HOs, please state days and times of the days of your leaving and return

I don’t know you, Ken, so I don’t know what reviews you have. For the sake of making a point, I’m going to imagine that you’re new to the platform and have no reviews at all.

As a sitter, I could presume that you’re a good bloke, and maybe you are, but that assumption might prove to be very wrong - for all any of us know, you could be a predator! How on earth would we know?

With no reviews, I’d weigh things up and would I stay with you before the sit? No way. I’d expect you to understand why and I’d be glad of the THS protection there. That’s not ‘paranoia’, it’s about ensuring a minimum level of protection. More women than men will understand and identify with this point of view because we tend to protect ourselves routinely.

Let’s now assume the opposite scenario; you have loads of great reviews. You’re a verifiably great bloke. Will I stay with you the night before? Sure. No problem! We’ve had a chat and agreed to it - it’s all good.

All of that said, even if you had glowing reviews, I would pull out of a sit, or find other accommodation if you told me “things have changed and I’ll be around a night or two before”.
Presenting sitters with a fait accompli*, when you haven’t checked if that suits them, isn’t okay. We’re not there to hang out with the homeowners and personally, I can’t maintain the necessary confidentiality in my remote work while someone is there in the background.

There’s no need to be offended by a policy - there are some very good reasons that it exists.

*as has been the case for the OP.

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Thank you, Snowbird, you understand me perfectly! I have meanwhile talked to the lady HO and agreed that I will arrive on the day before the sit, hence shortened the time to spend with her husband to one night only which is fine for me. He will be leaving early in the morning. With that, my problem is resolved, but I will make sure to ask about the exact departure and arrival times of the HOs before I confirm a sit in the future, so such a shock doesn’t occur again!

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I take your point about reviews but simply believing that what has happened in the past will be the same in the future is naive. As someone has already pointed out circumstances change with regard HO. and a couple with glowing reviews can become a single male ‘predator’, to use your term.
You have presumed and assumed but end up agreeing with what I have said in all my posts, and that is communicating with people you are going to meet is essential and agreeing on a format. If that agreement is breached then the HO or sitter has every justification in pulling out. As regards being offended by a ‘policy’; I have no idea what you are talking about. I said I would feel slightly offended if someone feels ‘uncomfortable’ in my home whilst there with me and my wife, and so I would. I have made it a point that with every sitter there has been clear understanding of what We will be doing whilst the sitter is here. If then the sitter feels ‘uncomfortable’ in my home , yes. I would be offended!
You can present any scenario to fit a point of view but the bottom line is that if you don’t communicate and ask the right questions then there can be problems. I have a sitter coming from the USA, she will be here in the house with me and my wife for 4 days b before we leave. She is comfortable with that and the reason she is is that we have talked in depth. I only asked that she arrive at least a day before so 4 days is a bit of a surprise but I don’t see a problem with that, we have discussed our plans for those days we will all be together, or rather when we won’t be all together!! If people cannot reach an agreement beyond simply agreeing to sit then perhaps they shouldn’t be sitting!!

That situation is not considered against the rules because you are a good communicator and have discussed this with your sitters beforehand. I would actually say it’s the preferred scenario.

The rule is against all undisclosed third parties. A random adult child showing up midsit. Workers being scheduled in the house midsit. Someone with a key just popping in to check on the pets without the sitter’s knowledge.

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It wasn’t me that brought up the term ’ against the rules’ I was responding to someone who did. With what you refer to: I always make it as clear as crystal as to who can stay in the house. In my case it is a maximum of two and definitely no children. It is absolutely essential that people make clear what it is they want, or need, or there will be problems later. The posts I read here seem to take a great deal for granted without spelling it out to their sitter or H.O. Without full and proper discussion of course there is the possibility of confusion and people, being people, some will try and take liberties. Clear, concise and frank discussion between the parties does away with that and everyone goes home a happy bunny!!

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We treat the third party policy more as a guideline. I have no objection for regular cleaners, gardeners, pool personnel coming in during our stay. I completely understand grown up children or other relatives popping in for something they forgot. We welcome homeowners who suggest we arrive a day or two in advance particularly if there’s lots of animals and a large home and garden to be tended. You wouldn’t believe the friends we have made doing this. It’s all about communication and what’s right for each party.

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Very well said, Pips. I do wish more men understood the risks that women face.

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I usually get this information during the interview with the HO, but it’d be much better if they include it already in the listings, because I can immediately know if I have to arrive the night before or not, for one thing.

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