Gardens not watered

We’ve just returned home to find the housesitter has not watered the garden as per our instructions, and we’ve lost many plants.
The house was also dirty upon our return, with rotting food left in the fridge. These things are easily remedied with a clean, but it will cost hundreds of dollars and a lot of work to replace all the dead plants and lawns in our large garden.
Upon revision of the exterior CCTV (that she was very clearly made aware of), the gardens weren’t watered at all during her stay, despite very clear intructions.
She had difficulties cleaning the pool, and without asking us contacted our friends on the emergency contact list asking them to clean the pool immediately because she had friends wanting to swim. Our friends contacted us and we organised for someone to come and clean the pool for her several times during her stay, despite her telling me she could manage it herself.
I really feel like the sitter has used our home to entertain without caring for it in return, and several things are broken and missing.
I’ve contacted THS to ask how to lodge a claim for broken and missing household items, including security remotes which are expensive to replace, but haven’t heard back yet.
Has anyone made a claim through THS, or can offer any advice? We’re feeling so disheartened about having anyone house sit again because she very confidently told us she would look after everything but really didn’t.

Have you asked the sitter about the garden? Have you already left a review?

@clscanlan That is appalling behaviour, I would be livid.
As a home owner, we once lost 1 plant during a housesit, and it hurt my feelings. But it was an oversight as it hung somewhere the sitter just missed. Imagine losing many plants.

Unacceptable behaviour also regarding the pool and other matters.

Sorry, no advice, just commiserations…but please leave an honest review and report the sitter.


If watering was part of your agreed-on expectations, I’d include the lack of it in your review. Likewise with food left rotting, the missing and broken items and the lack of pool care. Sounds a terrible sitter. What were their reviews like before your sit?

@clscanlan Please leave a factual review about this sitter. It will help future homeowners decide whether to consider her.


She had friends wanting to swim. Had she asked your permission for that?


Your reporting that stuff was broken AND missing is a very big deal. That is the type of behavior is more likely to get the sitter booted off the site than is her leaving the home dirty, or not watering plants. List the broken and missing items. It sounds like she also broke the security cams? As in pool party in your home??? Report all of this – plants, pool, missing items, dirty house to member services – not the bot but a human. Ask about making a claim and or getting a membership refund or SOMETHING. Be assertive.

Write an honest review to warn other homeowners. Even if THS doesn’t help you or boot the sitter off, a detailed review about what happened will warn other homeowners.

@clscanlan I’m so sorry that you have experienced sitters who appear to be on the TrustedHousesitters site for the wrong reasons. You will get lots of good suggestions from experienced members here. In reading your post I couldn’t help but think of the inappropriate marketing that has been done by TrustedHousesitters over the past while.

The rapid increase in membership numbers has been promoted as a success story by the company. Your experience seems to be an example of what this deceptive marketing can produce. The reverse of your experience is owners who have unrealistic demands and expectations of sitters, oftentimes after the sitter arrives.

Please don’t judge the community by this one horrible experience. Many of us are dedicated to what we believe is the core reason the company originally started - a win-win-win (3rd is pets) for all concerned.


I know you can chase THO but do you have house insurance to cover the broken and missing items?

I know that various THS members have issues with its advertising, but I’d say such terrible sitters have poor manners and exploit others bc they’re who they are. Like I don’t care what advertising says, I wouldn’t need to be told that you shouldn’t stay at anyone’s home and be so disrespectful, break or steal stuff, create a mess, etc. And I’m sure that’s the case with many of us.

Meanwhile, a minority of people are the reason for laws, rules, etc. And even when communications and guidance are good, they create problems. Such people should be booted from THS and other places, because they’re why there’s that saying, “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

And note, I’m not saying THS ads couldn’t be better.

She told me that her teenage daughter would be spending some time with her, which of course I didn’t have any issue with at all. I guess she brought friends with her because of the large house and pool.
The sitter had also asked me if she could have a friend over for Christmas lunch, which I willingly agreed to also. I guess she had more friends join them because our house is a great spot for entertaining.

I forgot to say that I have reported things to THS, and was given instructions on how to leave a review. I replied to the email with follow up questions and am just waiting on a response.

Thank you very much for your response, I really appreciate it.
I will definitely leave an honest review, as I would hate for someone else to go through this.
She told me that her teenage daughter would be spending some time with her, which of course I didn’t have any issue with at all. I guess she brought friends with her because of the large house and pool.
The sitter had asked me if she could have a friend over for Christmas lunch, which I willingly agreed to also. I guess she had more friends join them?
I used to be an Airbnb host with our other property, and I would have been upset with this behaviour from a paying guest!

I really hope THS takes this person’s profile down. This service is based on TRUST!

You may leave her an honest bad review, but with the way the review system is now no one will see it if she doesn’t leave you a review. She probably knows she’ll get a bad review, so she just wont review you! Her problem is solved! This is a case where THS SHOULD step in and get rid of a bad apple! Instead, she’ll be allowed to continue to give sitters a bad name.

I do, but unfortunately individually they fall under the excess amount. Cumulatively they would meet it, but unfortunately we can’t claim them that way.

It’s incredibly disappointing. She actually only had one previous review for a weekend sit, but in her profile said she had been house sitting for 20 years so I thought she was just new to the site. She came to the meeting with written references, all quite old, but I didn’t feel any reason to doubt them. We chose her because she said she was an Aged care worker, and our dog has arthritis so I felt she would know how to care for her best.

Pretty sure this is not true. After 14 days whatever reviews have been left will be posted. Anyone who didn’t leave a review will no longer have the ability to leave one.

@Sittersue . You are not correct. The HO review will be published even if the sitter doesn’t leave one. However, the HO review will be held for the 14 day waiting period and then published. If both leave reviews they will be published when both are completed even if 14 days hasn’t passed.

Ahhh…didn’t know that…