HO staying in house for 3 of 5 booked nights

We arrived at a five night sit recently to discover that the HOs were not leaving for two nights and arriving back the night before our departure.
None of this was shared during communication before agreeing to the sit and we were only made aware of what we understood to be their following morning departure in communication sometime after the sit was agreed.

We were surprised and disappointed to discover a five night sit turned into tiptoeing around HO for three nights/ mornings and nearly two full days. It was very awkward and not at all relaxing. We did our best to get out and about, visiting the local area and spending many hours out of the house each day, but it was not at all what previous sits have been. They were friendly people but it was still not what had been communicated or planned on.

Perhaps THS could incorporate specific data and time sections where HO complete their expected departure and arrival details as part of listing the sit? I would never have considered this sit if the information had been on the table from the start.


Unfortunately it’s too late now @Petwubble but you would have been entirely within your rights to leave the sit as they broke the THS Ts & Cs. What a pain! Assuming it’s over now? Maybe talk to support and ask them to talk to the HOs for the future and give an honest review of your experience.


It is definitely not friendly by the HO to act in such a way!


That sucks. I don’t think THS should keep adding endless requests that we as sitters should be handling. At the outset, well before starting a sit, part of the exchange of info between a sitter and HO should be when arrivals and departures will happen for both.

It’s easy enough to say, When are you leaving and returning, please? I’d like to make travel arrangements. Or something along those lines.


So sorry you experienced this. I’d have felt horribly uncomfortable with that as well as having felt that I’d been duped somewhat.

Early on in my THS days, I was on a sit when the HO popped into the house midway through which I wasn’t at all happy with. A few days later, things got worse. The teenage son came to stay. I had no prior warning of this. He was incredibly noisy and very messy. It was also an overseas sit so this made things a bit more complicated.

After that horrendous experience, I’ve learned to always always ask during the pre-sit conversation whether or not there will be anybody else entering the property or indeed remaining in the property for any length of time. I would never have thought to ask something like this before as I wouldn’t have imagined this even being anything I’d have to worry about but sadly, it does seem as if some people do not care to adhere to the rules laid out by THS.

I sincerely hope this never happens to you again.


@Chatsetchiens Yes, I now ask this question too. I had pet owners pop into their apartment a couple of times at short notice, as they were not actually far away. I asked them to please stop doing this and they did, but in the end they didn’t give me a review.

One of the biggest learning experiences for me here has been: not all owners here are kind or respectful. While most of them are lovely, some are not and if you ask the right questions, it will hopefully help you avoid some unpleasant experiences.


I am a sitter so not sure what owners see when they agree a sit. However I have suggested a number of times that there should be a pop-up check list for them to read to confirm various THS ‘rules’. e.g. no one else in the house, one overnight as a minimum etc etc. I am sure many owners only use the site infrequently and would need to be reminded of the THS requirements.


Indeed you’re right. Unfortunately, in the beginning, when we’re new to this, we don’t know what we don’t know so it doesn’t even occur to us to ask this question before we agree to the sit.


That’s a great idea if they were to take the time to read it. Something certainly needs to be done as situations like this are just not acceptable.

I think some not so nice owners benefit from the fact that sitters might be new, or want to be nice, and use this to their own advantage. If the sit is over you can’t do much about it, but if you feel comfortable about it you can write an honest review.

That is strange they would stay for two nights of only a 5 night sit. I have had sits where we did arrive a couple of days early and stayed with the HO’s but these were usually longer term sits where there was a bit more to cover, or because of our arrival time, or the owner’s schedule, having a couple of days to get acclimated was better. And we were always aware they would be there those initial days.

As for coming home the night before the sit was scheduled to end, many HOs prefer to book the sitter until the next day to account for any travel delays if they are flying, especially from a distance and/or they will be getting in very late .

I have no problem with this, and in my experience, HOs have been pretty clear they will actually be arriving the day before the end date listed. So while returning the day earlier than stated in the listing isn’t necessarily any sort of ‘violation’ in my eyes, they definitely should have mentioned this was the plan, since barring any mention of this intention, it would be natural for the sitter to assume the HO will not be coming home until the end date noted in their listing.

And for the future, in cases where this is mentioned ahead of time and there didn’t seem to be any reason for you to stay on that extra day–no late night arrivals,etc…–you could say you wouldn’t be able to accommodate that.

Definitely a good learning experience and getting more detailed info about their travel plans will probably be one of your main questions moving forward.

You mentioned you hadn’t experienced this with other sits, and not sure how long you have been doing this. I am not sure if you mean that that they simply didn’t mention they were not leaving the day you arrived, or you weren’t aware that sometimes HOs invite sitters to come at least one night early to get to know each other, go over everything,etc.

If the former applies, as someone who has done over 70 sits, I don’t think I have ever had an instance where the HO ended up staying in the home and I didn’t know about it prior. So I don’t think this is super common.

But if the latter applies, you should know that some HOs do want the sitter to arrive at least a day early and you will be sharing space with them. If that is something you are not comfortable with, when applying to sits, ask about the dates and their plans and you can take a pass, or you can book accommodation nearby and maintain your own space. Not sure how many sitters do the latter though.


Yes of course the information is only good if people read it but my suggestion would be they have to check boxes to state they have agreed to the conditions. At least then sitters are in a stronger position to challenge when things happen that are against these rules.


It should not be up to the Sitter to ask for these details. The departure and return of the HO needs to be in writing and through the website not through personal texting or emails.


I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have a form that includes the basic information.

I’m sure most of us have experienced that confusion when someone posts a range of, say, “March 15th to April 1st”.

  • Does that mean they want you to arrive exactly on the 15th? and what time? or the day before before?
  • Do they intend for you to stay there until 7:00 p.m. on April 1st, after they have landed? Or can you leave at 11:00 a.m. so that you can get to the next sit you have booked?

Why should each of us have to ask these questions every time?

  • When you are supposed to arrive (And of course each of these points should include the date and time.)
    *How will the host/s departure be handled? (In person, or let yourself in.)
  • When are they supposed to leave?
  • When are they supposed to arrive back?
  • What should happen if the host/s travel is delayed?
  • When will you be free to leave?
  • How will the host/s arrival handoff be handled?

I bet it feels like an interrogation for the host, but this is the same information each of us will need for every sit.


I 100% agree, but challenge to whom?

TH isn’t going to punish anybody besides the extreme step of kicking them off the platform, which I only know of that happening to sitters.

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I wonder if these hosts knew that they were very unlikely to attract any sitters for a 2 day sit so listed for 5 days instead, knowing that they had no intention of being away for five? :thinking: I see hundreds of sits on the site for under 3 days and am curious as to how many of them get filled.


What I meant was it might give sitters a bit more confidence to challenge an owner when they are suddenly confronted with something that clearly doesn’t conform to THS’s rules. So instead of an owner just saying “I didn’t see it on the website that I couldn’t stay for some nights during an agreed sit” the sitter can point to the fact that the owner has actually ticked to say they agree to the rules including exclusive use of the house during the sit dates. I accept that on the ground it might be difficult to enforce but it does give a little more leverage than they might otherwise have.


Some of these things are not quite settled yet when one accepts and confirms far in advance. It will always need a bit of back and forth to settle the exact time. That depends on flight and train schedules, on whether one will be invited for dinner and on whether one accepts that invitation, etc, etc.

Agreed, but it should not be the thing that is discussed upon arrival. Some hosts seem to be unprepared to share this information until the very last minute, which makes things hectic and uncomfortable.

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I agree. I agree. I do! But what does leverage have to do with anything when there is no party enforcing any agreement?