House cleaner frequency during sit

Stumbled into my first situation throughout a year of house sitting where I am at odds on how to handle a situation or what to potentially message the HO. Not sure if I’m here in the forum simply to vent or searching for advice if anyone dealt with a similar situation. :sweat_smile:

I agreed to a 5 week sit a few months ago. In the listing the elder HO mentioned a cleaner that comes so that sitters do not have to worry about cleaning. Yay! Having a cleaner come to the house was not initially a concern for me as long as I am aware about frequency. At past sits this has typically been once every two weeks or a cleaner comes on one of the last days of my sit.

The HO initially dodged my questions about the frequency of the cleaner’s visits until ~2 weeks before the sit began. He noted it when I visited his home to ensure our dogs all got along as I travel to every housesit with mine. This is when the HO stated a cleaner (one that he has employed for awhile) comes 3 times a week (MWF). I responded that the three days a week cadence was not necessary while he was away for 5 weeks. He already called out my glowing reviews from prior sits which reference my cleanliness and leaving homes better than I found them. Those reviews being the only reason he agreed months ago to have an out-of-towner sit his two elder dogs.

I am into my 5th day of the sit and the cleaner has been here twice this week for about 4-5 hours a day. For over half of this time she is not actively cleaning but having coffee, making breakfast, or standing around listening to music/playing on her phone. There is no laundry or dishwasher running while this is happening so nothing for her to necessarily wait on. I certainly do not mind folks taking a break from their work but this happened on both days the cleaner was in the home this week.

Today is felt a lot more like the HO has someone here to babysit/watch me rather than a cleaner for the home. Given my prior comments to the HO that having a cleaner come 3 days a week is unnecessary, I’m uncertain if saying anything more to the HO would be worthwhile or beneficial for me, without it leading to some type of interrogation about why there is an issue with the cleaner coming during my stay.

Has anyone dealt with a similar situation? Should I simply leave during these three days each week and let the cleaner watch the dogs since they are very familiar with the duo? Maybe tell the cleaner not to come by but once a week & that I won’t tell the HO so they still receive pay? Ignore it and just read more books while the cleaner is here multiple days a week?

It’s not a huge bother, just irritating in a small space, but obviously learned a lesson: always ask a question 3-4 times if it goes unanswered the first time :rofl:


Yes, it sounds like the HO has someone checking on you. Your comment is they aren’t really cleaning, but hanging out 15 hours a week. You’re being gracious, it absolutely wouldn’t fly with me since I work from home and the HO’s know that. I wouldn’t be able to get my work done and would be an invasion of my space. If you work remotely, I’d point both of those things about and let the HO know the person can come once a week or every other week at an agreed scheduled time. The HO can continue to pay them.

Technically, the HO is breaking THS policies by having the person in the house while you’re there. That should be made clear by the HO and you did ask the question.


If the homeowner usually has the cleaner come three times a week then they likely feel it wouldn’t be fair to stop paying for a cleaner and for them to loose their income for 5 weeks . If they did that the homeowner could potentially loose the cleaner who would find a new job rather than loose out on 5 weeks income .

We have stayed in a home where the cleaner came twice a week and 3 gardeners came 3 times a week ( and used the kitchen) . That was the norm for the homeowner and we were informed prior to agreeing the sit .

We did feel like we were being watched and to some extent we were. The cleaner was a person that the homeowner trusted - they had worked for the family for years , at different properties, worked for their friends too . Had been with the family through all the life events ( births, weddings and deaths )and seen the children of the family grow up and have their own kids . They definitely were the eyes and ears of the owner whilst they were away . In fact it was the cleaner who had recommended that the owner join up to THS . It was important that the cleaner trusted us .( It was probably the cleaner who wrote the review of us )and it was the cleaner who recommended that the homeowner invite us back .( which we accepted )

@TD052023 You haven’t been asked to supervise the cleaner so can you ask the homeowners about going out for whilst the cleaner is there to supervise the pets giving you more time to visit places?

On a recent new sit the cleaner offered to watch the dogs while she was there for the day - so we could go out for longer ( we checked with the owners first ) and this is what we did .


This right here (as they say) with an add’l comment for your review: while I appreciated a cleaning service during my stay, the 3x a week service on MWF was a bit interuptive for my experience/liking.

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Three times a week feels excessive to me; I’ve never stayed anywhere where they come more than once weekly. But maybe the norms are different depending where you are?

Honestly I would just use that time to go sightsee, run errands, or go sit at a cafe. You can mention it to the HO after the reviews are posted as something you found uncomfortable, or you can mention it in your review.


I tell sitters it’s their choice whether the cleaner comes; I pay her either way.


During one of our first sits, we stayed on a pretty large property in Bali where she had a man and a woman there about 8 hours a day 6 days a week. They spent most of the day landscaping and doing things outdoors, but the woman would come and clean the house daily. I didn’t really like having people there so much, and even when they were outside, and not near the house, just knowing people were around all the time created a different vibe.

Because of that experience, I don’t consider listings that state they have a housekeeper there every day, or like in your case, numerous days of the week for hours at a time. That is one of my ‘dealbreaker’ type criteria, so if that were me, that is a question that the HO would need to answer for me before confirming. If I see mention of a cleaner in the listing and the frequency is not noted, that is a question I ask in my first message to the HO.

You said this is your first year of sitting so you may be in the ‘learning curve’ phase still and this is a good experience to help you vet sits in the future. Every sitters is different in terms of their ‘dealbreakers’ their preferences, etc. What is important to one sitter may not matter to another.

For whatever stuff matters to you a lot personally–and it sounds like the frequency with which a cleaner comes does–it is important to inquire and have these questions answered early on in the process before accepting the sit.

As far as asking for the cleaner to come less frequently, a HO may not agree to that for a number of reasons and you can’t really know. Perhaps your suspicions about him wanting someone there to keep an eye on you is correct. Perhaps he didn’t want to cut her income by having her come less than she normally does–I have seen HOs mention in listings sometimes that having the cleaner come is not negotiable because they rely on the income.

You noted that he ignored your question about this–not sure at what point you asked him or how many times. If it was before confirming and you agreed anyway, or even if it was after, and you didn’t flat out tell him you need this information, and let his lack of response slide, it is just one of those situations where you need to own your choice and again, use it as a learning opportunity moving forward.

Best of luck!


I personally find this thread a wonderful highlight of how people live very differently.

Idk where you’re originally from, but if that’s the cadence they’re used to and the style, that’s the way the house is set.

@Silversitters brings up a good point which is if the housekeeper’s livelihood is set against that cadence and that’s what works for the HO, that’s what goes.

@KC1102 also called out daily staff….som places have daily staff. My aunt and uncle used to live in Senegal and this was/is standard for a lot of households. They had a daily housekeeper that would cook some of the meals, clean the house top to bottom and do laundry, etc. I experienced similar living in Nigeria.

Ultimately, if you’re not comfortable, you don’t have to accept the sit and in future, you can press more to find out earlier what the cadence will be.

Maybe your HO enjoyed the company, hence why the housekeeper is used to taking so long…idk, but that type of a change isn’t something I’d expect to have adjusted for me if it’s important to the HO…I also wouldn’t expect them to allow me to adjust how I care for their pets if they’ve given instruction so why expect them to adjust the care for their house?

Yes, the sit should work for you but ultimately, as HS, we’re there to maintain the status quo and ideally benefit as well. If it’s not going to be beneficial, just say no thank you.


It seems like you have to put up with it. I don’t think it’s babysitting per se, it sounds like they have some sort of arrangement that the owner wants to keep this person employed and busy.
I once had a sit with an elderly cleaner. The well to do owner said she had her for decades and wanted to keep paying her and said she could “retire” and keep getting paid. The cleaner became upset because she wanted to be useful in some way. So, she kept coming to the house to “clean”. We had to get the cleaning supplies out for her, carry the vacuum for her, and she really didn’t do much. But, it was important to her that she did something.
However, this was all advised before we agreed to the sit, and we were ok with it.
I think in this situation you’ve already agreed, just leave this info in the review so the next person can consider if this is ok.


If a cleaner is going to be there that much it should be stated in the listing. Three days a week for 4-5 hours a day is a significant amount of time for a third party to be present. I wouldn’t be able to do my job in this situation. I have a lot of meetings and am often discussing confidential information. It sounds like the HO was not transparent about the amount of time the cleaner would be there.


That is quite normal in the tropics. Also there is likely no laundry machine: the maid will be washing clothing basically every day. One reason for that is that mould grows very fast in the warm humid weather.

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I have done several sits in Bali I believe it is part of the agreement for a long-term visa - that you must employ at least one local for several hours every week. I had one with a cleaner 6 days a week, after a few days we came to an agreement that she did come every day, but not at 8 am, and left as soon as she had finished - sometimes less than an hour. Her husband also did the gardening once a week. Another had a cleaner 2 times a week, but also a gardener and a pool man. Similar in many sits in SE Asia. In HK they had a live-in maid/nanny who went home to The Philippines during my stay but returned a few days earlier than the HO, but we just on with it - she cleaned the home top to bottom before the HO returned, so I was happy! All this was agreed upon before I arrived.
I know this is outside THS terms etc, but sometimes we just need to adapt - THS are not in charge of the rules in every country.


If a housekeeper or gardener comes, this must be communicated in the welcome guide, i.e. the frequency and the number of hours. And it must also be addressed in the first video call. Ideally, even in the listing.

It is also a delicate matter for legal reasons. Something could go missing; the sitter could say it was the housekeeper and the housekeeper could say it was the sitter.

When I have a sit, no one comes in and out of my house except the sitter.

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Yes, I am aware this is common in many countries, both having staff there frequently as well as visa rules for employing locals. I have no issue with cleaning people and gardeners coming during my stay and am more than happy for them to take care of all of that stuff. I just personally do not do sits where they will be in the home with us on a daily or near daily basis for extended periods.

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@pietkuip believe it or not we all have washing machines here :laughing: housekeepers certainly don’t spend all day washing everything by hand.

Alrighty. Figured I’d post a quick reply/update since I went silent back in March after I was a bit overwhelmed with things that occurred at the sit. Before I go any farther, I’ll note that I also travel with my own dog so that factor added a dynamic to my decision-making process while dealing with these issues.

Quick summary:
I agreed to a sit in October 2023. The homeowner’s reasoning for confirming me months prior was my exceptional reviews for pet care and cleanliness. The sit was scheduled to last for 5 weeks (late March/all of April) in an area where I am spending 6 months to start 2024. The homeowner mentioned a housekeeper on the listing, but the frequency was not noted on the listing or the Welcome Packet. My initial asks about frequency before meeting the homeowner were ignored. I met the homeowner ~2 weeks in advance when he informed me of the housekeeper’s hours (MWF from 830a-1p).

In my OP I noted the frequency of housekeeper’s visits were the issue. After this post I decided to leave the home and enjoy the area while the housekeeper was at the home. This unfortunately led to larger issues as I noticed over the next two weeks it became apparent that there was little to no cleaning occurring while I was away from the home but rather the keeper would make themselves breakfast/coffee, watch TV, nap, and occasionally bathe. Homeowner had noted “reasonable cleaning” and “bedsheets to be washed every 2 weeks” by the keeper but this did not occur when I asked the housekeeper as they refused to wash bedding. I contacted the homeowner and there were no changes to the cleaning process while I was away from the home.

On the Friday of the second week of this stay (my third time leaving the sitter alone), I returned to the home with the backdoor left ajar. I contacted the housekeeper via text to alert them and left a written note on their next visit to ensure the doors are closed and locked. I returned to the home on two more occasions with the backdoor left ajar and a text from the cleaner refusing to follow instructions because “they didn’t know when I would return and the dogs needed to be allowed outside” which was not discussed with the homeowner or housekeeper before they started leaving the door unlocked.

Anyway, I opened a case with THS Membership Support. Membership Support responded directly about the frequency factor while ignoring my safety concern, which was disappointing although not surprising. They suggested I leave the home after contacting the homeowner so they could find replacement pet care. I did not take that route, instead argued briefly with the housekeeper and homeowner over their awful communication and hospitality. Fortunately for me, the housekeeper didn’t return at all during the final week and things got a lot better over the final 7 days.

Homeowner left a 3* star overall rating despite only knocking me one star on two sub-categories.

As for THS Policy:
Policy allows for housekeepers/cleaners if it is noted (which technically it was on the listing) and agreed upon. When I reached out to THS support they suggested that I (not one of their service members) communicate with the homeowner which didn’t result in any changes during the stay.

Homeowners losing cleaners/no payment:
I find this argument comical personally. Thanks @Val for being a decent human being and ensuring proper communication is had between all parties + you give the house sitter’s a choice while still paying the folks who provide you a service.

Some homeowners’ attitudes towards this topic is quite comical, and to me, shows their values and respect for other human beings who provide a service & care for someone else’s home. The type of individuals I hope to avoid sitting for in the future.

My main concern after all of this is the fact that some homeowners believe it is fair to essentially deceive/lie/withhold information from sitters that could lead to harm without repercussion from THS. Trying to put myself in someone else’s shoes, if I wasn’t traveling with my dog or was not someone who could potentially defend themselves against an intruder, I would have left in a heartbeat during week 2 of this stay without a second thought once I returned to the home unlocked and housekeeper refusing to lock it in the future.

Thankful that my interview process is rather detailed, and this is the only sit of my 25+ that I’ve had any concerns with. Plus I already booked another two sits shortly after this homeowner posted their “suspicious” review so it seems other homeowners will read through the lines on “questionable reviews” when things are potentially not accurately noted from a stay.


I lived in San Rafael for 23 years. When I first read your post, I imagined that you were in a tropical place. Now I see that you were in Vallejo!!! How strange that someone in Vallejo, in a smaller home, would have a cleaner so frequently. What a strange predicament this presented. Curveball.

Do not even worry about the unfair review. You are obviously a star, and you prove that a dog CAN come with you while housesitting!

We are about to begin a Sit in San Francisco— 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo. They have 2 cleaners coming twice a week! Should be interesting. 9-noon. They told us that we can stay in the home while they are there, but we plan to leave. At least they have their own keys. I am sure the place will be spotless!

They will be there on our last day too. Hurray!


@PVGemini Trust me, if the husky could fly I would likely be in the tropics and would not have bothered complaining on the forum because I would have been enjoying time in the sun :laughing:

My only concern was that their review might impact me confirming accommodations for my final three weeks in California in late May/early June, otherwise I’m booked for return sits through September. Luckily I finalized a sit yesterday though and now get to care for a new member’s corgi and apartment in Pacific Heights (my first sit actually in San Francisco). Can’t wait to provide them with a fabulous first THS experience and enjoy my time in the city.

Enjoy your time in SF! I’m taking the pups to Oakland’s bark at the Park on June 2 if y’all happen to me around and able to make it across the bay.

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