List of questions for HOs to ask the potential sitters?

As I haven’t found a thread covering a list of questions to ask from HOs to sitters (only the other way round) so how about cumulating them here?

What do you ask your potential sitters before you decide?

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Excellent post @Düsenzofe we look forward to seeing owner’s responses.

There are many helpful and informative articles on the blog too

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For me, as we only accept sitters from or who are already located in Europe at the moment, it is important to know how they will get here.
When they arrive by car and need a parking spot we can clear our garage for them to park. Otherwise parking around the house is difficult (residents only) or they would have to pay around 5,-€ per day if they use the public parking. For us it’s no big deal to drive our cars to my brother’s house, but not necessary if the sitters use public transport.

Concerning the still ongoing Corona situation, we ask just in case our own trip was canceled, how difficult would it be for them to reschedule? When would be the latest possible date for them having to know if everything goes as planned?

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@Düsenzofe ‘Do they like apple pie’ I can’t think of anything else!
I hope that made you smile…cloudy in London

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:rofl::rofl::rofl:
it definitely did.

But there might still be some other questions from HO apart from which kind of sweets the sitters like :wink:.
YOU know that you are a responsible person, but the HO doesn’t and as the focus on some things is different from a HO’s side why not collect upcoming questions here?

@Düsenzofe yes and you might want to look at something Vanessa or Angela posted fairly recently which were links to the sort of thing you are proposing. I think there is alot of information on the THS site in different formats but pulling it together in a simple checklist that HOs agree on as the main questions to put to a sitter would be very useful for everybody.

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It would be good once that’s compiled for us to then share that members checklist into the “Help joining” category :slight_smile:

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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Is it wrong to ask owners if they have been vaccinated?

I have found it important to ask what time will you arrive and depart ? My last few sitters have arrived late at night and I had not fed my pups . I also had a sitter state she would be staying on last day till 5 pm . We were planning on arriving home early to rest before we had to return to work the next day .

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I ask sitters (before selection)
if they are vaccinated as if they are not i shall decline .(Some sitters react very violently…)

if they speak a minimum french , my neighbors and vet’s assistant don’t speak english. It’s important in case of emergency
I warn them i’ll check on phone

If they have a permanent home or not

Where do they live as i discovered lately the town indicated on their profile may be the one where they last sat… and not their réal adress

If they have a liability insurance , if they can send a copy

(After choice has been made)
If they come driving a car or use public transportation. In order to help them. Instead of waiting for the bus from the train station to our village, i suggest to pick them up : it’s only 5 km from home

When do they plan to come, suggest they arrive the day before in order to show them the village, the walks to do around .with our dog, To introduce them to friends living next door

If they are OK to see our help ,once à week telling them she has the Keys and they don’t need to be there or stay, ( if it bothers them she may not come . We do pay her of course)

If they want me to do some shopping before their arrival for their first breakfast, when they arrive late.

if they are vegan or allergic as we share a meal before we go away

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Why would the sitter having a permanent home or not, be significant?

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28 posts were split to a new topic: A conversation about insurance

@LadyandtheTramp first of all I LOVE your tag…very well chosen! Yes I think its important for a sitter to establish early on when a HO plans to leave and when they plan to be back. As a sitter I have worked with all sorts of arrangements (as most sitters will have) from HOs who want the sitter to arrive two or more days before; these can be particularly anxious people and to be honest thats abit of a ‘red flag’ for me though I have done it but would certainly not consider this in the covid situation (nor should a HO), to keys left out and without good communication and a solid WG with a back-up person in place, that can also be a ‘red flag’. Ideally to arrive the afternoon/early evening the night before I think works best for both parties and gives time for a decent hand-over and for any questions arising to be answered. For me it helps to establish trust and its really important that a HO can leave the following day with as little anxiety as possible and just enjoy their trip. It works very well for anxious animals especially some rescue dogs who have possibly been passed ‘from pillar to post’ and while many people have been in lockdown, the amount of time we can leave animals alone is far less before they get stressed I think. I will say that when I arrive the day before and the owner has been careful in keeping distance and is not put off by my wearing a face covering and has gone out of their way to reassure me that I am coming into a covid safe environment, that makes me feel a whole lot more comfortable than where a HO is not taking this current pandemic seriously. I do get abit irritated if I am going to be honest where HOs spend the best part of the leaving day getting ready to leave. I can’t understand why somebody knowing that a sitter is in place and all bases are covered with a hand-over etc would not have packed at least most of their stuff before the sitter arrives and make the most of an early away the next day to get ahead of traffic and make the most of their holiday. I have had HOs still packing in the late afternoon! If there are dogs involved, I will just take them for a long walk and if not I will make an excuse to explore the local area making sure I have a key! I am happy to be at a sit when the HOs return but I have found most HOs like to come back to a clean but empty home especially if there is only one bedroom! I am actually happy with that arrangement especially given the covid situation as I am never sure how safe the HOs have kept while away. I do get concerned for dogs especially though as flights can be delayed and cancelled , traffic can keep a HO from getting home, and some HOs actually try to extend the trip and if I am doing a back to back sit that can be really problematic; another reason why a HO needs to have a solid back-up plan and trusted person in place.

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Sadly some home owners have had problems with sitters refusing to leave. As a sitter I can’t image squatting in someone else’s house.

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I currently have a THS sitter at my farm for a three month stay. My sitter is amazing so far (two months in) but one thing I wish I’d asked was what kind of phone/service he has. I am camping a lot and often away from good cell service and WiFi. I was expecting to be able to easily FaceTime and iMessage… only he does not have an iPhone, nor does he have Verizon, the only cell service at our home. Our initial face to face after I’d already accepted his application was over Skype, which meant me signing up and leaving to use Skype. Our first week away was a bit nerve-wracking until he got his WiFi calling sorted. I did mention the bad cell service in my listing and guess I assumed someone who is working remotely and does not have Verizon would not apply for such a long sit.

It has all turned out fine, just a suggestion if these issues might be a concern for you. I will be asking in the future!

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@DMcat really? I could not imagine that!

This would be an extremely rare occurrence and I think it’s too alarmist to be so vague as to say ‘some’ sitters - what does that mean exactly? - 2? 20? 200? 2000?. Are these people you know or just hearsay?
I don’t know what country you live in but in the UK it is illegal to squat in someones home.

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I think we have discussed the problem about insurances at length now and I would like to ask to come back to the original topic why I originally started this thread:
which questions to ask a potential sitter.

Here are all the collected questions so far.

  • exact arrival/departure time
  • how will the sitter(s) arrive? Do they travel by car and do they need a place to park it? Can we pick them up at a bus or train station?
  • are they fully vaccinated (proof?)
  • do they speak the local language?
  • do they have a permanent address? Where can they be contacted by an insurance company in case of damages?
  • are they ok with cleaning personal, gardeners etc on the property?
  • are there any groceries we can shop for them before they arrive? Especially when they arrive at a weekend or late at night.
  • are they allergic, vegetarian, vegan?
  • if it seems important to you, ask for insurances. These may differ depending on where the sit takes place and where the sitter is from.
  • In case you cannot provide a decent wifi connection, how do you plan to communicate with the sitter during his stay.
  • How would you describe your house cleaning habits? Will you be able to clean the house at the end of your stay, including vacuuming and wiping down all touchable surfaces?
  • Do you plan on spending any overnights away from the house?
  • Do you have experience giving __ type of medication to a cat using __ method?
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@Düsenzofe from a sitters perspective, some sound and well thought through questions there but are there not more that HOs would like to give to you?

@carpediem
That’s why I asked to leave the topic of insurances be for now, because the discussion about this has caused the thread to drift from my original intention. So maybe there will be more to come. I just wrote down al that the others have come up with so far. I can always copy and paste to add more questions.

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