Dirty houses

Yes I agree.
It seems so obvious, yet I too had never thought of it like that!

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I’ve spent a lot of time reading the forum but have only recently joined in order to start posting. We’ve really enjoyed all we have learned from other sitters and HOs. We’ve also completed a lot of sits (both here and via other sites) so hope we have some value to contribute.
I’m sorry that my first post might come across as negative, but it is really trying to be helpful. We love the housesitting world and so much about THS, and think THS will be more successful as a platform by being more equal in its approach.
I am struck by the irony of THS is posting about the imbalance of sits to sitters right now and advising HOs to stick in there with their membership fees and write a better post to attract more sitters. Yet at the same time, THS enhancing so many things for HOs to select sitters (the verifications, sneaky new features like this that are ONLY for HO and sitters aren’t even informed they exist) but not doing anything to improve the ability for sitters to have a complete view into sits (ie, if other sitters could leave an honest review without fear of retribution via the double blind system like Airbnb and have an option like this one HO have, etc.) Clearly the technology exists and yet THS has been promising to revamp the review system for years and it is still on the “next year” list for sitters, but already being improved for owners.
From the sitter point of view, it is hard not to feel that THS is catering to HO’s and then wondering why sitters are leaving this platform for others where there is a more even ground. Is this a corporate decision that has been made that the best way to make THS profitable is to make HOs the priority? We all pay membership fees and the platform needs both HS and HO to thrive.
Angela or Vanessa, are you able to share your views on this?
Thank you,


I’m both a HO and a petsitter. When posting to petsit, I invite prospective HO’s to view my HO post. I figure if they can see my house, they may realize that I prefer to stay in clean houses. I also state in my sitter profile that clean, non-smoking households are important to me.

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The issue of dirty homes has been on my mind for years as a member. I know I’m a bit of a germaphobe and usually sanitize all surfaces like as I would for a hotel/Airbnb stay, as soon as I arrive for the sit.
Maybe 40% of the time, I spend a half day or more cleaning on my first day. I don’t mind and understand some clutter, but some homes were impossible - i.e. - couldn’t get the bathroom clean enough to rid of the urine smell; I couldn’t wait for the sit to be over. Often, I find clumps of dust and clothes under or corner - recently spotted an open half-eaten granola bar by the feet of a sofa.
I have yet to leave a negative feedback because most owners are really nice. I’m hoping TH adopts review/feedback system like Airbnb - when it’s only visible after each left a review within a certain time frame. This way, you can leave a more honest feedbacks. Can we petition for this?


I’ve been in the same situation where you find the house in a not to clean state and eventually you kind a leave a thank you feedback post, but I didn’t give 5 stars but 4 stars because of several reasons. Especially to warn the other sitters.
An ability to contact other sitters to ask their opinion about their previous housesit would be nice. Sometimes you are wondering why people aren’t leaving any reviews… than it would come in handy to double check…


I honestly urge ALL sitters to leave honest reviews, if only for your fellow sitters!

I walked away from a dirty sit the
last sit I had, the day I arrived.

Sadly I cannot seemingly leave a review now as I didn’t “complete the sit” so any poor future sitters will have no idea what they are rocking up to!

When I contacted a previous sitter of the HO that did not leave a review, he said “well the place wasn’t clean at all, but it sounds like you found it in a far worse state than I did“.

It’s seriously time to address this for us sitters.


Did you report it to THS?

I am about to go on a house sit where the HO informed me in person when I met, that they are in the process of moving in a few weeks after the sit so I hope that I don’t get a nasty surprise when I arrive. I really liked them when I met them. I will probably take photos of how I found the place when I get there. They have collectables and things I will make sure that we won’t touch anything we are not supposed to. I even found a gift for her when we finish up to leave on the table whether I am happy or not.
The pets are lovely. The location is nice as it is near a beach. They were absolutely lovely people when we met them so I am not going to let my anxieties get in the way of this.

That’s horrible. I am a sitter but one day I will be using this site to get a sitter for my home.
I am pretty sure that the HO is expected to have a presentable home for the sitter upon arrival right? There are requirements for them. Hopefully this one is reported to THS? Did the person you communicated with report them as well?


Hi @claresitsdogs
I am so sorry to hear about your experience.
Good on you for walking away on the day that you arrived. I have always wondered what we would do if that happened to us. I know that Mr itchyfeet would have no qualms about it but I would be concerned that I would have my membership cancelled.
Did you agree with the HO that you could walk away?

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By saying you would return to a sit, I take it to mean that the sitter is comfortable with the standards maintained by the owner and the interactions have been very good. It is a clear way of saying that it was a good sit. It does not necessarily mean you would go back but gives future people some idea of whether it was good or not.


Good idea, I like this ‘code’

I’m a homeowner and homeowners expect to return to clean homes. I don’t know why a house sitter wouldn’t expect to come to a clean home. I think we’re both supposed to leave honest reviews. If you saw photos of a clean house and you arrived to a filthy house I think it’s either appropriate to leave and say something or leave an honest review!!


Mind you, one time we needed to stay somewhere as we were house hunting in that area and were offered a sit (through another site). Gotta say that the standards were not up to mine but as we saved £700 in hotel bills I was happy to spend time cleaning the place top to bottom and we bought ourselves some nicer sheets and towels. The owner was so thrilled which was really nice for me because we were so grateful to save on hotel bills and the little pet we cared for was adorable.


I didn’t know that!

Yes, that’s right. Even in the review section the word “clean” is not mentioned, only “tidy”. We video chatted to our sitter frequently and the place looked very tidy. Our cat had been using the carpet behind some furniture as a litter tray and the sitter somehow didn’t notice, but burned joss sticks to cover the pong!

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Wow, that’s so unfortunate. We have the opposite issue (as owners). There could be maybe a section on this site - a checklist - for both owners and sitters. Sounds like you might be a good fit for us in the future :grin:

I couldn’t agree more. We all need to be honest in our reviews or we are letting down our fellow sitters (and likewise, HOs are letting down other HOs if they don’t leave honest reviews about sitters.)


Sitters are reviewed and rated on a star system in five categories, homeowners aren’t, it’s simply unfair….


Just curious, what specifically was dirty? That could potentially help us HOs better prepare.

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