Home owner wants us to leave in the middle of the night

Hi everyone, first time posting and just looking for some advice if possible. We are organising a house sit and everything has been great, we are in the final stages, all going well but then the owner drops on us that the day they get back they need us to leave between 2am and 3am as they return in the early hours of the morning. They don’t have a spare room for us to move into the day before they come back and don’t want us leaving in the evening after feeding and walking the dogs as they don’t want the house left unattended. I’ve looked into options for a hotel nearby, etc…but nowhere is open at that time for us to check into. We could potentially drive to the nearest airport as they often have 24hr reception desks but even if that worked out it feels like such a waste to pay for a nights accommodation when we would arrive between 3-4am and have to check out at 11am. We also have a 9 month old baby and doing this move in the early hours just seems kind of crazy. We usually wash the bedding / towels, etc…I don’t even know how we would do this at 3am unless we just didn’t go to bed that night. The sit is for over a month and in a desirable location so we really want to make it work if possible but I’m just not sure how. Has anyone else encountered this situation before? I just don’t know what to do or suggest to be able to come to some sort of compromise.


Hi @Jjay, welcome to the forum!

This is a bit of a predicament.

My suggestion would be to ask the HO’s to stay at the airport hotel that night, assuming they are flying in? Seeing as it’s so disruptive to your family, and they’re technically still on holiday, perhaps they’ll be open to that. If you are desperate, then you can even offer to pay for their hotel room that night.

The only other option would be to insist that you can leave for the hotel at eg 9pm, and then the house and dogs will be unattended the last 5 hours. Come on, that’s not unreasonable.

One thing to keep in mind. A handover is high energy, lots of emotions such as anticipation (will the HO be on time), anxiety (will the HO’s think the house is clean enough), sadness (leaving the home and pets) etc etc. Seeing as it will be middle of the night, you will have no chance of falling asleep until 5am!!


If it were us (and we also have a toddler) and we were in the same situation as these homeowners in regards to space in the home then I would first come to the sitters first by offering we the HO’s pay for their hotel OR I would find a trusted friend/neighbor/family that could do the hand off the evening before and then lastly I would just arrange for us to stay in the airport or another accommodation until a reasonable hour. You have a 9MO for crying out loud! I would never even consider it an option kicking a family with a little one out so early. I think you and your family need to discuss how badly you want to do this sit…and if the HO’s can’t come up with a reasonable solution, then I would respectfully pass.


I think the HOs should be okay with you leaving the evening before so that you can find reasonably priced accommodations for that night. This is a sit I would walk away from if they insisted we stay until 3 am.


@Jjay Have you already confirmed the sit? Did they mention this before you confirmed?


I don’t think they will find anyone who is willing to leave between 2 and 3 am. It’s an unreasonable request. If they are not OK with your leaving around 8 or 9 pm, they should arrange to stay at a hotel, themselves, and return the following day. If you have not confirmed this one, it may be better to pass on it unless the HO can be more accommodating. If you have confirmed it and they have just sprung this on you, it may be grounds to cancel.


While it’s not their fault their house isn’t big enough to accommodate overnight guests, to ask someone to leave in the middle of the night–meaning the person can’t even sleep until then since you would need to have the bed ready for the HO-- seems pretty unreasonable. That you have a baby on top of that makes that plan even more unfeasible.

That they are that worried about the house being unattended for just a few hours they would want to inconvenience you like that–even if it is the middle of the night where ‘bad’ things may be more likely to happen-- is a bit of a red flag for me. That suggests they might not be the most easy going people. Unless of course they live in some high crime area, which I’m assuming they don’t based on you saying it is a really desirable location.

I am pretty easy going and do my best to be accommodating even when it might be a bit inconvenient for me because in the grand scheme it’s usually not a big deal. If there were hotels nearby with 24 hour check in’s I would maybe agree to it even if I didn’t think it was the best plan…who knows?

But in this instance with limited accommodation options, the fact you have a young baby,etc… I would probably let them know that you would either need to leave earlier in the evening or be able to stay the night and head out in the morning. If they couldn’t accommodate that, telling them you would not be able to do the sit is totally reasonable.

I appreciate that it is uncomfortable though…these people are basically strangers.

Keep us posted!


As everyone else has said @Jjay - either HO stays the night at the airport and comes back in the morning (best option, especially as they might be delayed anyway). Otherwise you leave at 9pm and go and check into a hotel somewhere. Not a fair ask for you to leave in the middle of the night especially with a baby. I’d be cross enough that if they didn’t agree to one of those then I’d cancel the sit altogether even though that’s far from ideal as it’s a month booked up. Hope it works out :+1:t3:


Run Forest Run!


Walk away.
If they cannot see that their request is stupid and above all disrespectful to you they are not worth your time, care and attention. There will always be something better round the corner.
Stop stressing and believe in yourself and your little family. Good luck. I’m sure you’ll find something far better with caring people.


I think if they can not book a room for a night, then it is because they are concerned about money, and it is not fair for them to ask you to do something they are unwilling to do themselves. If it were me, I would respectfully decline. I would respectfully let them know that all the information about the sit was not disclosed.


Personally, I would politely decline this sit. No reason necessary, IMO.

They knew about their early morning return when they posted on the site. Waiting to drop it on you the way they did was deliberate and unacceptable. This, to me, is a red flag and just the tip of the iceberg of other “issues” you will likely have with them.

If you feel like you should provide a reason, simply tell them that their request that you leave in the middle of the night with an infant is a problem that you don’t want to hassle with, and wish them safe travels.

Save yourself the stress and frustration and pass on this one.


This is a good example of how not to be a doormat. Politely decline the sit unless they can come up with a workable solution. The responsibility is on them to make this work.


Welcome @Jjay to the forum. I agree with all the previous comments

NO! The Homeowner’s request that your sleep is interrupted so that you leave in the middle of the night is not a reasonable request ( with or without a baby ) and just because it’s in a desirable location doesn’t make it ok .

THS is about mutual exchange which means that your work as a sitter caring for their home for a month in an area where they have concerns about security even for a few hours should be respected , valued and appreciated by the homeowner. ( not turfing you out in the middle of the night at the end of the sit ) .

It could be a red flag of other issues to come or maybe they just haven’t thought it through or are trying it on …

FWIW “desirable location” does not automatically = desirable sit

I think that if you do accept this totally unreasonable demand, then you are leaving yourself open to similar excessive demands during the sit.

If you do want to go ahead with the sit , politely stand your ground and let them find the solution to their early arrival ; not put the onus on you to sort it out. You can do this by saying “ About your request that we leave at 2am we’re not able to do that “. (Nothing more needs to be said )

It’s not just homeowners that should appreciate sitters . All sitters should have a high value of their own worth . Yes, we enjoy what we do, get to stay in lovely places with fabulous pets . Just because no money is exchanged, does not diminish the value of the service we are providing and we should all remember that.


I can’t believe someone would even ask this. It’s completely unreasonable. That tells me a lot about them - what other unreasonable asks are they going to have later? This should be a mutual exchange. I consider myself a guest in host’s home, what kind of host kicks guests out in the middle of the night?
If it’s not yet confirmed, I would withdraw. If it is confirmed, this is a change in the terms of the sit and you could cancel, and I would hope that THS would support you on this.


Welcome @Jjay and I would definitely pass on this one - far too stressful a situation even without a baby to consider.
Say you were willing to leave in the early hours of the morning what if you have cleaned and prepared for their return and then they are delayed. Are you expected to just sit around. The dogs would be totally confused as well and personally I would not take a baby into an environment where you don’t know how the dogs will react.
Don’t be seduced by a desirable location only - we have done this and found the home less than ideal and find when dogs are involved you don’t see as much of that desirable location as you thought because of the dog’s routines.
I can only imagine the logistics involved in just getting your family out of the door in the morning and double that when dogs are involved.
If you decide to go ahead I hope you manage to come to an arrangement that you are all comfortable with.


Yes, walk away.
You don’t want to be dealing with this type of person, especially for a long sit. They obviously have an idea of a hierarchy in this arrangement where they have the upper hand. How will they react if you need something from them, if there is a problem…?
I’d definitely say no to this and move on.


Hi @Jjay please check your Direct Messages

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Totally agree with ElsieDownie (who always gives great advice). Good luck with your next housesit!


I haven’t had this situation but I always check before I accept the times of arrival and departure so we are all clear on what is happening. As I am in the UK, and a sit is often 4 or 5 hours away so I say when I will need to leave. If that is all agreed then I accept. I do allow an extra day to stay if there are unexpected travel changes which no one can help. There should always be a Plan B a neighbour or relative who could feed the pet in an emergency. My trip to Scotland shortly has been arranged for me to arrive after home owners leave and go before they come home and a neighbour will meet me and show me arround. When lockdown started I was in North Wales and my owner was in South Africa on the last flight out. The neighbours were very good and said go the day before in case, they had fed the cat before and were keyholders, it was a worry. I don’t think going at 3am is a request anyone should make of sitters