Homeowners Background check?

I am a sitter so I don’t know what the HO application entails. Do HO get background checks? If so, how does a sitter know this?
I realize background checks may not be available in all locations.
Thank you for responses.

Hi @Patforcier, there is a thread somewhere about this, basically no, us HOs do not have background checks, after all we are trusting Sitters with our most precious possessions, home and animals, what could Sitters need a background check for?

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Thank you for your response. I was just wondering if it was made available. The trust goes both ways.


I agree. Also, I agree, I need 10 characters to post.


Interestingly I know of one listing that showed photos of a completely different house, both external and internal, and when the sitter arrived, they were completely taken aback by it not being what they expected. Thankfully this dishonesty is rare.


We had this too @temba on a sit through another platform several years ago and no remorse or apology from the owner. In fact he said as he’d had no photos that particular platform had helped him upload stock photos. Absolutely shocking and I did write to all platforms to warn them. But as you say, this sort of dishonesty is extremely rare.


Many years ago, when I was a “novice”, I accepted a sit for one cat and a Great Dane with very little photos of the inside of the home. When I arrived at the address provided I was delighted to find myself in a gorgeous historical home.
It was then explained to me that this was “my mother’s house” and I would spend one night here and then go to “my house” down 3 blocks.
That house was also an older home, smaller in total disarray and completely unkempt. There was a cat and a small very cute little dog. No Great Dane. The owner then apologized and explained.
I was to care for both homes by checking in daily and collecting mail on the larger home but physically stay in the smaller house with the animals. The house was so dirty it literally had a very thick white layer of dust and clutter with cleared off spaces she had made for me on the couch, kitchen and hold on for this one… The massive bed was full of clutter which she pushed to one side and gave me a clean sheet and blanket on the space just made for me to use on the bed.
I explained that I enjoyed cleaning and would be happy to clean up. She asked me not to and specifically pointed out the glass panes on a door that were smudged and full of snout prints left by the great dane who had passed months before (after sit confirmation), but she had not updated her photos on the sit or mentioned prior to my arrival.
The smaller dog belonged to her mother who had since decided to go on the trip. She again apologized saying she hadn’t had time to update me.
It was a short sit and I actually enjoyed it. The pets were lovely and I truly enjoyed meeting both women who were in fact professionals and had lovely stories to share. I was lucky.

The point here is that being a homeowner really is not a true reflection of any one’s character, standards, ethics, or whatever word describes the true nature of an environment or person.
As sitters, we never really have any assurance of what we are walking into or if anything we have been led to believe is true. There are risks to both parties.

People, like us, owners and sitters alike, have to have a great deal of courage to do this. That courage will on rare occasions find us in less than favorable situations but most of the time it is truly very rewarding.
I would not be a happy pet and home sitter if it weren’t.


This is the nature of life is it not?
There are no guarantees for anything except that some days it will be sunny and some days it rains. I choose to enjoy all my days and I absolutely refuse to stay home where it’s safe and I will probably die of boredom :laughing: There is too much to see, to feel, to taste and do. Too many people to meet, animals to love with. I’d rather die in a moment of excitement :dancer:


We had background checks done when we joined the site. But they are way out of date now.
Trust seems to be “the word”. I always go with my instincts and it’s worked so far. We travel as a couple. I think I would be more careful if I was travelling as a woman on my own.
Both parties can tell half truths or lie. Both parties can post false pictures. Both parties can make misleading statements. If you have any doubts walk away. There’s always something better round the corner.


Thank you everyone for your input. I too have experienced issues when I arrived at a sit; very dirty and unkept house, flea infested dog, and “extra” pet that was not disclosed. I now ask for a video walk through prior to the sit.
However, I am more concerned with criminal background checks. A good friend experienced a very uncomfortable situation (through another platform) where the pet owner had a disturbing criminal record. The neighbor told her to be careful.


It’s all about TRUST. A person could test negative on a drug screen one hour and test positive the next. A background check is only good from the moment it is done backwards even though the paper is valid for 90 days, the actual fact may not be.
People move, sell their homes. I, until 3 weeks, was listed as the owner of the house I sold in 2015.
Anything and everything is changeable and will change.
I have more grey hair now and more delightful fine lines, should I update my photo every month?


For the photo, maybe not every month, but at least every two months :wink::grinning:

You joke about changing the photos, but most of our photos were taken before we joined TrustedHousesitters in 2019. Our boys are now much larger and look like teenagers even if they are not quite yet! I’ve started updating the photos on our profile to add some more recent ones.

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I think it should be mandatory for THS pet/house sitters
to get a background check before they join THS . We
had a HORRIBLE experience with a pet sitter who said she lived in PHX. When she arrived she said she lived in Hawaii. The license plate on her car was from Michigan. We asked for a copy of her driver’s license but she refused to give it. She locked our 2 little Yorkies in their crate except for feeding time. Our neighbors were calling us saying she was acting odd.
DRUGS MAYBE??? Make sure you throughout vet the sitter before they arrive. We still don’t know who the person was. We came home immediately as I became sick with worry. She refused to let us back in our house untill I started to call the police. It took her another hour to leave as she was very combative and obnoxious. THS never did anything, so she is still out there doing other sits. BEWARE

that’s definitely crazy but exceedingly rare. probably a good lesson to everyone that if someone shows up and they don’t match what you were told, don’t let them in.

at this point, i wouldn’t even know how to do a background check. i haven’t had a home in 13 years. last home i had was in the US, which i left in 2008. so a background check on me would be pointless. i’ve spent time in 60+ countries in the last 13 years. no way they could each be checked. and even so, i wasn’t a resident of any of them. so immigration there would just have me listed as a tourist. and even if i could figure out the background check thing, as someone else mentioned, it’s only valid until that day. i joined years ago. any background check done then would be completely out of date by now.


Maybe supplying a credit check would help if you can’t supply a background check? It feels like having a high (vs. low) credit rating would help HO’s feel assured that their home & valuables were in safe hands.

Wouldn’t that require providing a social security number (in the US)? People are very hesitant to do that because of identity theft.
All I can think of is @italy53lv , looking back were there any red flags?

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Here in Germany it’s not so easy to get a background check. What you can do is get a general information if someone does have any criminal records and if they have any major debts but you would never be told what exactly the criminal record was about and how much in debt the person is.
Would you not do a house sit if the HO had loaned the money to pay for the house and is still paying it back? That’s what the background check would tell you, if not the amount.
This kind of check is useful for landlords to see if the tenant can pay the rent but that’s about it.
For any other information you have to provide really good reasons why you need to know them. If the person doesn’t want to tell there’s no easy way to find out.

High US credit = more trustworthy person? I don’t agree, and I have excellent credit. Do you know that the whole credit agency setup (and what a scam it is) is designed to hurt people of color?


Hi. To answer your question, yes, I am a homeowner and we have all the verifications and background check. It provides our sitters with security. But I was actually wondering why so many sitters don’t have full verification or a background check? It makes a HO Leary of why?