The sitters reported that I have a flat tire on auto where they are sitting. They have their own car. Is it realistic to expect them to try to take care of the tire so I don’t come home to an undriveable car?
Don’t expect, ask! They can’t say more than no, can they?
It shows responsibility that they told you about it so they might be happy to help, but as a sitter I wouldn’t assume that I have to take action myself. If possible I would help if I was asked.
If they have their own car I would assume they were not using yours. If so, it is not expected for them to take care of it. If they used your car, then they should at least have it taken care of since they might have picked up something in the tire while driving.
I agree with @Düsenzofe. If I was the sitter I would certainly tell you. I think good sitters have a balance of being assertive but also recognizing when to have you make certain decisions. As the sitter, I would have many questions as to how you would best like me to handle it (or not, in the case of some homeowners). When initially notifying you, I would make it clear that I am ready and willing to help. Your role, as I see it, is to give clear instructions and make it as convenient for your sitters (payment, mechanic information etc.) as possible.
I would think the most you could ask them is to be there when the mechanic comes to fix/change the tyre for you. It really is not their responsibility especially as they have not been using your car, surely? I have had washing machines and dishwashers break down. I inform the owner and would try to help if I could, but would not do anything without the owner asking or saying what was needed. I could make matters worse.
I agree with @TravellingWitch . It’s part of the sitter’s responsibility to keep you informed, they’re there keeping an eye on the house as well as the pets but beyond that it’s not part of the exchange.
It might be reasonable for the owner to call a mechanic and then ask the sitter to arrange a time the mechanic can come over, but otherwise I wonder what else the sitter could be asked to do. There are myriad jobs that need doing on a house at any one time and a flat tyre though an annoyance is not an emergency.
Yes, it’s unreasonable for you to ask. This isn’t their responsibility
I did have a slow leak flat tire on a sit where I was allowed (and kind of needed) the car. And the parking was on a steep slope. I called the auto club and they filled the tire and directed me to a nearby tire place that said, no too late in the day, but directed me to a neighborhood shop nearby. They fixed it for $25 (a bit high, I think but it was 5 pm at the beginning of a long holiday weekend). I let the HO know and she insisted on paying for the repair. On departure, I filled the tank and left a houseplant!
I don’t really think that it is part of the sitters responsibility, if I am being entirely honest.
I’ve read through all the responses here and have thought about what we would have done in that situation. If we were the sitters, I suspect we would have contacted the HOs, let them know the tire was flat, and asked them if/how they’d like us to proceed to get it repaired for them. It wouldn’t be because it was “expected” of us, but more because it’s what I would have appreciated if I was in the reverse situation. We always try to imagine that the HOs are friends and treat them as such, and we regularly try to go out of our way to help out when it’s needed.
Should you ask them to do something? I guess it wouldn’t hurt, if you can make it a simple process for them, and give them plenty of opportunity to feel they can say no if they think it’s beyond the scope of their “job”.
@Kelownagurl with my sitter’s hat on I have to agree with you, I always try to put myself in the other person’s shoes, in this case the owner, who would be returning perhaps from a long journey and may immediately need to use their car. Of course I would ask them first as you would with any out of the ordinary situations when on a house sit.
However we are all different with different perspectives and approaches to the way we manage the sits we are on … what is most important is that the overall result is a positive and successful experience for everyone involved.