How to message a Declined Candidate?

Hi there, I confirmed a sitter today and went back to my inbox to send a polite decline message to another candidate. However the system had automatically generated a ‘decline’ to candidate #2 and I cannot see how to message them.
Any ideas? It really is not my style to decline someone without an explanation…
Many thanks

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@Zeblan *did they message you when they applied? If so, you should have a place to respond to their original message, which is the perfect place to send your mesage.

Hello @Zeblan and a very warm welcome to the Community Forum :wave:t2::slightly_smiling_face:

As @Debbie-L mentioned, you can reply to them via the messages from when they applied to sit for you. For future reference, once you confirm a sitter the system will automatically send out a decline notification to all the other applicants so it’s always best to send them a note before confirming your chosen sitter as I am sure you meant to do. Thank you for being a thoughtful homeowner with regards to sending a polite note to the unsuccessful applicants, it is always much nicer as a sitter to receive a written note rather than just receive the automated decline message.

For reference as a member, you can also add your TrustedHousesitters profile on to your Forum profile by following the attached link, should you wish. This will then enable others to offer you helpful advice and feedback and will also give your listing extra exposure!

If you are unsure how to do this, or if you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to ask, we are all more than happy to help.

Also, remember you can use the spyglass symbol at the top of the page next to the TrustedHousesitters logo and search for any questions that you may have as they have most likely already been answered on here and of course if not then please just ask! :blush:


Thanks for your responses.
I assumed that I could just send a reply in the existing message thread, however when I press send a window pops up asking ‘Connect without house sit dates?’ It seems to imply that if I send my message I’m inviting them to sit.

No, you are just connecting with them.

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Hi @Zeblan as @Debbie-L mentioned, no you are not inviting them to sit, that window that pops up is perfectly normal, you are just connecting with them without house sit dates as the pop up message implies because you now have no live dates as you already confirmed your sitter, and to confirm you are not inviting them to sit.

Thanks so much for your wisdom, have messaged them as you suggested


Hello there
I applaud you for wishing to reply to those you haven’t chosen. :slightly_smiling_face: An awful lot of HOs never reply and just decline and that really is not nice. I wrote quite a nice personalised note to a Scandinavian HO last week and got a decline with no message. Same happened this week with a German HO. About 50% (in Europe at least) don’t send any thank you messages. When dozens and dozens could apply for the same post, it may have been slightly more understandable but now with the max 5 rule, there’s really no excuse.
All the best.

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That is typical. Polite phrases would not convey any real information so most Swedes etc would not see any need.

The THS system generates a message “We’re sorry you didn’t get selected this time around”, “Don’t be discouraged” etc. That should be enough. No more sugarcoating needed.

I don’t know. Maybe you’re right. (And I say that with sincerity) But my issue has nothing to do with sugarcoating. It’s just politeness. I don’t need anyone to tell me they’re sorry and sugarcoat it.

Also the input can be useful. Some sits in places I would particularly love to visit pop up regularly.

Often I’ve been told. Sorry not this time but keep applying to us as we like your profile.
That’s useful information besides being polite by responding.
Sometimes if you’ve been denied so abruptly without any message, you feel like you shouldn’t apply to that particular sit again. And then maybe both are losing out.

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I am not Swedish, but I have been living there long enough to get used to it :slight_smile:

There is no cause to assume that an application for new dates would not be welcome.

Yes, Swedes might want to consider that. The number of applicants is limited, especially outside the summer months.

In my opinion, it’s not a matter of wanting “sugarcoating”, it’s a matter of respect. When I have taken the time to review a posted sit, check to make sure the timing and travel arrangements will work out, and taken the time to compose an individualized personal application, and I’m willing to travel to their location to care for their pets, I don’t feel it’s asking too much for a HO to at least respond with something. It doesn’t have to be flowery or “sugarcoating”. If a HO can’t give me that much respect, I won’t be applying for their next sit. And with the limit of 5, it’s not like it’s that burdensome.

I don’t think this is about sugarcoating. I generally select sitters based on criteria like who is the best person for THIS sit. If there are two equal candidates and one happens to be doing a sit nearby that ends the same day mine starts, and will be easily able to pick up the keys and meet with me in person while the other would need to pick up the key from a neighbor, I might want the sitter I’m not selecting to know that I am saving her information and may be in touch for future sits. That’s not sugarcoating. It’s the truth.

I’ve also rejected some sitters – usually new to the site – who didn’t have reviews or references, and I’ve written them specifics about why I’m not using them, and how they might improve their listings – and chances. In more than one case, the sitters did change the profiles based on my recommendations and even sent me outside references – screenshots from a paid service with reviews – that made them more viable.