Comments from sitters

As someone who is a sitter/guest member on THS but previously had animals (dogs & cats) most of my life, I’d agree that all-in-all HO’s benefit more on this site. I paid a lot for my animals care through dog walkers, sitters, boarding. A LOT. And I never asked for those paid caretakers to do anything beyond pet care.

If I had someone doing those things for free, taking care of my beloved pets and making sure they were safe, I’d make sure my home was clean, uncluttered, stocked, and the guest felt respected and welcome.


I agree completely and get equally irked when homeowners say they’re giving free accommodations. No. Both are offering an equal exchange.

Today, I saw, in a Facebook group, a homeowner complaining about cleaning their home before a sitter comes saying, “I’m not running an AirBnB.” Is a sitter supposed to stay in filth? I’m sure homeowners expect sitters to clean-up after themselves.

Mutual respect is not difficult.


@Annette_Lars, Just in case you missed it, personal cleanliness is not the topic, but rather the cleaning requirement of Airbnbs by guests or lack thereof. I joined Airbnb in 2011, (could be even earlier), and not once have I been asked to clean the place. However, I was charged for the cleaning beginning some 5 years ago.

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That seems exaggerated.

For “personal demand for cleanliness”? I must admit that my own standards are not very high. I don’t mind my own dirt so much.

But today there will come a BeWelcome guest. So I must try to stop procrastinating on this forum and do some more cleaning. And putting back stuff to where it belongs, restoring free surfaces for the guest, etc.


Airbnb either makes you pay extra for cleaning after you’ve left or the fee is already included in the rental price. It is certainly NOT for free either way.

(edited by Forum team as per our Community Guidelines)


Hello everyone,

Just popping on with a reminder of the Community Guidelines when replying to this topic, specifically around being kind and respectful even if we disagree with others.

It’s ok not to agree with someone, but it’s not ok to single them out and make personal comments. Some comments were flagged to the team so I’ve done some moderation to bring things back on track.

With regards to the topic in general, I think that @ElsieDownie said it best:

“It’s all about finding a good match so communication is a must. If a request is too much walk away. Like everything else in life no one gets on with everyone. Watch out for red flags and heed them.”

There’s some valuable advice on this thread, so it’d be great to keep things running smoothly.

Jenny :slight_smile:


I don’t know (of course) about other sittings but if someone sits for me I offer to take from fridge and pantry everything they can use. I provide as much information about the area that might be of interest to visit and even provide 'memberships, free entrances etc. If they have no car they can use mine. I know it’s a ‘tit-for-tat’. About the ‘price’ to get to a house sit: if someone goes on a ‘regular’ vacation one would have to get there which costs money of course, has to pay for the rental, maybe even a rental car and the cost of living there. Even airb&b’s are not cheap, at least not in the area where I live.

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Fortunately, I’ve not had a bad review as I go out of my way to ensure the housesitter (s) are comfortable and very appreciated. I even bring home gifts for them.
My experience of those who have sat for us are

  1. they have their own home that they rent out. This is really common amongst local housesitters.
  2. they are staying with family and pay rent and like to have a break.
  3. They are using BnB in-between sits and are paying rent while in those BnB. If they weren’t housesitting they would be paying long-term rent.

As a sitter I expect to clean up after myself and to leave the home fresh and clean for when the owners return.
I wouldn’t knowingly apply for or accept a sit where the home didn’t come up to my standard of cleanliness and order.


@Simonetta55 if cleanliness is a priority for you I recommend that when choosing a sitter look at their previous reviews and comments . It’s easy to spot sitters who prioritise taking care of your home as well as your pets.

We are sitters and our reviews from homeowners have been
“ the house was immaculate on our return”
“ our dog xx and house were looked after to the highest standard ”
“ the house very well looked after”
“they take the greatest care of our cat, the house and the garden”
“ the house was immaculate when they left.”
“ Came home to very clean house and very happy dogs”

This might seem obvious but it’s often overlooked . We have just completed a sit where the vacuum cleaner wasn’t working so keeping that clean with two shedding dogs that was a challenge! We have quite often had to purchase our own cleaning cloths because we couldn’t find any. So please provide do provide ample cleaning products and tell your sitter ( in your welcome guide ) where the vacuum/ mop / broom and cleaning products can be found.


I think cleaning fees may depend on the country. The U.S. Always had cleaning fees extra, which made it not worthwhile to book an Airbnb for just a day or two. So, they may have only been added later in other countries

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I’m an airbnb super host. It’s up to us as hosts (whatever the country) if we add cleaning fees to our lettings or not. Some do, some don’t.

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There is context to what I said.

The whole point about an exchange is that breaking it down to a dollar amount is ridiculous.
The 10 days I spent in San Fransisco in a clean comfy apartment with great cats would not have been possible without THS. The lodging would have cost at least $200 a night so the trip wouldn’t have happened. Yes, I incurred expenses: airfare, food, etc. But it was still less than half of what we would have had to spend. And we also “saved” the $500 we would’ve had to spend on petcare. So if I do the math – as a combined sitter I was able to travel with my spouse to San Fransisco and spend 10 nights for the price of airfare alone. No lodging, no petcare. My sitter, was able to get a great deal. Visit NYC for 10 days for just airfare! The people I sat for were able to get a great deal: Go on a cruise for 10 days with family and not pay for cat care. Everyone had to spend some money. Everyone saved money.

Fretting over who is getting “the better” deal is absurd. It may vary from sit to sit and is entirely subjective. The point should be if you don’t feel you are getting a good deal, you probably shouldn’t be doing it – as either a sitter or a homeowner. I certainly don’t want a anyone watching my cats who isn’t having a good time and I wouldn’t go on a sit that didn’t leave me time to go out and enjoy myself. (I recognize that bad stuff could happen in which case, I might not have a good time, but that’s the risk I take.)


Off topic but I’ve always wanted to know and been afraid to ask: Does Airbnb get a cut of the cleaning fee or does that all go to you to pay the cleaner or DIY?

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Hello, good question. They essentially get a percentage (about 14% these days and it used to be 3%! :flushed:) so whatever extras you add then Airbnb take a cut including cleaning. Does that make sense @Marion?

Wow. That’s the thing about those “partnership” apps. It’s almost like paying the mob for “protection.”

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I totally agree. I could not imagine leaving a home messy or dirty for a homeowner to return to. It is a give and take and my first sit was such a great exchange that the more hospitable and friendly they were the more I wanted to do for them. Marriott’s policy is that management to take excellent care of their employees and they will take extra care of the customers. Paying it forward!


As a sitter I am excited to be with your animals and that is what really drives me. I am also wanting the homeowners to not have to worry about anything while they are traveling so I am eager to learn what your needs are and now see the value of a Welcome Manual to clarify expectations, etc. we want to make you feel comfortable and happy-or at least I do and I would hope the homeowners would want the same. We are all taking a risk when using this service and it really boils down to good communication, clear and written expectations, and consideration for the other party. It can work very well. Just look for people with good reviews and talk to them. See how you feel and what you perceive when you do. I just learned the hard way not to paint red flags green with this last house sit I did and it was very stressful and upsetting and I could not sleep or eat for 2 days until I got out. I posted about this in Nightmare Sit. My first sit was the opposite and the owners were gracious, thoughtful, and inviting. They did everything thing they could to make it a pleasant and successful visit and I was more than happy to do anything I could for them. I really think it’s about finding out if the people are open to this, excited, and if they seem like they really care about your needs and your animals. That would be my best advice. Cheers!

I agree. Just left a nightmare sit at a nicer home that I later found had a lot of deferred maintenance. I felt tolerate instead of welcome and the owners couldn’t be bothered to take care of the major issues or give a written Welcome Manual so I could know what they wanted. The previous homeowners was the polar opposite. The people were warm and inviting and actually cared about me as I did them. The nightmare one seemed to be more concerned with her stuff not getting used or messed up than the human being taking care of her animals.

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Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? My Nightmare Sit I posted about said that I was benefitting by staying in her home for free but boy did I pay a huge price of stress, fear, and resentment when I realized she totally misled me and had multiple issues in the home which made it uncomfortable and actually a big hassle. I appreciate a good cup of coffee in the am, a good nights sleep, a shower, the ability to do my laundry, be able to open and close doors in the house easily without them sticking or struggling, privacy without cameras watching me continually, oh and to be able to do #2 in the bathroom by my room. An extra roll of toilet paper in the house would have been nice too.