Experiences and a Suggestion for a Rating Category

Dear fellow housesitting enthusiasts,

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their housesitting adventures. I wanted to share some thoughts and concerns based on our personal experiences, with the hope of initiating a constructive discussion on how to improve the overall housesitting experience for everyone involved.

My partner and I have completed six housesitting assignments so far, and unfortunately, we encountered cleanliness issues in two or three of those homes. While this doesn’t represent the majority of our experiences, it is still a significant concern that we believe should be addressed within the community.

In these instances, we found that the homeowners seemed to have little regard for maintaining a clean and tidy living environment. This made our stay less enjoyable and left us feeling uneasy, despite our love for the pets we were caring for. We believe that basic cleanliness and order are essential aspects of hospitality and respect when inviting someone into your home.

In light of our experiences, we propose the introduction of a new rating category specifically focused on the cleanliness of the homes being offered for housesitting. This would allow potential housesitters to make more informed decisions and encourage homeowners to maintain a higher standard of cleanliness. Personally, we have no problem with having our own cleanliness evaluated, as housesitting is about taking care of both pets and the home itself.

We are curious to hear about your experiences and thoughts on this matter, and we welcome any suggestions on how we, as a community, can work together to improve the housesitting experience for all parties involved. Thank you for taking the time to read and engage with our concerns, and we look forward to a fruitful discussion on this topic.

Best regards, Maria


Hi Maria
I completely agree with you- there should be an opportunity for sitters to rate hosts on cleanliness. We too, like many here, have encountered homes where a good deep clean is necessary on arrival before being able to settle into the sit. Unfortunately the current system is that hosts can review sitters in 5 categories- including clean & tidy- with 1-5 :star: but sitters can only give feedback and a general over all rating of 1-5 :+1: There is no way to rate cleanliness separately except to specifically mention it or to avoid any mention of it and let sitters read between the lines!
The review/feedback theme has been an issue for years, and has long been on the cards for reform but we are still waiting…

The recent newsletter suggested a new rating system is rolling out, hopefully soon. I’m sure it will cover this. I hear your frustrations, but until then there’s no point rehashing the severely lacking current system. For now sitters just need to be open and honest in their reviews rather than skipping the review entirely, which can be misleading and helps no one. Sorry my fellow HO’s have let you down.


Thank you for bring this up, as a new sitter and as a person who cleans before the house cleaner shows up, it didn’t occur to me that HOs would have the place clean and tidy before our arrival. I will add this to my checklist for the interview questions.

Hi Maria,
I agree this is a huge issue and I really hope the new rating system allows sitters to rate homeowners on cleanliness (and also other things such as accuracy of the listing). While most of the sits I’ve done have been extremely clean, about 25% have major cleanliness issues. To me, that’s far too many. We really should not expect to arrive at dirty homes in 1 out of every 4 sits. It seems some homeowners are expecting maid service from sitters upon arrival. I’ve really enjoyed most of my sits and I absolutely love all the pets, but I find it very disrespectful to arrive to a dirty home where they’ve clearly not given any thought to the fact that someone will be staying in their home.

@Maria_Mike , @Shafofo says, the updated review system that will soon be rolled out is supposed to include category ratings for sitters, so sit tight.

I sometimes think that sitters could ask HOs with unclean homes if they could recommend a cleaning service that the sitters could engage, and be reimbursed for.

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The problem is, everyone has differing standards for cleanliness. And I say this as someone who could be described as obsessively clean. People who aren’t that clean often don’t think they’re unclean, I’d hazard.

I did a sit that turned out to be dirty enough that, had pets not been involved, I would’ve left. Previous sitters never mentioned anything about such elements, and their reviews were five stars. The pets were sweethearts. I still miss them.

I cleaned what I needed to feel OK about staying. And I didn’t write a review, because I realize that other people don’t have the same standards about cleanliness, but I could never write a positive one for such a dirty house.