Is it ok to ask the sitter to stay designated area?


We have a 5,000 sqf house but the guest suite, kitchen, living room, etc are all on the first floor. The second floor has all the bedrooms for our family. Would it be ok to ask the sitter to stay on the first floor and not go to upstairs? I don’t want them to wonder around our bed rooms.

Yes absolutely. When I am sitting I prefer to stay out of unnecessary rooms. Less cleaning when I leave. I would keep doors closed so pets don’t go in either.


Yes, it’s pretty common in my experience that some areas are off limits. I’m ok with that.


Hi Chloe

Chances are they probably wouldn’t go in these rooms since there really is no reason to do so, but if you feel strongly about them not going in there, it would be a good idea to mention it outright.

I have never had a HO tell us to avoid specific rooms that were otherwise accessible, though on a few occasions, they have locked certain rooms, such as their office.

If I were your sitter, I would not take issue with this request and would respect your wishes.


Personally, I have no problems with that as a sitter.

I’ve done that without being asked — sat for the same folks twice and I never went upstairs, except when the HO wanted to give me a tour. She even invited me to use the bathtub upstairs, because it had been updated and had a beautiful view. Thanks, but no. (I don’t even take baths in my own home, with is nicer and bigger, though I didn’t say that, LOL.)

I stayed downstairs the whole time during both sits, because that’s where the guest rooms and everything else I needed were. From my POV, why do I need to go into rooms I won’t be using? (I won’t be cleaning them, either, of course.)

Something to note: If your pet(s) is used to hanging out or sleeping upstairs, it’s your job to provide a gate if you don’t already have one. As a sitter, it’s not my job to keep chasing your pet(s) away from places that it normally goes.

I’m currently on a sit and the dog is allowed to go upstairs. I told the HOs I’d not go into their master suite unless smoke were coming out of it. And I shut all the doors upstairs so their dog wouldn’t wander in without me knowing. But he can run up the stairs and sit on the carpet without me following his every move. That’s especially important, because I telecommute. I can’t be watching him nonstop. Luckily, he’s a very good dog, but each pet is different.

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Absolutely fine with me - I would stress your request in any communication with the sitter and also mention it in the Welcome Guide.


Yes totally fine to specify @PixieChloe - also means less to clean and care for as sitters, plus the animals won’t wander as far. Just make it clear in your listing.


@Cuttlefish absolutely yes. As long as there is no expectation these areas would be cleaned, we’d be more than happy to reduce the living space!


Ofcourse! As long as the sitter has a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen & living space all the other rooms are irrelevant. To be honest when we sit in larger homes we are happy if all the extra rooms are closed off- less cleaning for us! You can lock them too if you wish but most sitters would simply respect your wishes to not enter them.


Yep, that’s all fine. We’ve done sits in much smaller homes where all the bedrooms were upstairs and I never even went up there.

Yes, word it that ‘only the first floor will be available to the sitter’
And bring anything the sitter would need down stairs.


We would be fine with that , we have never used or entered all of the rooms for our house sits.

I recall a thread here where someone needed to get into a locked room because an alarm was going off in the room , so that’s something to keep in mind if you intend to lock the rooms .

Also as others have already said, if the pets are used to sleeping in those bedrooms they can be quite insistent that a sitter lets them into those rooms ( cats loud meowing - dogs sneaking upstairs at any opportunity ) so just another thing to think about so that they don’t make life impossible for the sitter during their stay .

State it in your listing, reiterate in your conversations with the sitter and put it in writing in your Welcome Guide . So that your wishes are very clearly stated .

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If any of them have plumbing, make sure they are unlocked in the event of a plumbing emergency.


Yes, for a few days, one may need to show the pets that the owners are really not in the house.

So as others here mentioned take inconsideration if the pet is going to have access to the upstairs and will it upset them if they cannot and if you want the sitter to check on things especially for longer sits.
Sitters also watch the house.

Hi @PixieChloe
As a sitter I stay out of rooms I don’t need to be in. I did a sit recently in a very nice house similar to yours in that there were 7 en suite bedrooms, 2 lounges and a cinema room. I only used the kitchen and the informal lounge and the bedroom assigned to me.
I’m also not keen to just open drawers as sometimes suggested by the ho unless in the kitchen or where pet items are kept. Think it’s just respect but it might be me!


@PixieChloe to make sure your instructions are understood, I’d refer to the allowable area as the ground floor, not the first floor. Check out the first link, specific to this point.

What's the difference between the ground floor and the first floor? - Espresso English.

Then if you have lots of time on your hands, take a look at:

Welcome to the complex world of universal English. :roll_eyes:

Also if pets are used to having access, will they scratch at the door?
Or display other undesirable behaviors?

Just something to perhaps test and note as so
Something to watch out for.


Yes of course @PixieChloe it’s ok and very common. I don’t wander around in rooms I don’t need. As a sitter I just need my own bedroom with wardrobe and drawer space, bathroom, kitchen and dining/living room. What I do object to, and it’s quite uncommon, is when a sitter is put up in a separate building from the home where the animals live.


Could not agree with you more; I also don’t poke around in any rooms other than where I need to be to care for the pets.