Here is a question. Have any Housesitters experienced the homeowner returning for a few days in the middle of the scheduled housesit?
Never and I would find that disruptive. Was this in their original listing or mentioned before accepting the sit? Was there an emergency that resulted in them having to come back?
No, it was not in the listing and in our opinion, the purpose of the return does not constitute an emergency or extraordinary circumstances.
Not acceptable in my books, may be worth flagging it to @Angela-CommunityManager, seems like the HO needs to review the terms and code of conduct.
That is exactly what I thought. Thank you!
I agree with @travellingnomad. My further question is whether you were then expected to leave, or share the residence? In times of a pandemic, either would not have sat well with me, if it truly wasn’t an emergency situation.
I’m only doing local sits for now, so I would have been able to just return home, but would have expected as much notice as possible. Also, an offer to cover the transportation costs, if you were expected to return, would be reasonable. Again, mutual respect is key.
In your case, it certainly sounds like something that warrants staff followup.
Next question, what “extraordinary circumstances” as stated in the TH code of conduct would constitute the return of a HO prior to the scheduled end of a housesit? Extraordinary circumstances in the absence of context is subject to individual interpretation.
I have experience of this, due to sickness the poor owner had to return and cut their trip short. We agreed I would leave early, and I had complete 100% sympathy as they must have been severely ill to cut a holiday short, although it did of course cause much upheaval for me. I have understanding that these things can come up , and as you never know how someone is doing health wise, they may have been extremely unwell, so I moved on and now make sure to arrange Plan B ideas in case this were to re-occur.
I also agreed to a similar arrangement on a different sit with the owner returning for a family commitment, but this involved me staying elsewhere on the property so seemed to be a reasonable arrangement without too much crossover/being in each others’ way.
Hello @NorthShore and welcome to our community forum. I’m so sorry you’ve had this experience and it’s not something we’ve ever personally experienced on our house sits. I’ve only ever heard of it happening due to illness or other similar exceptional situation.
To maintain the privacy of the owners, I won’t ask you here what the reason was, but if you haven’t already spoken with membership services, @Therese-MembershipService will be able to advise and help when she’s back here in the forum in the morning, or you can email the support team directly now at email@example.com - they will be able to look into this and give the appropriate advice and support for your particular set of circumstances.
Best wishes, Vanessa
We had one sit (cancelled by COVID) where we had agreed to this - they had a 2 week trip abroad planned and then were going to a birthday weekend a few days after they got back so their plan was to return for a couple of days and then head out again. It was clear ahead of time and we weren’t worried about it at all.
The only downside would be that I would probably have felt like doing my super duper cleaning job before they returned both times. But I think as long as you know ahead, it’s not big deal.
Yes. It never bothers me. It is their home. Often they are going to various places for different reasons and need to come home for a day or two.
For me, it’s an opportunity to bond more, to increase the relationship.
To add, I have known about it in advance.
Yes, I deff think the thing is for North Shore is that they had not expected this arrangement. I had a similar arrangement but it was pre-arranged, and I knew the HO very well , so it really was fine and even an added bonus to have a meal together etc. But it would have been surprising to find out last minute…as always , communication is key!
I did a 3-week long sit in Singapore. The Lady of the house was travelling back to NZ for easter, but her husband worked in HongKong during the week, and couldn’t travel for the whole 3 weeks, so he returned to the Condo in Singapore for a night while I was there, then travelled on to NZ next day. It was a bit strange as he arrived late at night after I had gone to bed, and I only met him briefly the next morning but had all been discussed prior to sit, or at least that something similar might happen.
On another long sit, the husband had an injury not long before the sit, so had been off work, and due to the type of job he had, a replacement had to be flown in, so while his wife and kids were away for the whole period of the sit, he was there for the first few days, as he had no cover for his job for that period.
A bit different but I applied for 2 sits which were one weekend after the other, in KL, Malaysia same HO, and the HO offered that I stay with them through the whole period - However I managed to get a good deal on an Airbnb right in the city so moved out for 3 days midweek.
We have a sit coming up soon. The home host is going on a 2 week holiday with friends, then home for 2 days before going for a weeks holiday with family.
It was all clearly explained to us when it was booked. We could either book it as 2 sits with a 2 day gap where we would have to find accommodation or a single sit running the total length of her two holidays which seemed the sensible option for everyone.
Last year we had a case where the owners just never left because where they planned to travel had a higher than normal COVID cases. They got spooked literally an hour before their departure to the airport and decided to cancel their flight. This was completely understandable.
But what happened in the end was very unacceptable.
First off the owners were very inviting. They even invited us to come up to 3 days before. We didn’t need to do this but we came the night before. We had a great dinner together, they were very hospitable, they even gave us a generous supermarket gift card an addition to the food they already had in the fridge.
Then the flight was cancelled and the owners immediately told us to not worry, we can stay for the days we were supposed to (7 days total I think). We were about a 20 hour drive from our hometown so we were grateful but weren’t surprised because they kept insisting we could come a few days early and stay a few days after the returned if we needed to. Well, the first day went well and they were very positive, even discussing doing a different trip to another place, checking with us if we could still stay if they went. We said “SURE!” Then the next day that plan seemed to be cancelled and they asked if we had checked for other sits. We had been checking and there were no house sits between there and our home town. We kept them in the loop about that and stayed out of their way and out of the house a lot to give them space and gave their pets plenty of attention. But then Day 3 something seemed very off about their mood. Their super welcoming attitude was not there anymore. They were staying pretty quite but we always greeting them, keeping them updated, sharing stories, etc. But then that night the owner knocked on our door at midnight (they tended to go to bed very late but we were already in bed) and said “Um, we would like to get things back to normal. You guys need to leave tomorrow.”
I can’t tell you how confusing this felt. I said “sure no problem.” But I could barely sleep the rest of that night because it was so bizarre how quickly their kind faces, kind words, and quite frankly what seemed like an almost desperate (not in a bad way) attempt to have some human connection during COVID times with inviting us to way before and way after their travel dates and sharing with us soooo many personal stories and laughs and etc. But then we were suddenly evicted after 3 days.
We left in the morning and were racking our brains trying to figure out what the heck happened but we never figured it out. We wish we could leave an honest review for them and what they did but with this website having a review system which shows each side what the other said before they leave their review, it wasn’t worth risking them slandering our good profile with a revenge 1 star review.
So that’s our story of a home owner never leaving and it still upsets us to this day whenever we think about it.
Hi @NorthShore I have seen your other message in membership services and will follow up with you there. Kind regards Therese
This trip sounds absolutely awful and I can understand that you are still upset
We did a 7-week sit where one of the HO’s was abroad with their child and the other was travelling for work before joining them abroad. We agreed in advance that we were happy for the HO to return to sleep at the home for 1-2 nights before joining the rest of the family abroad. It was a little odd but it was all agreed in advance. I wouldn’t feel happy about it happening without warning mid-sit.
I did, it was very stressful & unexpected & I didn’t find out until the day they were returning. Having said that the whole sit & communication was a disaster anyway. They also had builders in for three of the days I was there, had the end date wrong & came back a day early also in addition to already having the wrong end date, only letting me know on that day too. There was as a multitude of other problems as well. Haven’t actually done any sits since that one as it put me off so much & has made me quite wary of doing any future sits now.
Yes, that is upsetting!! I can understand why you are still upset & how confusing that must have been!! I am still upset about two disastrous sits I did recently after doing more than 30 sits over the last few years!!