Home owners returning in middle of a sit for few days

Ugh. I know how you feel. This really needs to change.

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I posted about the HO coming back a few days early with an hour’s notice. That was disruptive.

In the middle of a long sit 6+ months ago, I did have a HO come home for a few days, but I knew about it ahead of time and had the option to stay (and not be kicked out of the master BR). So that was no problem. (I’m going over this afternoon to watch the dog for a few hours).

I once signed up for a 3 month sit and in the listing they mentioned they might come back 1-2 times during the sit to pick up supplies for their business. I was fine with it at the time. But when I arrived at the sit, pretty much nothing was as advertised. Rather than coming back a couple times in 3 months, their actual plan was to only be gone on the weekends and their preference was for me to find somewhere else to be during the week. “All our past sitters really enjoyed having the chance to explore the area”.

They had also turned their house into an Airbnb between when I accepted the sit and when it started and decided not to tell me because they didn’t want to worry me. They wanted to pay me $5/day to run their Airbnb. I felt pressured to do it the first weekend because they had a wedding booked in and had already made plans to be gone. It was a nightmare of dealing with needy people who were constantly barging into my room (no lock on the door), messing with the animals (their 20 year old cat was traumatized when they kicked him out of his bed so they could move the table he slept under), blowing fuses, breaking the gate, etc. The icing on the cake was when one guest decided to lock a padlock on a gate and take the key. That padlock effectively locked me into my room and I had to stand on a balcony and yell until the guy heard me and came to let me out.

I ended up leaving after a few days as the sit was so completely misrepresented. It turned into a whole thing and I had to get help from support to mediate it. Thankfully I had copies of all of our text conversations because it turned into a he/she said situation that could have really damaged my reputation if I couldn’t prove all the problems I’d encountered.

These days I’m more leery about mid-sit visits.

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We’re going to be starting a long sit (4 months) in December and we know the owners are going to be coming back. They’re renting a property in Switzerland for the ski season. We only live 1.5 hours away from them, so are quite happy with this… it will enable us to see our kids and friends. However, this works only because we’re not far away.

Hi @tesstess1234 welcome to our community forum, thank you for joining in the conversation TrustedHousesitters has a policy that for the duration of the sit only the sitters will be present in the home. If the arrangement is that the owners return and sitters leave during that time and this has been prearranged and mutually agreed that is different to owners returning to occupy the property and expect sitters to leave without warning or remain in the property and continue pet care etc., which is completely against our agreed T&C’s as in the case of @CreatureCuddler

I’ve had great long term sits they do give you the opportunity to really bond with the pets and live like a local … the down side for me was saying goodbye to the pets, but then that applies whether I’ve cared for them for a week or 6 months.

Have a great sit … will you get the opportunity to ski too?

Angela and the Team

We once had a sit when the owner never left for the whole three weeks!!( He apparently got cold feet at the last moment because the country he was going to had high Covid-19 occurrence.)
Fortunately we had separate accommodation so were not in one another’s way, but we were still expected to turn up twice a day at an exact time to join in the care of the pets (and got comments if we were five minutes late)
On top of that the guy was not very friendly and I felt one of the dogs was not treated fairly.
Not an ideal sit I can tell you!

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Yes, it has happened maybe once (we have been doing this for three years fulltime). In our case it was a pleasant experience, we had dinner together 3x and met a lot of people in the village through her. The doggy was also really old, so I guess she must have felt guilty about leaving at all and wanted to pop in as much as she could.

Oh my. That sounds very uncomfortable.

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Bumping this. @Edith

When this happened during a long-term sit (3+ months), the HOs let me know well ahead of time, and there was a legitimate reason and they were respectful and more in-and-out (and stayed in the extra bedroom). It was just at the start of vaccinations, however. I actually had just had my 2nd shot, and was bedridden with side effects when the HO returned. So that part was a bit uncomfortable.

I know this isn’t a new topic, but didn’t see how to place my question elsewhere (sorry)
I have a sit scheduled in about 10 days and just heard from the HO asking if she, her son and daughter could return to sleep (after my arrival) for a couple of nights. I replied that it was against THS regulations, but immediately felt awkward saying that because I’m staying with the whole family before the handoff, so it makes a little less sense.
They asked if it would be ok with me, and I wonder if I could/should say yes.
Thoughts…?

Say yes if it feels right my friend. Rules are guidelines, recommendations.
You do you.
Ask yourself, How does it feel now? Do you feel comfortable staying with them before and possibly after?

Listen to that instinct. It’s in these moments we find the greatest treasure.

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How long is the sit? And does it mean you have to vacate your room?

If it wasn’t too disruptive, I’d probably take the opportunity to go elsewhere for a few days. It would be nice if they paid for a cleaner to come and get it [banned word that means clean] and span before their return (so you don’t devote many hours to that).

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Thanks @katie and we’ve moved the thread here on your recommendation so @edith can review the topic.

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Thanks, Vanessa.

@Edith , now this is me — and I know some others may disagree, but I would feel uncomfortable because of the risk of getting covid as they have just been traveling. I try to avoid face-to-face contact, unless it’s outdoors. Who wants to wear a mask the whole time you’re in the house with them? If you decide to go ahead, you might want to ask them to take covid tests.

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Thanks, Amparo. We’re going to have a zoom call tomorrow evening and discuss it.

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Hi @Edith As much as many of us can give you points to consider, you have to be the one to make the final decision. As well as all the considerations already mentioned by others, for me much would depend on: the relationship I had established with them beforehand, whether it was a repeat sit for me, how long my sit would be overall (2 days out of 2 months, or 2 days out of 10 days), the inconvenience factor of a major clean x 2 … and my list could go on. The bottom line for me would be how (un)comfortable I truly was with the concept. If you are feeling like you have to say yes to it, but really don’t want to, I’ll give you some support information from the site next.

Once a sitter has begun their sit, we require that the owner(s) have vacated the property for the entirety of the stay” - taken from the third party policy

As for you mentioning that you stayed there before the handoff, my understanding is that during that period you were staying as their guest and your sit had not started, which is a different scenario.

It’s certainly nice to try and be accommodating, but if you are going to stress yourself over it, then remember to take care of yourself too.

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Thanks, @Snowbird. It’s a good reminder. I’ve only had one zoom conversation with them, but will have another tomorrow. They’re new to THS and I believe I’m their first sitter, so no reviews. As long as THS doesn’t have hard and fast rules (was thinking maybe insurance or something), I’ll make my call after discussing it with them in detail. God knows I’ve cohabitated with enough “strangers” through AirBnB.
I appreciate your providing my “out” though. :blush: