I’d like sitters perspective here as well as owners.
I prefer that potential sitters have undergone ID verification or some vetting through TH. And have a Criminal Record Check, especially IF they are new to TH and don’t have a lot of reviews. I take it on a case by case basis.
However, I was searching through the Forums and see some discussion about disclosing personal information to third parties, issues with TH website, etc.
In the past I have had some sitters willingly send me copies of their drivers lisc, passport, criminal record check, etc. That was appreciated and gave me peace of mind.
If I request criminal record checks because there aren’t many reviews, new to the site, etc. and there is some pushback, then I move on.
I’ve added this to my listing but also fear that potential sitters will be worried about disclosing personal information through TH or other means. I had people email me copies of their passports, which wasn’t at my suggestion.
I don’t know how that information can be shared so that sitters feel comfortable disclosing and owners can have more peace of mind. Nor am I sure how to word this in my profile and when requesting so as not to sound accusatory.
Someone who I don’t know will be staying in my home, with access to all of my belongings, taking care of my beloved family member, so I’d like as much as information about them as possible.
With regards to sharing the info safely, I’ve often wondered if a home owner would accept showing the documents on screen during a video chat? Better than sending thru unsecure email?
RE: the CRC, we’ve had one done when we started with THS but let’s face it, it was only me not my husband, because I’m the named person on our account, and it was about 4 years ago. Some peace of mind for home owners I guess but not perfect.
If a home owner wanted us to get another CRC, I’d probably decline because it’s a hassle and it costs me money. If my 15 reviews and the THS ID checks etc aren’t enough, I’d probably move on - there are lots of other sits out there. That being said, I’d have no problem showing my ID and passport etc to a home owner upon arrival and/or even on a video chat if there really wanted it.
@LuLupeKitty we recently went through something similar. After we were already approved for a sit the HO requested more documentation
Although we have 20 five stars reviews and we have THS background check we decided to sent all requested info. However that did change the dynamic and rapport we already had with the HO and has caused a degree of uncertainty and anxiety for us and the HO. If the HO stated they will request the info in the original listing we would not have applied.
House owners needs to think about the sitters perspective in this my first house sit as a solo sitter I was quiet nervous .didn’t know what the house owners would be like. I was lucky they were so nice couldn’t do enough for me .it works both ways .we are stepping into the unknown sometimes.
Hello @LuLupeKitty I am surprised to see these concerns surfacing after you have had sitters. You don’t mention whether the previous sitters were through THS, or whether you were satisfied with them. However, you didn’t mention any negative experiences so I’ll take it that overall things have gone OK.
To varying degrees by location, homeowners are getting less (or no) responses to their listings. Keep in mind that each restriction added to a listing narrows down your pool of potential applicants. Given the goal is to find a suitable sitter, your requirements for verification, and in particular for a criminal record check, is limiting your pool of possible applicants.
I pass by listings that require a background check, but I’m also in the category of having many reviews and years of sitter experience. If a listing was drawing me in, I would apply and explain why I questioned the need for such proof. I can appreciate hesitancy about sitters who appear to have limited experience with THS. The key is to carefully assess each applicant, and then communicate with those you see as possible matches. Ask your questions, especially the awkward ones, and arrange a video chat. Let them know your concerns, and talk openly about them. Some sitters may withdraw their application, but maybe that’s OK too.
The core concept of THS is built on trust. For some, that level of trust is too much to ask, in which case THS may not be a good fit for that homeowner, unfortunately.
We have had very recent police checks done for government jobs, arranged and paid by the employer. They are a hassle to get done and takes several days to get back. I’m ok with sharing this info because I already have it. But if a HO required it and I didn’t have it I’d not even apply for the sit. Like many others we have the backing of experience and good reviews so we have the luxury of saying “no thanks” and move on to the next sit. It’s not good form for a HO to demand this after the sit was confirmed like in @BunnyCat’s case when a sitter has made travel arrangements and adjusted their life for the HO’s sit. We are also HO (as well as sitters) and just had 19 applications for our 5 month sit. Never once did we think about requesting police checks of any potential sitters. If you want sitters with police checks make sure you advertise this in your sit listing but accept that this will impact your applications
We’d certainly skip such a sit since we never got a CRC and it would take substantial effort to get one, but it’s fine to just state very clearly and plainly in your listing what you require and the sitters can then decide whether to apply or not. Most likely it will be someone who already has a CRC or new sitters with few references. After 50+ sits it would seem really odd for us if anybody would ask us for a police check. We have seen some ads saying that they only accept sitters with at least 5 reviews and that feels a bit more reasonable to us.
I would not now pay for a dbs (previously known as crb check) as I’ve built up 42 x 5 star reviews so if I saw that you required a dbs I’d not apply for your sit (despite the fact I’m an ex police officer and have a clean record!). It’s very unlikely that your sitter would steal any of your belongings etc because most of us want to carry on sitting. If we were to get just one bad review that would reflect on future sits and would possibly end our ‘career’.
The same could be said of sitters requesting home owners have their criminal record checked as, when we arrive, how do we know you haven’t got previous for murder/rape….
Also, let’s be honest, the check is meaningless. You/we could be dealing with a murderer/rapist who got off! Let’s be sensible and go with our instincts……
I would not apply for a sit that required a record check. I’ve not lived in a single country for more than about 6 months at a time in over 13 years and most for shorter periods than that. I wouldn’t even know where to start to get a background check done. THS did one on me with the recent requirement and it was for the US - a country i’ve not lived or spent any significant time in, in well over a decade. so I pretty much consider it pointless but necessary.