Feedback on new ‘5 applications and freeze’ system?

I really REALLY would like to sit again in the UK and other parts of Europe as well. Before the five limit, I had very little trouble acquiring sits and had a wonderful six months sitting in various locations across Scotland and England, all through THS. These were acquired, without too much trouble, before the five rule came into play.

But now, being Australian, I just cannot afford to fly to the UK “in the hope of snagging a sit” by actually being in the country when a new sit is posted. I need close to back to back sits or little time between, to make the long and very expensive journey worthwhile, so if I can initially only manage to snag one sit from Oz, it’s just not financially, or mentally, viable.

I have held off renewing my membership as this is a very real issue for me and unless I stay awake 24 hours a day, I cannot justify the cost of membership if my chances are now so very much slimmer than before. It really disappoints me that TH has gone down this path as I used to recommend to a lot of people, both HO’s and HS’s to join but certainly don’t anymore. Very disappointed to say the least and I know I’m not the only one in my situation who feels the same.

I am on a Facebook Housesitters group also and recently replied to a question from a new TH member asking a question on there. She had recently joined but had no idea about the five rule and she was like WHAT! So many new HO’s and HS’s obviously are not aware of this thing so what is written up as a great idea can oft times turn into a what have I done.

It takes a strong person to admit they are wrong so I honestly wish TH could see the harm and discontent this is causing so many (the majority IMO) and change this rule. Come on guys, the majority seems to be speaking. Bring back what was once a fantastic site to be a member of.


EVERYDAY there are so many sits I can’t apply to. I find it very disappointing


Why not just pass on this thread if you feel it is pointless? Some people care and want to express their opinion. Trying to control other people is equally futile.


I’m not sure it will. Have you noticed that, thankfully, the forum isn’t being as over policed at it was? Which is a good thing :joy: Only thing is, we’ll be going over the same old ground more


To date, the freezing of 5 applicants hasn’t affected me at all. I must be picking the sits no one else wants :joy:


@Smiley I’m not sure but from what I read on your posts, a lot of your sits have recently been in Australia and New Zealand. I think a possibility is that we have two sites here which are free for homeowners to register and for sitters they are half the cost of TH. I have absolutely no trouble at all finding sits on these two sites in Oz and am booked out permanently. So a good deal of people here use those sites over TH.

I could be wrong but probably less “locals” apply here on TH as there is so many sits available on the other two sites. That doesn’t, of course, deny the fact that you are obviously very suitable and sort after, not implying anything less. Just saying that people here “probably” choose the other two cheaper and higher content of sits available, over TH because of cost and percentage of sits available - without limits. :wink:

My preferred site is still TH, or was before the new ruling, and it’s great that you have no trouble acquiring sits.

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HO here, I received 7 applicants for my last sits before it paused. The system will actually accept applications that are in process even once it hits 5. Honestly I don’t think my brain could have processed more than that. So I get the frustration (I also am a sitter), but I also get the purpose. I’m not really sure what the solution is.


One possibility is to let HOs decide how many candidates to accept — someone like you could set a low threshold, while others could set a higher one.

Personally, I don’t host, but if I did, I’d be open to however many candidates applied. That’s because I’m decisive and, in my work life, I’ve done a lot of hiring.


This sounds like a great idea, since we all have different preferences.

If there was any evidence of this at all, I haven’t experienced it!

I apply to several sits at a time, and my time is first come first served. I have canceled a lot of applications lately, because the homeowner never bothered to respond.

It’s as if homeowners don’t know that sitters outnumber homeowners. Also, a lot of those homeowners - still - don’t even know that the number of applicants is frozen at five


I would like to see THS allow HOs to unpause without having to decline sitters

Once the 5 limit pause starts the HO can stay paused or unpause.
The suggestion by THS is if you decline a sitter and you don’t get another application you like, no worries, you can invite someone you declined and say, you’re good enough after all.

From THS FAQ on the rule
(Can I unpause my applications without declining the first 5 sitters?

If you wish to unpause your dates and receive more sitter applications, you will first need to decline your current sitter applications. This is to help speed up the application process and avoid any uncertainty for sitters. However, nothing will prevent owners from messaging any of the first 5 sitters they previously declined and inviting them back, if they wish so.)

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In the past, HOs could pause any time they wanted.
So you could pause at 7 if that was a big enough pool of applicants for you.
Others could pause at 17 or 27, or whenever they wanted.


This was posted on the forum September 2022.
It cites the reason for the 5 pause and results of the testing period…

What did the results show? We are always looking for ways to improve overall success on the platform. Previously, there were a couple of challenges: a small number of sitters taking a large majority of sits, and a small number of sits taking a large number of applications. This makes it extremely difficult for new sitters to find success on the platform, and means owners may fail to get applications.

As our community grows, it’s important that the platform works for all of our members - existing and new. This new process ensures a greater and more even distribution of sits and applications across the platform, which is a fair and positive change for our members. Ensuring sitter and owner success is also key in acquiring new owner and sitter members, which in turn creates more sit opportunities and sitters, benefitting all of our members.
Following our test, member success is now the best it has ever been. We are seeing:

Overall, there are more sits happening than ever before

New member success is higher than before the test, and the highest this year

A higher percentage of owners are getting more applications

Owners are now more responsive and confirming their sitters faster than ever before

Sitters are also receiving quicker responses to their applications

We are also pleased to say that the quality of care given to pets and homes by our sitters has remained consistently high throughout this test.

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A higher percentage of owners are getting more applications

I don’t get it. That must be the new math that parents are complaining about…

Owners are now more responsive and confirming their sitters faster than ever before

. DATA PLEASE ! because it sure doesn’t feel like it. I’ll look into my messages and see if this is the case.

Sitters are also receiving quicker

Nah. I don’t believe it.


@MissChef agree


Most owners don’t even know that they are only allowed 5 applicants before TH, not them, pauses the sit. Nowhere in the rules etc, is this even mentioned. I don’t believe it either.


Thanks for that background. I had no idea this was part of the rationale. It makes some sense but I still have a bitter taste that the way to offer more sits to new members means taking away access to experienced sitters. We are paying for the opportunity to sit and there is now a lot less opportunity.

Yesterday, my favorite sitter (a full time nomad) let me know she is leaving THS because it is no longer giving her the results she needs. And she lives/sits in one time zone. Last week a friend who joined in the past year (and who is an experienced dog person) expressed frustration that she still hasn’t landed her first sit. Another friend who joined as a pet parent knew nothing about the 5 limit. (Both referred by me.)

From my angle, my reduced chances to find a week-long sit in London/Paris/Rome isn’t going to inspire me to go to one of the “low application” highlighted places. It may inspire me to leave THS.


being blocked from apply to sits doesn’t make me feel like a valued member.


Exactly! Surely everyone has subjects that bore them? Or at least are irrelevant? I’ve never opened a post that says “Meet up in [fab location I’m not in]” and if I’m brutally honest I rarely read “Newbie, help, what’s wrong with my listing?” because, like you @Shafofo, I’m pretty fed up with (in my case) examining listings & answering the same old mantra of photos, useful information, clean & tidy house, transport options etc. etc.
Unlike many subjects, the constant repetition that @Shafofo finds so irksome just might find its target one day. Evidence; the change in the review system recently, which was one of the top alternative “moans”.

It might be more hope than reality but I do believe that the 5 will be increased to 10 at some point (or an alternative that alleviates the time zone issue somehow), whenever THS wants to do a “look how we listen to you” showcase. Following the review system update recently though, it’s going to be a while!

THS could follow QANTAS’s latest about face with “We listened and we have changed our policy!” They would go up in everyone’s estimation as it’s good business sense to do a backflip on a terrible decision even if it costs you money! Goodwill has value!