Disappointing sits in the same city

Recently, I had the worst sit I’ve ever experienced with my partner.

For context, we’ve been on the platform a while, and done sits in various different countries, for a range of different pets and people. Our feedback so far has been glowing, and we worked really hard to achieve that.

Recently, we’ve been speaking to Edinburgh homeowners, and doing a few Edinburgh sits.

I wanted to publish this thread as a warning, after falling foul of our latest sit, as I know the policy is typically not to leave bad reviews (which is stupid) and we found this out the hard way.

On our last sit:

  • The homeowner lied about the fact she would be staying at the property with us for the initial part of the sit, and only sprung this on us when arrived
  • She also informed us her daughter would have unrestricted access to the property and would be ‘dropping in’ from time to time to pick things up. When I asked if the daughter could schedule in advance and let us know the HO got agitated. Later, when I locked the front door, the HO got very agitated and told me I must never do this in case someone needs to access the property.
  • We were provided a small room to sleep in with no drawers or cupboard space. There was a large cupboard (locked and full of HO clothes) and lots of drawers (also all full of HO stuff). When politely asking where we might store our clothes, HO became agitated and said previous sitter just lived out of a suitcase, then started swearing under her breath and ripping clothes out of one drawer in front of us.
  • We arrived at the sit at agreed time, but due to fact HO lied about her staying at property, she sprung on us she wanted to do a long walk with the dog and various other things. We had planned to arrive and later eat. We explained this and that we could do what she wanted but we’d need to go out and get dinner + basic groceries as we’d both worked all day and arrived at dinner time. HO proceeded to harass with me messages on both WhatsApp and THS asking when I will be back then had a tantrum and took the dogs for a walk on her own and made us very incredibly uncomfortable about it when we did not get back in time to her desired schedule (that she had never previously communicated to us). When we arrived back sure she proceeded to berate us about this.
  • To add insult to injury, it was a 7 bedroom apartment with two living rooms. The main living room was locked, and we were allowed the sparest spare room and the dogs living room to inhabit. When I asked if we should wipe the dogs paws to keep it clean the HO waved her hand and said oh don’t worry it’s disgusting already.
  • In the end, we had to cancel the sit, based on THS advice, due to concerns for our privacy and safety, and the increasing agitation of the HO.

My impression after doing lots of calls and several sits is that to them, we are just live in servants. I have been lied to more times in a few months than years worth of time on the platform, and treated so incredibly poorly that it’s made me reconsider using the platform.

If I seem jaded and bitter about this, I am, but I just want to try and help other people avoid falling into the same situation.

(edited by Forum team to meet Community Guidelines)


Don’t worry about sounding jaded, I’m sure you’ll get your heart back and get back to good sits on the platform. It’s invaluable to share this info so other sitters don’t go through it and so the platform can evolve accordingly. As TH spreads, many of us are in uncharted waters. Thank you!!! And I hope you can rest and recover for a while.


I’d be interested if any sitters who enjoyed their Edinburgh sits passed on their experiences. I’m sure not all sitters experience this and unfair to suggest the majority of HO there are not nice.
The sit you described did seem unpleasant though, I must agree.

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@Dogsandcatsandfun - what a shame your first posting on the forum is about a negative experience.

With regard to reviews - there is now a blind review system and we owe it to each other to leave fair and honest reviews. There is no ‘policy’ as such but I would agree that in the past most members left 5* reviews (unless it was a particularly bad experience), for fear of retaliation.
The blind review system also allows you to mark several separate categories.

Did you leave a review of each other on this occasion?

Your title alarmed me as I am booked to sit in a ‘fancy’ apartment in Edinburgh in a weeks time. I hope my HO is an exception to the rule :crossed_fingers:

** I just noticed the sit was cancelled so it is highly unlikely there is a review to warn other sitters **

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There are half a million residents in Edinburgh.

I don’t think it’s fair to tar them all with the same brush!

For the sake of balance, we have done several great sits in Edinburgh, most recently in June '23, and would return in a heartbeat if invited.


Did you review them???

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Sadly, this kind of lack of transparency and treatment of sitters isn’t just specific to Edinburgh! We’ve had a couple of problematic sits this year - both came down to misrepresentation and lack of transparency by Homeowners, but there was a strong feeling of being seen as “less-than” or the unpaid help; a feeling of being disrespected by people who have a lot, and saw us as merely as free labor (not humans with whom they were meant to be collaborating and cooperating)!


Hmm… it seems that you’ve had some rather negative experiences, which is a shame. It’s understandable to be frustrated and upset, but I don’t think an entire city can be judged by a few listings and experiences of owners that clearly have the wrong impression of THS. There are always listings and owners like this, no matter where the location. Some owners out there don’t quite understand the platform and the idea of a mutually beneficial exchange, and would certainly benefit from a mindset shift and clearer understanding of what the platform is and who it’s designed for. The same thing can be said for some sitters out there too. The best thing we can do is to help keep the community informed about THS as a mutually beneficial exchange through helping both owners and sitters with their profiles and any queries they have about the purpose of THS.

It’s certainly not policy to leave positive reviews only, and many forum members continually encourage others to leave honest, factual reviews that help the community. I understand it is frustrating though when a sitter (or owner) hasn’t been truthful.

Sorry to hear that you’ve had some poor experiences, but I’m sure there are some wonderful sits in and around Edinburgh too - I’ve seen plenty. THS is a certainly a mixed bag… to quote Gattuso - “Sometimes maybe good, sometimes maybe sh*t” :joy:

The best thing to do is carefully select the sits you apply for, ask lots of questions and always have a video call with them to determine if it’s a good fit for you.


Great blog - thank you :pray:


@Twitcher - there’s a lovely discussion started by @Maggie8K which you might find interesting reading as well! Here’s the link :slight_smile:


Hi @Dogsandcatsandfun

I am so sorry you’ve had some challenging experiences in the same city, but as others have said, I don’t think it’s fair to generalise about all HO in the same city as every sit experience is unique. With that in mind I’ve had to moderate your post to meet our Community Guidelines. The Forum can help and support you in making sure your sits are better in future, unrelated to their location.

There’s no policy about leaving good reviews, as others have said, your reviews should be honest. You should also reach out to Membership Services while on a sit if you have any concerns about how it’s going.

It’s great to see members chipping in with their own positive experiences, and I also shared a great post by a member who visited Edinburgh, as this balances things out a bit.

I think the best way to move this discussion forward would be to focus on how to prevent challenging sits like this in future, and I can see some really helpful responses already.

Thanks to everyone who has already given some fantastic advice!



I completely understand how you feel, when you have an experience like this it does make you question your desisions and how you could have made the mistake of agreeing to this kind of sit. Like you we had done quite a few sits and pride ourselves on our 5 star reviews, we had never had a bad sit and then arrived at one to see that the pictures the home owner had put up were the ones from when the house had been up for sale and in reality the house was not as presented! They also lied about various things regarding the sit, we made the best of a bad job and completed the sit, but it made us really worry about any future sits. All i can say to you is to make a list of things and make sure you ask the relevant questions when you do a face time call with the HO. A good idea if you are unsure is to ask for a walk round of the property while on the face time call and ask what parts you will be using!
I’ve read some real nightmare stories on this forum that have caused me real concern, it does seem like some home owners who use this platform have no respect for the sitter, but in nearly 40 sits we’ve never been made to feel that way. Put this awful experience behind you and use what you’ve learned to hopefully ensure it doesnt happen again.


@Dogsandcatsandfun sorry to hear of your experience. It’s good to know that THS supported your decision to leave the sit . I understand that you want to warn any future sitters so they don’t encounter the same issues.

Did member services explain the process for raising a formal member dispute ? If you raise an official member dispute - THS will investigate and they can remove members from the platform . They can only do this is you raise a dispute and provide the evidence needed .

This is the best way to prevent other sitters from having a similar experience.


I think being honest is always the best policy. I appreciate it when I hear the truth on either HO or sitters side. This is how we communicate, and it’s all about communication. I can appreciate your strength in trying to make this sit a good experience, but a sitter can only take so much. It seems to me that I’m seeing more and more sits that are asking for more then what a sit would entail. And the benefits for the sitters not being quit equal.

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What a stressful experience.
How did the lady seem on the video-call?

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I wish there were percentages on how many disputes filled with THS resulted in any action. I’ve raised two, both in which HO’s were violating multiple THS policies, provided written backup, and absolutely nothing was done. Personally, I don’t think they even looked into the issues. A very time consuming process just to receive dismissive responses.


@lou28 you can also appeal the decision (another fact that isn’t often publicised by member services )

How to appeal a decision

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can request this to be reviewed by a senior member of our Membership Services department

You will be required to send your request via email to support@trustedhousesitters.comapplying the subject line ‘Complaint Appeal’

Your appeal will then be reviewed by a senior member of our Membership Services team who may contact you for further information if required

The ruling on you appeal will be delivered within 14 days of receipt”

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My experience is that the various layers of the process and time that it takes is not worth it.

Do you mean the dispute thing? If yes, I agree. They ask you for lots of proof and offer pretty much no emotional support. I had two bad sits that I considered reporting, but in the end the stressful process put me off.
In truth, if things go badly, you’re pretty much on your own.
Thankfully, my last bad sit was in October 2023, and I have done loads of sitting since, so the “bad eggs” are in the minority.


Yes, the dispute process. Like the claim process, it’s much more confusing and archaic than it should be. Perhaps so people will give up. Both are via email chains in which your asked the same questions and for the same documents over and over. Most modern businesses have online portals for such situations, where you upload documents, provide information, and are given a claim/filing number for reference. For a company valued for as much as it is ($100M) whose profits are made from members, it’s a bit stunning.

The bad eggs might not be the majority, but I’ve encountered enough that I know from experience there are too many. I’d say 10% of sits I’ve done or applied for the HO’s were violating policies. So not about my personal like/dislike, but items putting people in harms way (animals with behavior issues, special needs animals, open firearms, health issues due to lack of cleanliness, demanding access to home by outside parties, lack of basic security, illegal rental units).