I’m curious about how HO’s feel about sitters having guests over, either for a visit/dinner or overnight? I’ve only had two sitters so far - one great and one awful. But almost all the people who have spoken with have asked about having overnight guests - a cousin, a boyfriend. And my last sitter had someone over for dinner, unbeknowst to me. I get that people often sit in order to visit friends or family (especially since I live in a rural area and there are no attractions, per se), but it feel uncomfortable when a boyfriend, for instance, will also stay the whole time! And, as far as dinner guests, I guess there’s no harm done, but I would just like the courtesy of being asked if it’s OK. How do other HO’s or sitters, for that matter, feel about this?
I think it is perfectly fine to have guests over as long as it’s not a party or something disruptive.
I can’t really see the harm in having a friend pop over for a cup of tea or a dinner as long as the house is treated with respect which I trust the sitter to maintain.
I wouldn’t really need to informed if it wasn’t an overnight guest - people are allowed to live their lives peacefully they are not being paid.
Hello @Tales - totally agree about the common courtesy thing, even for a coffee or a meal. It’s your home not ours. As for anything more, unless the sitter asks before confirming the sit with you then it seems unfair to take advantage of feeling pressured to agree to guests or partners not mentioned previously. We say no to any friends that want to stay overnight, it’s not fair on the pets, the HOs and us TBH. Just adds another risk factor in there and easier not to do it. The one exception was when my folks stayed as paying Airbnb guests in another part of the property so all booked & organised with the HO in advance.
I wouldn’t presume to bring anyone to a sit unless the HO had agreed.
Even if I were a guest at a friend’s or family member’s home, I wouldn’t bring people to their house without asking.
Personally would never ask a HO, invite or allow any friends or family visit whilst I am sitting. I have had family go to a hotel and meet them elsewhere.
I can understand the trepidation a HO may feel about allowing the sitter to have guests in the home , especially overnight. And for those who feel that way, it is totally understandable and you have every right to set whatever rules you want for your home. If I asked a HO about this and they said they weren’t comfortable with that, I would understand and it wouldn’t turn me off to the sit, nor would I try to convince them to feel otherwise.
My husband and I sit internationally a lot and the chances of anyone coming to see us are pretty much zero so it isn’t something we ask about ahead of time.
We are originally from NJ and do sits there for extended periods to visit with friends and family. We don’t ever ask if it is okay to have guests since we are fine meeting with people elsewhere. But in almost all cases, they have proactively said we can do so-I imagine because they know we know people in the area . Sometimes we take them up on that–and it would never be overnight since they live close by-- but most of the time we end up meeting elsewhere
We did a long term sit in Bali several years back, and one of my friends did come to see us. We didn’t ask about having guests because we didn’t expect any, but the HO had said it was okay if we had people come visit us. So when my friend decided to come there for her vacation, I knew it was okay and just let the HO know, and that we appreciated her openness to us having visitors.
I asked a HO after the fact last year if this same friend could come stay with us since she ended up planning a vacation with her family about an hour away, and had a few days free still afterwards.
While I know that many HO’s might not like being asked this after the fact, and not during the initial communication, intuitively I felt this HO would be fine with it. Again, because the chances of someone coming to see us, even on domestic sits, is so rare, it isn’t something I think to ask about.
I could tell her response of it being okay was genuine. I was very clear that if it wasn’t okay, to not feel badly saying no. If I had a sense she was the type of person who wouldn’t be okay with it, I wouldn’t have asked.
This is one of the things I get a sense of with different HO’s, and there are some that I wouldn’t ask to have guests if the opportunity presented itself. And for those who feel that way, that is totally within their rights and it’s their house.
But I would never have someone over, even for a day visit, unless the HO explicitly said we could have guests.
I have always asked if I could have my sister or a friend over for coffee. And then the answer has always been that of course that was perfectly fine, with hints that they would have no objections to an overnight friend either. Sometimes they said that my guest also could use the extra bedroom.
I’m a home-owner. I would like to be ‘asked’ in advance for any drop-in visitors, but it would generally be a courtesy on both sides as I would almost certainly say yes to any adult* visitor. (*My pets arent really great with small children.) I would not be happy at all if one sitter turned out to be two unless agreed when we agreed the sit and similarly no overnight guests unless agreed in advance.
I’m a sitter, personally I would never ask. If I’d like to meet up with anyone, there’s always places away from a HO’s home to do so, whether it’s in a local cafe, attraction, or park. If I meet up with friends at home it’s likely to be in a cafe or pub, so I wouldn’t use someone elses home in that way. Also, there’s an insurance implication too.
Its rare that we are anywhere near friends on a sit but if we do happen to have a local friend we’d always ask the HO if it would be OK to invite them over for lunch/dinner. So far all said absolutely fine. A few sits we have intuited it would not be OK to ask so we haven’t. We also would not want to go behind their back by not asking so make other arrangements. So far we have never felt it appropriate to ask for an overnight visitor, but for a solo sitter it might be nice to have a companion sometimes.
The only time we might consider asking was if we were doing a longer Christmas sit, in a large home a reasonable distance from our family, where we could imagine kids/grandkids coming to stay for a couple of days to celebrate together. But so far all our Christmas sits have been on the other side of the world so that has not come up yet!
If you type into the Spyglass “Having friends to stay” this will show a few threads where this topic has been raised over the years.
Your question has been discussed here on the forum a multitude of times. You can search the forum and find more answers. Here’s one thread:
We sit as a couple so no boyfriends or girlfriends staying over.
But one of our longer term sits where we are there quite regularly now we always ask for permission for dinner or drinks with someone else. Never had a rejection they just like to know who/how many ect.
They have far better entertaining space than we do especially outside and the dog loves the additional hands that can be put on his belly at any time.
We’ve had an overnight visitor in the form of our Nan who stayed for a few nights ahead of a trip abroad. The agreement was that was cleaned up and left no trace. Beds stripped and remade, bathroom cleaned.
We absolutley will always ask for permission though.
I would always ask first if a friend could stay as a solo older sitter it can get lonely sometimes on a long sit. but I would completely understand if the answer is no.I have even been told by a ho please invite friends if you wish as she didn’t want me to be lonely.
Yes I always ask if I am somewhere and a friend might come in for coffee. I also have been offered a friend to come and stay if its a really big house, long sit and they think it might be lonely. I would never ask the first time but lots of my owners have become friends. I am sitting Willow for the 4th time currently and her owners have provisionally booked me for 2025!
We like to do a fairly local housesit over Christmas. For the past 2 years we have asked in our application if my elderly mother can visit for the day on Christmas Day. In both cases the homeowner said yes and one even asked if she wanted to stay overnight. We would never ask after being confirmed for the sit in case the homeowner felt pressured to say yes.
I think this would also depend on the TYPE of sit. If this is a short term sit while someone is on a regular vacation, in the US probably under two weeks, then as a homeowner I’d want to know and discuss if anyone woud be visiting. And clarify why or why not it: For instance, liability issues if the dog bites a visitor. The door darting cat getting out. It’s just simpler to give a hard no.
IMO, it would be harder to deny a sitter company if they were going to be living in your home for a month or more.
Then there is the issue of traveling companions – moms, partners, friends, siblings – not mentioned in the profile. The first sitter I had asked if her mother who was visiting from Italy could accompany her. I met her mother when the sitter came over for the keys. The sitter had lots of reviews so I trusted her judgement on this. It wasn’t a problem. Other sitters have asked to take partners not mentioned or barely mentioned in the profile. I have been okay with this as long as I have some verification of the person’s identity such as linkedin. That’s my comfort level.
This is exactly one of those areas where both sides need to talk honestly and come to an agreement that they both feel comfortable with.
I did a sit last spring and asked the HO ahead of time about having my sister visit, and happily said that was fine. I think it’s only considerate snd respectful to ask ahead just out of courtesy.
Thanks - I agree that it;s very reasonable to expect that sitters might have guests over for dinner or even overnight for longer sits. You made a very important distinction, IMO: if an overnight guest is not mentioned in their profile. One young woman who submitted an application specifically wanted this location cause she wanted to spent time with her boyfriend, who worked at a camp nearby and he had that weekend off, In other words, he was going to stay with her at my house for the whole stay! On the one hand, maybe its fine. On the other hand, it just feels awkward. I love your suggestion of finding them on linkedin or fb - great idea!
Even if someone IS mentioned in the profile, they aren’t background checked in the US or identify verified elsewhere, which is why it’s reasonable to check if they are mentioned in previous reviews and/or ask for some other identity verification. I have an upcoming sitter coming whose partner is very briefly mentioned. She wasn’t sure if he’d make it to the sit or not. She readily gave me his linkedin and a couple of photos of him with pets on a previous sit. No problem. I also would “judge” the situation partly on the standing of the main sitter. If it is someone with a lot of great reviews, I’m going to be less concerned than if it is the first or second sit.