HO's automatically rejecting first 5 applicants

Hi @temba. I too have applied when the number of applications was under 4, and then removed my application. Because the listing didn’t cross the 5-application threshold, the number of applications went back to where it was before I applied.

I agree! As a HO, I would really like to see more apps. Once-upon-a-time we lived in a highly desirable European location and I would get 50 apps overnight after making a posting. THAT was a bit much, but I simply hit the button that turned off further apps while I went through the 50. Now, although our location is not as exotic, I would like to see more apps as then I can make a back up plan should my first couple of choices take other sits. When did the “5 app” limit start? And why? I don’t recall hearing about it but then we lost a year of postings in 2020 when we didn’t go anywhere.


@KC1102 Just an update for you regarding your question.

As mentioned if the listing is in ‘reviewing’ then even if a sitter withdraws their application then the owner will still need to unpause the listing to be able to accept new applicants.

But if the listing has for example 3 applications, including yours and then you withdraw the application then the listing should automatically update to show only 2 applicants.

Hope that helps clarify how it works :slight_smile: Anything else let me know.

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The best solution would be to let the HO decide how many applications they want to look at. It would be best for both the homeowner and the pet sitter. It is much easier on the ego to be turned down by the owner when there are numerous applications. It is a bit deflating knowing you were not chosen with only 4 other people. The past 5 homeowners who I have talked with, had no idea about the 5-app rule and they were disappointed with the quality of the applicants. It is simple- Homeowners need and want more choices for their very very beloved pets.


@llbarton53 The 5 app + pause feature was started as a experiment last summer and after a couple of months THS implemented it permanently. Apparantly their data showed it was very helpful. However, according to the huge number of comments on the forum here - from both sitters & hosts- it appears to be a universally unpopular move. Despite this feedback THS say they have no plans to change anything at the moment.

There is a long thread on here somewhere- I’m sure someone (more techy than me!) like @geoff.hom can add the link to it here.


Not sure if this link will work as technology is not my strong suit! Hopefully this will answer your questions.

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Many thanks. Something I missed.

Thanks for the explanation. It is becoming harder to pin down a sitter and I may have to look at another platform.

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Really? I see so many amazing Sitters here.


@llbarton53 Don’t forget you just have to reject unsuitable applicants to free up space and then manually unpause your listing. You can do this as often as you need to untill you find a good match there are more sitters on THS than anywhere else. And you can also directly invite sitters if needed, especially those who have favourited you.

Edited to comply with posting guidelines.


How would you search for a good sitter? I sit all around Europe. I’m sure there’s thousands of sitters like me. I don’t think any HO would like to go and search thousands of sitter profiles who live in Europe on the off-chance they may feel like sitting at their place during specific dates. That would be extremely time consuming.

Instead, before the 5 application rule, I’ve often used the ‘Apply’ option as a way to make my presence known for future sits. And this has helped me secure several sits at a later date


Hi @llbarton53 ! I would love to see your listing as I’m sure other forum members would. Why don’t you add it to your forum profile? Here are the instructions:
How to add your listing or profile to your forum profile

You will reach many more sitters that way and will get helpful feedback as well.


Thank you for clearing up that point. In the past, if I have seen an ideal sit but can’t do it because of other commitments I would send a message saying that I can’t do their dates this time but in the future, please consider me. Now I see it gives a negative impression I’m going to stop it and just favourite the sit. You have cleared up a burning question in our household. Thank you.


I have never had someone who is not available send an email to introduce themselves and then cancel…I have always had to decline them to free up the space again

I hate when this happens: “We’ve been overwhelmed with responses. We’re going through them and will get back to you.” Like you will be available forever.

Thanks! I have done so. Your tip led me down a path of discovery and I had to inform the help desk when I could not find my listing AT ALL. I hope it is now solved.

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Just chiming in to say I am very much in favour of this. In fact, it gives me hope to think that perhaps some homeowners are doing this. It allows them to choose a sitter from a larger pool, one in which I may actually have a chance to dip my toe into.

So I’m fine if I was in the group of first five and get declined right away. It doesn’t mean I won’t be chosen. And in the long run, it’ll be to my advantage because sometimes I may be in the 2nd or 3rd group of 5 and actually get a shot at the sit.


I’ve done it a few times, but I have never had a future sit out of it so won’t be doing it again.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Conclusion Of Pausing Application Test - Updated Post

It’s possible that some homeowners (HOs) may choose to reject the first few applicants in order to have a wider pool of potential sitters to choose from. By doing so, they can compare different profiles and select the sitter they feel is the best fit for their needs.

While this approach may seem discouraging for the applicants who are rejected initially, it’s important to remember that homeowners have their own preferences and criteria when selecting a house sitter. They might be seeking specific qualifications or characteristics and want to explore all available options before making a decision. It’s a way for them to ensure they find the most suitable candidate for their particular house-sitting assignment.

If you feel uncomfortable with this practice or it goes against your personal preferences, you have every right to decline an invitation from a homeowner who follows this approach. It’s essential to choose house-sitting opportunities that align with your own values and expectations.

Keep in mind that house sitting is a competitive field, and different homeowners may have their own unique selection processes. It’s always a good idea to communicate openly with homeowners and ask any questions you may have about their selection process or preferences before committing to a house-sitting assignment.