Leaving not-so-positive review

We had sitters who came to say with us for just under a week recently. Nice couple, who were communicative, experienced and keen. To be clear here from the outset, our pets were well looked after, dogs exercised and the house was reasonably tidy when we returned. All good and worthy of five stars on the big issues.

However… they had used an incredible amount of electricity and gas whilst they were here. Our neighbours commented on all the lights being on day and night. When we got back nearly every light was on in the house and even outside - that was in the daytime.

I could tell from our Hive heating that the temperatures were tropical inside and yet our outside camera picked up them outside wearing shorts!

Add to that that the house wasn’t clean, we had a sticky fridge, crumby worktops and greasy cooker, even food left in the bottom of the oven. The bin was filthy and the hoover unemptied (big hairy dog owners know what that means!) They used all our toiletries, detergents and even made off with the spare loo rolls.

They didn’t wash their bedding or even strip the bed, but they did use our washer for their clothes because there was our washing powder everywhere in the drawer.

I cooked a substantial meal on their arrival so that we could get to know each other better, if I go anywhere whether I know the host or not I’d take a little something, but nothing. They had been told that I was preparing something. I bought milk, cheese, eggs, juice, butter, bread and left wine. They used it all and left not a drop of milk for us and even left the empty butter carton in the fridge.

I sound like a moany pony and I’ve updated the ‘responsibilities’ section of our listing and beefed up our welcome back to encourage a bit of respectful frugality. It just feels like they came to a reasonable sized house in a nice area and took it all for granted.

They’ve left us a five star review, I don’t want other people that they sit for to be taken advantage of like I feel we were. Do I live and learn, or spill the beans? What would you do…?

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I think I may be tempted to spill a few beans. I am someone who only tends to have a light on in the room I am in and would not alter any heating tempetures already set by the owners. I also frequently bring my own washing liquid/powder if I thinkl it likely I will need to use the washing machine.

That’s just awful and I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such a bad, and costly, experience. I would hate to think other owners have the experience you’ve had. Out of interest, what age were the couple?

@Mobbers , I’m glad they took good care of the pets. Unfortunately, they did not take good care of the house. Not only did they not leave it clean, they did not replace the things they used, they did not do anything with the dirty linens and they were irresponsible in their use of utilities. Plus they showed a general lack of consideration.

You should leave an honest review. You can give them five stars for pet care but consider taking stars off in the other categories and mention the good, as well as these shortcomings in your review.

Were these your first sitters? Was this their first sit? Did you have any doubts about them from the start? If so, what were they?

Take a look at these topics for questions to ask prospective sitters in the future so you only have good experiences from here on out.




Loads of good advice from @mars here for you @Mobbers - we had a similar conversation with HOS recently who were super disappointed in their sitters for similar reasons and yet left them a 5 star review. They were cross with themselves for not being brave and honest enough to be truthful when they reflected on it. You need to be fair to both truly good sitters and truly appreciative HOs to write what you think was both good and bad. Non emotional, factual, honest and informative. 5 star for pet care and a star off where they haven’t done as expected and/or asked. Maybe they’re new or maybe no one has called them out yet so they’re winging it? Needs addressing either way. :+1:t3:

Unrelated to the content of your post, but I really enjoyed your wording “moany pony”. I’ve never heard that before, but will certainly be looking to insert that in a conversation in the future. :slight_smile: So sorry you had a bad experience.


Sorry to hear about your experience!

We were concerned about how much electricity the sitters would be using. As we live in an older house without central air con and high electricity price, we state in our listing:
“The house has air-conditioning. We would ask you to use the ac only in the room you are in, and to switch it off when you leave the room.”

We just had our first sitters, and they seemed to have followed this instruction.

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Personally I think you’re being a little bit petty and should sleep on it first.

There would have been plenty of things that they would have likely not mentioned regarding your home and pets for the sake of keeping this cordial.

The electricity use seems excessive but you got free home and pet care. It would have still cost you more to board your animals.

There should not be an expectation for them to restock your fridge. They would have needed to use your washing machine of course not sure why you make a point about this.

You’re not doing anyone else a favour by moaning about a few crumbs on the counter in their review. Just be nice, learn a lesson and move on

I don’t think you are being petty at all. Having the heating on when there’s no need, and leaving the lights on all day is just plain unacceptable, and they need to be made aware of this. Are they very young? Maybe they are not homeowners themselves. I can understand them using the washing machine, but not stripping the bed is inconsiderate. I would give them 5 stars for pet care, and mark them down in the other categories, mentioning the reasons in your review.

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Oh please, don’t start that "professionell pet care would have cost you more " again! It’s not for free, neither accommodation nor is the pet care. It’s a mutual agreement and if one side doesn’t get as much out of it as the other, then either communication was poor or the two parties have different opinions about doing a sit and how to leave it.
It’s as easy as that.
I don’t think that the sitters should receive 5 stars, because it wasn’t 5 stars they did, period.


@Mobbers I’m sorry to hear about your sitters. And I’m sorry to say, but they are not good sitters.

Yes, the pets were happy, but YOU should also be happy, and their guardianship of your house failed. If they are young, they should really be taught about courtesy: courtesy about lighting, heating, cleaning and food. It is just not on and I would have been very disappointed too.

Most of us go the extra step to prevent a post like this, especially where we walked into a clean home filled with goodies in preparation foe our arrival.

Housesitting is not just about pet sitting.


Review systems only work if people provide honest reviews. Please review them honestly.


@mobbers the use of all lights and heating could indicate that they are unaware of heating costs ( not home owners themselves) or perhaps used to living in warmer climate where where they would be used to a constant warm temperature in the home?

When being shown around a sit which was a very large property 14th century farmhouse in the UK, the home owner mentioned to us that they turned the lights off when they leave a room as utility bills are so expensive and that they dry their clothes by the aga overnight rather than use the tumble dryer as aga is on all the time.

The heating was timed to come on at certain times and Additional electric heater was provided in our bedroom if we needed it ( it was a winter sit ) we weren’t told not to use heating or lights but it was made clear that the owner was concerned about any wasteful use of energy. ( not just by sitters but it was a policy they lived by themselves ).

As we are used to living in UK where in the winter we will first put on a jumper if it’s cold before putting on / turning up the heating. So we had no issues and were warm and cosy (as were the pets ) staying mainly in the open plan living room with the Aga or the one with an open fire ( there were ample supplies of split logs to burn )

Careful use of utilities is not something that you might expect to have to mention to sitters but we were not offended when it was mentioned to us . We could see that the owner had made sure our bedroom and main living areas were warm and welcoming. We respected their wishes not to leave lights on all over the house or use the tumble dryer unnecessarily which would have been very wasteful when there was an alternative ( and actually very quick ) way of drying clothes.


@Smiley - they were in their early thirties.

@mars - thanks for that, it’s all helpful and we won’t get burned again! They were not our first sitters (second) and they have about a dozen other reviews (all very short). I didn’t have any doubts about them before they arrived at the house, they were punctual and seemed to be savvy about most things. The first time I wondered about them was when they went to shop for provisions on the first morning and left the lights on in their room!

@Cuttlefish - Yes, I will take yours and others’ advice in that I will probably mark them down a little, I suspect they were winging it - why else take our toilet paper?

@CatsAndDog - Our house is old too and I’ll be leaving similar instructions as you in the future!

@Ashleynov - You may well be partially right, but if I put the dogs in care it would be GBP60 per night and a stay in a property like ours would be considerably more, it works both ways as @Pawtastic rightly points out.

@Silversitters - sounds like you and I are very similar!

Thanks to everyone who responded, lessons have been learned.


@Pawtastic thats. My. Opinion. Period

You don’t have to like it but the OP asked and that’s mine.

Don’t understand the idea behind saying ‘oh but the house would be rented out for x amount’ - no it wouldn’t you are not air bnb your house


How many animals were there to care for?
If a lot, they might have run out of time with the cleaning tasks.

@Ashleynov I think the point was not how much the HO could get from renting the house, but how much a sitter would have to pay to stay in it, instead of getting it in exchange for petsitting.


Exactly. It’s an exchange. It doesn’t matter if I would also rent the house out. The sitter gets to live in it and he would have to pay a lot if he would rent it.
I also definitely wouldn’t use a paid pet sitter, so telling me that it would cost hundreds doesn’t interest me.


@Pawtastic They wouldn’t be staying in it if you didn’t need someone to take care of your pets - that’s like pretending that an office worker should pay to turn the lights on In the office.

To be honest you’re the same person who requires your sitters to pay for your cleaner whilst they look after your house and pets so realistically your idea of fair exchange is already warped. Checkmate


@CatsAndDog the sitter wouldn’t be renting your house though ordinarily, they are only in your house because you need them to do a job that requires them to live in the house.
I’m pretty sure you live in Bangkok anyway it costs about 500 baht to stay in a lovely hotel room they don’t need to stay in your house but YOU need the petcare.
You are going on holiday your house is empty anyway you will be paying the rent anyway and your pets need care.I really think you overestimate how wonderful it is to live amongst someone else’s house, rules and belongings it isn’t comparable to an air Bnb price