We have had wonderful Housesitters until this.INPUT PLEASE.This is long but if you can give advice as an owner, we would appreciate it! We tried calling trusted H. Sitters but no one answers the phone.So we are looking to owners forhelp. Has anyone confirmed a sit and then had to cancel after the sitter requested things that would put you in legal liability?This recently happened to us as our sitter wanted to establish residency thru the DMV by changing her car registration to our home.And start sending alot of packages to our home.It made us uncomfortable as it would open us up to residency issues&would make it difficult for us to get her to leave.We explained this to her&told her we were not comfortable with this, explained our legal liability& we would need to cancel the sit.In fact,the entire time we would be gone,we would be concerned about her.This was a 30 day sit.We canceled 4 days after weaccepted the sit.We felt badly but couldn’t risk our home (Continued in reply)
So now we want to cover ourselves in case we come across someone like this again to avoid any issues.We spoke to a real estate atty&he was adamant that we cancel this sit.This has been upsetting to us as we have always trusted every one we said yes to &we want to continue to.Are there any other red flagsyou have experienced? We will screen better and put in place rules for future sits.Should we have a document drawn up that states no pkgs or mail of any kind can be delivered to our sitters?psWe have had many other sitters&they have all been amazing.We just confirmed another sit with a wonderful couple. Our gut feeling is they are very good people.
Thank you for any help! Much appreciated.
Hi @Loreemezz welcome to the Forum and thank you for your post and question, I did pick this up through our FB channel and passed directly to Membership Services … Since the pandemic Membership Services have been working over reduced hours with a reduced staff but they can be contacted via email 24/7 and they will respond to messages in the order they are received, urgent matters are always prioritized
A member of the team will respond to you and we are sure you will find great support from members of the forum also.
Thank you for sharing your previous wonderful sitter experiences and we’re sorry this current situation has given you cause for concern, we encourage all members to make arrangements which mutually suit both parties and for everyone to feel 100% comfortable with all of the arrangements before confirming, if something comes to light post confirmation that was unexpected then direct contact and communication is essential to clarify the situation and if there are still concerns MS are available with help and advice.
Welcome again, thank you for being part of our community and we hope that you will enjoy connecting with other members from around the world.
Angela & The Team
I appreciate your response. I am hoping as well to get some owner input. During covid, residency issues have come up with people we know. (With air bnbs and longer stays). And with the eviction moratoriums, people have taken advantage of hosts to stay as long as they feel like. Our experience here has shown us that we need to be vigilant in these new times, to cover ourselves against people with other motives. We will likely draft a legal doc to have our Housesitters sign. We feel we dodged a bullet here. And we are hoping another owner may have a ready document to share.
Hi @Loreemezz it will be interesting and helpful to have other owner members input and insights,
I do have a question did you ask your sitter if that was her intent regarding the licence plates, to establish residency, or could it have been a miscommunication?
As a full time sitter I have a mailing address for personal/official mail although most important business is done on line without the need for mail. I have asked owner’s permission to receive packages (on line shopping) especially on long term sits which they have been perfectly happy for me to do so, equally long term sitters I have hosted in my home have done the same.
I asked for her to reply and when she didn’t for many many hours, it started making me concerned. After we spoke initially, we ended the conversation with we would speak again closer to the sit date. But over the next 3 days she text me constantly. I had told her that I would make sure my welcome packet was updated and send it in about a week. She asked me several times for it over these 3 days. It was odd but I just thought she was excited about the sit. We live in a beautiful area in a nice home. So I knew she was on her phone a lot. Then she asked for my address and said she was having her new license plates sent here. So I text her my concerns, she ignored the text. (Continued)
It would be interesting to hear from full-time petsitters and from sitters who do long term sits. Which are not my case. Do you ever give the HO address for renewal of any membership, documents, legal affairs ? Or for any reason ? for example mail forwarded ?
I explained why I was concerned. Heard nothing. Then I mentioned I was sorry I would have to cancel the sit as it was making me very uncomfortable and I explained why. I had talked to the real estate attorney and realized that I could not now leave for a month and feel comfortable with her in our home. I didn’t hear back for quite a long time, The entire scenario was feeling more and more uncomfortable. She had also said she would like to have all of her packages sent here. The real estate attorney told me to immediately cancel the sit. Too many red flags. We have never had even a hesitation with other sitters.
Our sitters have received packages or mail as well. This is VERY different than receiving your registered license plates. This is the issue… setting up residency. It’s not just having some mail sent here, it’s an entirely different animal. (Cont)
Once plates are sent here, residency is assumed. The government will not send your plates just anywhere, it has to be where you LIVE, not are visiting. I hope this helps you understand the gravity of this. And I hope it helps alert other owners. I always want to think the best of everyone. It’s my nature to do so. When the attorney insisted we cancel and my family said please don’t take this chance, I knew I had to cancel. It’s not worth our home. We had to be smart, not naive or stupid. We couldn’t take the chance. This platform is all about trust. Leaving our home to a stranger MUST feel comfortable. They assume no risk, we assume a lot. So we must feel comfortable with our sitter choice.
I hope this helps. We didn’t make this decision lightly and I was upset about it the entire day. But we MUST be wise and protect our home. We must feel there is mutual trust in a sit. As we always have in the past. We want this to continue as well as we have enjoyed all of our sitters and they enjoy coming to our area of the country.
I have not yet cancelled a sitter BUT may have to if Covid restrictions makes it impossible to go away. Not sure what to do?
Hi Melanie. Safety first. I think everyone will understand as long as you give them enough time to regroup. Maybe write on your assignment that you would prefer a local or so sitter, so no airplane ticket would be lost in case of cancellation. As a sitter I would be disappointed but also find the HO wise to make that decision.
Thank you for confirmation, I agree!
I have had 7 sittings cancelled over the past year due to Covid. The HOs gave me plenty of notice but it turns out that I wouldn’t have been able to travel either. Most of the HOs postponed their trips and asked us if we wanted to sit for them when they rearrange which I have accepted.
Communication is the key; everyone knows that it’s all outside of our control.
Hi @Melanie, with Covid restrictions, both owners and sitters have to be prepared for the sit to be cancelled at the last minute. It just is what it is at this time. Safety for all concerned is paramount.
Thanks to COVID, I’ve had plenty of sits cancelled. It’s uncertain times for travel.
We have established residency and get all important mail sent to a mailbox service. They ping me with new mail, open scan and email document, even forward checks to my bank! It’s essential for the sitter lifestyle.
Always trust your gut. Besides, you’re going on vacation, and you want to relax and enjoy yourself! If anyone starts to act in a demanding and suspicious way, that’s on them. It’s your home and pets, your perfectly entitled to cancel!
I hope you’ve found a good replacement and can relax.
This sitter sounds really dodgy if she is doing that. I would absolutely cancel that sitter. You have legitimate grounds.
I started with THS a couple of months before the pandemic last year, had 3 vacations lined up and 3 sitters. Had to cancel all of them due to the restrictions of COVID and felt really bad about it. Fortunately or unfortunately it affected the whole world so people were very understanding…
Luckily for us, our other sitters have been fantastic. We feel this has been a win win for us and for them. We are in the mountains so they can relax, while we leave knowing our dogs are loved and snuggled. We need to feel this continues with future sits.
Wow! Yes, absolute cancel that sitter! No sitter should be making these requests. It looks like she’s trying to establish residency! I hope everything works out in your favor. Where are you located?
@Loreemezz - as a homeowner, I would be very concerned if this happened to us. Establishing residency is no small thing … and using your home to do so is out of line. I’m glad you consulted an attorney, as it can be difficult to get people out of your home depending on the jurisdiction. I believe you did exactly the right thing – especially in that she ignored critical texts from you. I’m sure you’ll find a great replacement.
Oh, and welcome to the Forum!
@Loreemezz - as a sitter I was mortified to read your account of this awful female. You were 100% correct in cancelling and you definitely dodged a bullet! It made me think of the film, Pacific Heights and I shuddered.
I’m actually surprised that MS have not asked you for details of this sitter in order to revoke her membership. Actions such as she intended would certainly sully the name of THS and could well deter many potential HO’s