Handovers during COVID times

How are people coping with Handovers during these current times? We have been applying for a lot of sits over New Year at the moment, majority in London.
In the last two days we have received responses from two sits where they told us we sounded great and the message basically made us think we had the sit, they just had a couple of questions, all off which we could answer positively ie non smokers, available for exact times and dates. Both however did ask us whether we could arrive with them in advance of the sit to show us around the house. One of these asking us to stay over on the evening so they could set off early the next day.
Both times we have suggested a virtual handover to minimise contact during this time due to COVID and to follow government tier rules and advice on TrustedHousesitters website. Both times we have had no response from our message and they have just declined our application with no explanation.
I am feeling very frustrated and quite emotional as both times we thought we had the sit and then feel really let down. Are we being unreasonable requesting virtual handover? How are other people doing it?

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Don’t think you are being unreasonable at all. The very least they owners should do is engage in a discussion about handovers rather than just reject you. Very rude.

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@Provence @SP80 There are those members who are perfectly comfortable meeting in person and others who would rather not, it’s whatever everyone involved agrees is right for them and the need to follow all official government guidelines that are in place.

COVID has presented challenges we have never experienced before and arrangements are all about staying safe, feeling safe and both parties wanting the same procedures in place.

There is excellent information on the site about Housesitting During Covid, including FAQ’s cleaning and handover guides and of course all arrangements should always follow the recommended official guidelines.

@SP80 I sorry you feel disappointed but there will be owners who feel as you do and will appreciate and respect your concerns.

House and pet sitting arrangements are about what is right and acceptable for everyone concerned so that the sit gets off to a great start, runs smoothly and is the best experience for everyone … especially the pets.

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@Angela-CommunityManager I totally understand everyone is feeling different about the current situation. We were not ruling out physically meeting the homeowners just wondering whether some communication could be done virtually to reduce the time spent with them.
It is more the fact that we thought we were mid conversation about a sit we thought we had and then rejected with no explanation that I am finding very difficult. I would never treat someone like that.
We were in the middle of sorting out travel arrangements and our Christmas plans to accommodate the sit and then a message came through to say our application had been declined. I have sent a message to the lady which she has read but so far not replied to.
Sorry to rant but it has really upset me and I needed to let it out somewhere.

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@Jon-JWalking thank you :slightly_smiling_face:

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@SP80 it may sound strange i had deleted my post but i realised i misunderstood the meaning of “handover”.
Personnally i don’t feel i risk much meeting owners , and that sitters risk much with us, not more than meeting people in shops.
And i am always wondering whether people are afraid by pets. As these ones are cuddled (outside on inside the owner’s home) by people who can be infected.
If you need to take care about furniture, sink, garments touched by potential infected people, what about pets hair collar, raincoat ? Their legs touch filthy places where masks can have been thrown away, where people have coughed and we don’t hesitate much cuddling pets,…

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I am sure that even before COVID, there were some handovers done without meeting the HO. It happened to me a couple of times. Everything was done by Skype or phone and I was asked to call the HO as soon as I arrived to their home, which I did. So with this pandemic, I understand the sitter’s request. Then, it’s up to the HO to accept it or not. But least to say, an answer would have been welcomed. This is the bad part of internet. Easy to hide behind a screen.

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Exactly. Everyone has their own personal preferences but communication and politeness cost nothing and are so important.

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Can you explain what a virtual handover is? As an owner, I always prefered meeting the sitter prior to them staying at my home due to previous negative experiences. So I totally understand when an owner wants to meet me first. And even during Covid, they still want to meet me - we just wear masks and practice social distancing and I’ve not had a problem. I’ve gained repeat customers as well and the following sits they don’t need to see me because we’ve established a trusting relationship. I’ve one fellow meet me on FaceTime as I was not able to meet prior and he’s also a multiple repeat customer. Hang in there! Maria - currently sitting in San Francisco, CA USA

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What do you mean? Why?

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Sorry , I made post, then changed my mind - this forum doesn’t let you delete a post unless you type more than 10 characters…stupid really.
A vitual handover is where you don’t meet the home owner, for whatever reason - flight time conflict, I have done several back to back sits where the HO is gone before I arrive, key under the mat.

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Gotcha. Yeah, here in California so far - all the hosts want to meet me first and one reason could be because I’m bringing my dog which they are OK with. I only had one host that left before I arrived, and the dog meet was ok.

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@Petermac i did not know before but i have been told by other members you can delete a post, even once published
you look at the 3 digits ( …) under your post and you can do it, just throwing your post in the dustbin …

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Hi @puglieseme, I totally understand why a HO would like to meet the house sitter before setting off on their journey. We also love to meet the HO, we have always enjoyed the social aspect of housesitting and made some lovely friends from the process who we keep in touch with. In fact we have been really missing that part this year and it is making the process feel quite lonely when you can’t sit down and enjoy a meal and get to know each other. Meeting virtually is never the same.
However are we not meant to be following government guidelines? Currently in England in Tier 2 or 3 (which majority of the country is in) we are not meant to be mixing households indoors, so I would have thought staying overnight is a definite no. What are other people’s thoughts on this? Am I taking the government guildlines too seriously? @Angela-CommunityManager what is the official guidance from TrustedHousesitters?

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We are being careful with any meets, wearing masks and distancing. And due to Covid I do not spend the night before the homeowner leaves. After the initial meeting, I arrive after they’ve left and leave before they come back.

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I do not know exactly what are the rules out of my province here in Quebec, Canada. It is different within Canadian provinces. But for Christmas season we are asked to stay home with the people living under the same roof. Someone living alone can receive one visitor, the same one if possible through those weeks. So, we forget about petsitting. Not time yet.

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I may sound strange but i go for a sit in Saintes (Charente, west or france) during Xmas. the owners asked me to arrive the day before their early departure. They have 8 hours drive to go to the Alps. I have 8 hours drive from the south.
I’m pleased to have dinner with them, to be invited to sleep there before they leave. I’m not anxious.

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We also have one starting next weekend
The lady is flying to Canada for 2 weeks
She lives alone.
We will meet her the evening before ,her flight is in early hours of the morning
It was agreed we would all keep to our bubbles 2 weeks prior to the sit.

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What’s the meaning of “keeping to bubbles”? I don’t understand…

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Rester dans sa bulle familiale et ne pas s’exposer à des personnes qui ne vivent pas sous le même toit. Sauf bien sûr pour faire les emplettes nécessaires.

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