How bad is bad ( another dirty house saga)

Yes, you can find it, it was half a year ago. And for not diverging too far from topic: it has not really hurt my chances of getting sits. Of my four applications after that review, I was accepted on three.

Sitters do not need to be too afraid to loose their infinite numbers of five-star records. And now, with the double-blind system, there is less reason not to say the truth about a sit with issues.


We had our first dirty house on our last sit! I was pretty horrified but it was only a short sit so we didn’t do a clean. I dont know how anyone can leave a house like that for guests! I think when they booked us they perhaps thought we were younger than we were and would be out partying most of the time.

Hard to know how to address because i worry that future HOs would read a critical review from us and assume we’re very uptight with cleaning, which isn’t the case!

I would recommend staying away from sits without both interior and exterior photos of the accommodations. That’s a bad sign.


Hi~ I am a sitter. I just wondering in the case if you can’t bear with the environment and need to leave early. How is the trustedhousesitters team deal with this situation? How the pets be taken care of if you leave ?

Yes I am in a short stay. So I won’t leave early. But I am really glad it is a short stay. So I can back to home soon !

Oh my gosh ! It is so sad they give you 3 stars just because you try to give them some feedback!

Word edit to align to Forum Guidelines

Your experience is really make me feel more comfortable to leave a true commitment!

Yeah I agree with you! But still sometimes host maybe just want to keep privacy. And maybe sitter can give them a chance and let the host give you a house tour in video call. I have one experience is that host didn’t offer much photos in the list, but it turn out it is a very luxury and beautiful house. The best way is have a room tour face to face or in a video call before sit.

It’s up to the HO to organize the care of their pet, if the sitter leaves earlier than agreed. As far as I understand it, THS has no resposibilities on that.

I often move things around for my own convenience, but I put them back where they were before I leave. I make a list if I move more than a couple things.

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Great idea! I will take pictures of how things were next time.

I disagree with your philosophy. House sitters spend their precious time and money to sit at a particular house. I feel you’ve done a misservice to fellow sitters if the house is dirty and you dont mention it. I know I’d never opt to stay at a dirty home no matter how tempting the location.


@ellie1431 This HO may well have recognised her house was much cleaner but this may have brought on some shame, hence the pointing out about the oven etc. That seems an odd thing for her to do if she was pleased so you may get a bit of a passive aggressive review unfortunately :grimacing:

I like your idea but saying something like i had to clean before I felt comfortable IS a judgement. As we know from recent US politics ‘facts’ are not always agreed upon.

Let’s stay away from politics. The fact is, if someone feels like X and they do X, it’s what they did. You can’t contest how someone felt. It’s their right to feel as they do. If you disagree with how they felt, that’s judgment.

I often do this on my own, as a Sitter and just write a nice long review and include: pets, house (including how accurate photos were), cleanliness, amenities, etc. Thankfully in all my cases, it’s been positive, but still - we can make the bullet points ourselves if we want to.

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Best of luck!

If I had booked a holiday home that was as filthy as that I’m afraid I’d have turned tail and walked right back out!


I am new to THS, although I have travelled with Couchsurfers’s pre-Covid. My first job was amazing… three weeks in a clean house, healthy lovely cats, very good info pack, contacts and a cleaner once a week. I got on very well with the HO and the cats were very friendly and sat with me for cuddles and were great company, and we gave each other 5* reviews, I felt very positive and confident about doing this work.

I am now on my second sit, which is the complete opposite. The house is so dirty that it affected my breathing, and made me feel sick… and it was another three week sit.
I phoned the emergency number and the woman I spoke to said it sounded “unacceptable” and that I had to firstly contact the HO and ask that they pay for it to be cleaned, and that if I am not expected to stay in a place which is that dirty, and was at liberty to leave - but I would not abandon the animals, so although I found it very awkward, I sent a message to the HO, who agreed for me to get a cleaner in… but this was the night before easter weekend. Fortunately, my friend who I stay with is not far away and agreed to bring her hoover over and I took the dog for a walk while she did the hoovering as it was the dust and hair causing a problem. She brought some rubber gloves so I could make a start. It was my friend who realised the bad smell was the dirty Range cooker and greasy pots and pans. I have arranged for an oven cleaner to come but hat wont be until another eight days. I will contact a cleaning company tomorrow. The shower/bath thermostat is broken but I was told about that and agreed for the plumber to have my number to arrange a time for him to come, but have not heard. I can go to my friends for a shower/bath - but the rest of the house sits I have booked aren’t local to me.

The dog is lovely but my friend has pointed out that he does not have ID and that is illegal. There is no collar, only a lead and choke chain. He is 13 with bad eyesight and deaf, so no recall. The house backs onto woods and he walk off lead on his usual route, but I don’t feel I can take him out anywhere in the car etc. The cat here belongs to the girlfriend and is not happy with the dog and very anxious. The dog growls a lot and my friend

This one has definitely been full of lessons, and I am wondering about what’s to come…especially from reading the experience of others here. I agree about leaving HONEST reviews, as the two from here did not mention the squalor… but one does mention having to go to A&E with a stomach infection.

My next sit has no interior photos and I am a bit worried now… I’m thinking of telling her about my experience here and the HO having to pay for professional cleaning services and see the reaction.
I will ask for a video tour of the interior next time and ask if they have a cleaner.

I’m sad because it is not the fault of the animals, it is the owners. And to be honest I don’t feel these animals should be left with strangers however good we are with animals - and I am.
So thanks to all who replied on this thread with ideas and suggestions of how to avoid this situation, although as one person said - sometimes you can’t tell.

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First of all I am glad to hear that MS support the sitter in this case - if you do decide to leave as long as you notify the owner - they can come back or get arrange for alternative care for the pets ( so you will not be abandoning them )
With regard to the cleaners is the homeowner paying them directly- what arrangements have you made for this ?

Ask for interior photos -state that you now realise it’s important to have some internal photos or a video call to see where you will be staying ( bedrooms / kitchen / bathroom / living room / garden as a minimum . If they refuse to provide them state that you cannot go ahead with the sit without them. ( It’s not necessarily a :triangular_flag_on_post:ans these weren’t always mandatory for listings . Re- read any reviews from previous sitters and check the app to see if there are any “missing” reviews.

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