weird comment, particularly since it sounds like you’re talking specifically about replies to reviews? Not just a flat-out review.

I’m sure that there are many sitters who would not reply at all in such instances, but if they do, I don’t think it’s unprofessional to state that they’re not being paid for the responsibilities.

Just swap “we do this for free” to “we are not being financially compensated” in your head when you read the replies. Very often the HO asks are well and above what a paid sitter would do (personal errands, excessive and undisclosed cleaning, hours of garden maintenance, managing an AirBNB, etc), and there’s nothing wrong with trying to course correct that in a reply.


Seems like there’s back story that provoked the OP. Shrug.

Previously, various sitters have delivered the same msg much more effectively. I appreciated that, so I’ll be prepared when/if I end up with an upset host and a bad review.

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I am so sorry!! I truly was not trying to be divisive or mean or any of those things. As I said, I use sitters and I house and pet sit and I have nothing but five star reviews. I guess maybe I write poorly and for that, I apologize. No harm meant.
The point I was trying to make is that I was looking at sitters and I saw a sitter with mostly good reviews, any complaints I sw were not terrible but not too nit picky either. ANd, As i said, the sitter responded and that is fine but, I guess my point is that I was thinking of having her sit for us, until I saw that comment. It just rubbed me the wrong way and maybe it is just me.
I do apologize and I really meant n harm.


We’re sitters exclusively and I found myself agreeing with your comments. Coming at your point from a different perspective I’ve never considered us to be sitting for free - it’s an exchange of services and while the sitter gets (hopefully) a nice place to stay, they in return offer care of pets and home, security, assurance etc etc. We’ve had sits where we’ve saved the HO’s thousands of dollars in food because we were there when the power went off (for a week) and were able to arrange alternative storage for frozen food, or cleaned up the property after flood damage. It comes with the turf.
It’s hard to determine who the balance of the exchange might favour, and we don’t give it much thought; we’ve had easy sits and we’ve had difficult sits but it’s a lifestyle we like for all sorts of reasons, and yes we also are five-star sitters with over fifty sits; we select carefully, we communicate carefully, and we spend a lot of effort to keep HO’s happy, because it’s our ‘golden rule’; do unto others.
And lastly, it really grinds my gears when I see certain publications promoting the chance to “travel the world and pay nothing in accomodation!”. That’s not what it’s about.


I don’t think we can say that home owners or sitters benefit most financially or in any other way in general terms. I t is an agreement between two parties and as long as both parties are honest and fulfill the terms of the agreement, we can say it is mutually beneficial and there’s no point in trying to weigh who gets the most of it.
Of course, there are some situations where one party is unfair to the other ( HO or sitter) but if everyone is honest, there’s no problem because nobody is forced to apply for a sitting or to choose one particular sitter. If both parties agree to the clear terms of a sitting, then, for them it is a fair deal even if other people don’t see it that way.


Thank you for this post, which speaks from the bottom of my heart as a HO.

It’s this eternal victim mentality and I wonder when I read these sitters why they even do sits, why don’t they just travel somewhere and get a hotel or Airbnb if they feel like they’re in the victim position.


I am deeply convinced that if a sitter has the attitude that he will do a sit for free, then he is in the absolutely wrong place here.

This is an equal exchange and not slavery or any kind of exploitation of a sitter.

If a sitter sees it like that, I think there is something subtly aggressive about it and then I think he is here in the wrong place and he should get a hotel if he wants to travel.

I even believe that this attitude of sitters should no longer be tolerated by trusted housetters.


Both sides do benefit from a sit but you have to consider that the sit arises from the pet owner’s need. Before there was THS and similar sites, if a homeowner didn’t want to kennel their pet, they would have to impose on a friend or relative – not practical for a long sit – or pay for a live-in sitter, which can be quite expensive. Thinking of this on a scale of unpaid sitter – a friend or relative who you would consider a house guest – to paid sitter who is compensated for specified duties – a THS sitter should be thought of as closer to a house guest. That means the THS person should not be burdened with chores and a cleaning standard that you would not expect of a house guest.


Well, in this case, your pet is there. Leaving their hair all over the place, etc. The sitter is already cleaning up after the dog and the cat, but no that does not seem to be enough.

I will have a BeWelcome guest here later this week. I expect that she will throw her trash in the bin, but not that she would empty the bin. I do not expect her to do any vacuuming, laundering, dusting, bathroom scrubbing, window cleaning, cleaning out the drains, cleaning the oven, etc etc. Just as with the Polish chess player a few weeks ago.

In my mind, expecting a house guest to do that kind of chores is not hospitality.


@Catme sometimes what the sitter gets is a lot of hassle, a dirty house, unruly animals and unrealistic expectations from the host- yet the host gets their home & animals cared for at no cost. In such cases the sitter will not feel they have benefitted from the arrangement. They will feel exploited. Unfortunately we have experienced that. At the other extreme we’ve had luxury homes, generous hosts and easy pets. There we felt treated warmly, and with respect, like honoured guests and appreciated for our efforts.
And we’ve experienced everything in between.
When a sitter says they sit for free that is true as they are not paid. However, depending on the sit, they may feel they get a great exchange or they may just feel used like cheap labour.
Ideally a sit should feel like a balanced exchange for all parties but it is often not the case.


I would like to know which AIRBNB do not expect for you to clean. I have been using them for several years and am always advised and instructed that I need to leave it the way it was found when I first arrived.


We have a upscale home and I would be very distressed if somebody left our home dirty and unorganized. Please tell me this does not happen because we are going to use this service for the first time in April.

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