Information Request Overload

We recently applied for a sit and the very first communication back was “thanks for applying, please send copies of drivers license, passport and last utility bill.” It was…off putting to say the least. We have already been through the THS background check. We are not opposed to supplying the requested info (although as full time sitters we haven’t had a utility bill in many years) but only after being confirmed for a sit. Or even after, at least, a conversation. We immediately withdrew our application with a polite note on why. Just curious if this is a thing? Have others encountered this kind of request pre-sit (or conversation)?

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I have never had any of that asked of me. I’ve never done a sit where I’ve used someone else’s car, though. And I’ve only done one international sit so far. I’m also a homeowner and I’m not sure I would have the nerve to ask for those items, based on the trust that is built up in this community.

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It’s a thing. I have been rejected in terms as plain as “ We don’t trust anyone in our home if they don’t own their own home.” Well I’m a millennial without inherited wealth so I doubt I will ever own my own home. But I’m a natural caregiver and I can’t put a price on the service I provide. Every pet parent who has trusted me has been overwhelming in their positive feedback so I am content in my experience. Everybody has different priorities.

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Hi @Dannep similar questions have been discussed on the forum, this topic also raised the subject of additional information Extra documentation requested … members can search using the spyglass feature and key words for topics of interest which may expand on the conversation and provide additional feedback.

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Hi @Dannep. Not something I’ve been asked for and if I was I’d respond exactly as you have saying happy to provide but only after I’m confirmed for the sit.

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Don’t you think it’s a little late, only once selected, to accept to show your papers?

Do you prefer an owner would cancel the sit later on ?

As an owner i may want to see the driving license before deciding, the copy of his visa before ( scared he will not get it in time otherwise) , as i ask before if the sitter is vaccinated.

I may ask a copy of his liability insurance after (my insurer asks for it) as he may have time to buy one to be covered in my country. I may ask too a copy of the plane ticket after ( to be sure he will fly to my country and not sit some other one in the end if he comes from overseas.)

Where is the shame to do that? Yes i am the anxious type of person so i forgive anxious owners.

As a sitter i don’t wait to be asked i send scans of id, driving license, liability insurance ( i did not subscribe premium)

Nearly all owners of my 25 sits (via 2 different organizations) sounded happy not to have to ask, accepted my proposal.

I am also ready to give my adress to a sitter before he decides to come, in order to be able to see the environment.

We give all kind of infos on line everytime we buy something , why not to owners and sitters?

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I’ve been on this site for almost 4 years and have never been asked to supply any documents like that before. I did have one owner a couple of years ago say that she’d feel far more comfortable if she knew what my surname was. This was after I’d already been selected. I was happy to oblige as she was a first time user of this site and was probably feeling a bit anxious.

I’d prefer that if the owner would like to obtain a range of formal documents from a potential sitter that they be transparent about that somewhere in their listing. I can certainly understand why that’d be off-putting for you though as I’d feel the same way. Surely the THS background check, ID verification plus your references should be reassurance enough.

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I’ve never been asked for any of that. One pet owner asked for a link to my online teaching profile, which I was happy to provide. If someone asked me for lots of documents, I wouldn’t want to sit for them because to me it shows a lack of trust. This whole website is built on trust and it’s one of the reasons why I love it.

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Also never been asked for any of this. The checks through THS should do this job for them. We would also decline a sit that asked for these docs as zero “trust” clearly exists for the HO asking….

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Yes, it has definitely happened. We completely understand the need for this if you get a sitter through Facebook but on THS we are already verified and have multiple reviews. My partner is scared of identity theft etc. and would never give her data unless absolutely necessary. We sent our documents + signed contract to a HO on THS once but it felt wrong and she ended up cancelling last-minute (her requirements were not stated in her listing, otherwise we wouldn’t have applied). Never again!

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This is not a thing in the UK, so am guessing it’s a US thing. I’m currently on my 54th sit and have never been asked for any documentation before being confirmed for a sit and you were right to withdraw. I’m currently housesitting in New Zealand and have only been asked for details of my driving licence in order to be added to the owners’ car insurance as most of the owners here leave a car for me to use.

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@Smiley @Timmy @Cuttlefish @Chatsetchiens
What surprises me in all these reactions is that many members give their link to Linkedin where you may know much more (if not the precise adress, the full family name, the jobs the owner or the sitter has done in the past, his/her references) or the link to their Airbnb accounts, the countries or towns they visited…

So why this shyness about iD (you show without any problem to any rental car company or flight company or a hotel) ?? I shall never understand. Why do you want to hide that ??

As a sitter I ask infos, the adress, i make research (there are many clues in the feed backs, you know the name of the gite, the village pub near by, sometimes the family name of the owners) , i want to know where i go.

For sure “trust” is essential, but once you understand that the towns indicated under the name of a sitter does not “proove” anything (he/she may have subscribed witht a total different adress, in another country, does not live at all permanently where you assumed he/she does) I think rather normal to get a little more infos…

And if sitters ask me questions on a call, want to know more about me, I am not shocked. After all, they will know much more about my tastes, my political thoughts, living at home and having a glance on my books !!

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@Candide - my take on it is this. None of it is about shyness. It’s about repeating info they can already obtain from THS. By being a member I have been verified fully. They have references, my Airbnb and linked in profiles (as you say) so don’t ask me a second time to prove who I say I am. I’ve done that already. Of course I show ID for a flight or a hire car but ONCE not numerous times. Starting a relationship with a “prove who you say you are as I don’t believe THS” doesn’t bode well for me. That’s all. And if it’s not for you, then feel free to use a different site or another route to finding a sitter and you can then ask whatever you like.

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Wel @Cuttlefish , i guess if an owner asks THS the adress of a sitter, before choosing him, THS wil not give its identity !
A sitter may have given many prooves to THS organization but owners don’t receive any

The majority of sitters don’t sit for THS staff (who are the only ones to be able to get infos we can’t get ourselves)

in Europe, no check can be done like in the United States. So what do we get as owners ? only a first name, no family name, no adress, a town under a profile which means nothing (that the sitter sits around or lives there ???).
So many beginners have no reviews. So what ?

On my side, I do think normal owners ask me the “prooves” that I’ve got an ESTA to go to the States, that I’ve been vaccinated against Covid, that I am what I pretend to be (married for example ith the man who sits with me if I pretend that) that I had no accident with my car in the last 2 years (insurance paper given by my company)

I shalli live in the owner’s home, use his car, care for his pets, I’m delighted to lighten his anxiety

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I don’t think a relationship which ought to be based on trust should expect people to prove they have flight tickets, entry documents etc. HO’s should respect that sitters are responsible adults who are not going to confirm a sit without having the necessary travel plans etc. Furthermore I make it clear in my profile that I am fully vaccinated and would decline a sit where I was asked to prove that since it would indicate a lack of trust which, for me, would not contribute to a comfortable sitter / HO relationship. As for full names etc most people will have social media profiles, linkedin etc which readily offer a wide range of information in addition to the checks that THS do to varying levels depending on the country. From my perspective I wouldn’t wish to enter into an arrangement where my honesty was being questioned and/or my ability to have organised appropriate travel plans. That said I do understand HO’s may be anxious and if it seems a potential sitter is not being open with them about their background they can of course decline that person.

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If ID was required for something official such as being added to car insurance then I would happily provide it but if a home host was merely asking me for extra proof that what I was telling them was the truth then I would be quite offended. If I tell a home host that I have flight tickets booked, then they are booked. If a home host does not have the confidence in my honesty from the start then it is pointless taking the process any further as we are definitely not going to be a good fit for each other

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This all depends how much you want the sit. It’s the pet owners who chose whom they want to look after their pets, home and garden. They can chose who they want. They can ask as many questions as they want. They can ask for as much documentation as they want. As sitters our choice is to answer the questions or not, provide the documentation or not. We can also ask questions, ask for proof of address etc.
it all boils down to how much you want the sit. If you find the questions and requests out of hand jog on and look for something else that is a better fit for you.

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I would decline a sit if asked for that information, other than my drivers licence if they were leaving their car for my use. After all, it’s called ‘Trusted’ Housesitters for a reason!

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Exactly! The likelihood might be small but once ID theft happens it is a nightmare. We know someone who hasn’t been allowed to leave the country and has had an ongoing court case for many years just because one person forged his signature on one document. We have done 100+ sits and we would hate to give our IDs to hundreds of people, not knowing what will happen with our copies after the sit (most likely it would end up in the trash?).

Not something I have been asked for. Personally I wouldn’t show that, especially not before a video chat.

I can understand it from and an owners pov, but still a red flag to avoid for me.

If they are like that in the beginning, I could only imagine how they might be during and after a sit.

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