Listing causing problems with applicants

I have just posted a listing but received aggressive replies from applicants when I turned them down. Why people need to adopt such a tone is beyond me. In part, this is due to information which I completed for my posting not being visible to applicants. Specifically, in this case, firstly, I turned down a couple as I only have a single bed at the moment (the applicant told me not to waste people’s time). When I completed the listing, there was an option to state whether you prefer a couple or a single person. I selected one person but this information somehow is not shown to applicants or is not used as a filter, so there doesn’t seem to be much point to it. Secondly, I have a cat with a health issue and asked applicants to mention this in their message. I detailed the issue under the description of the cat, but this does not appear in the listing and caused an argument. There needs to be a marked difference between what is shown on the listing and what is only shown on the profile, which I presume is all visible to the selected petsitter after they are accepted. I have been on TrustedHouseSitters on and off for years but have never experienced such aggression from applicants. Any solution to this listing problem?

I do not quite understand where you wrote it, is it in you Welcome Guide? A prospective sitter cannot see that. The listing is all we have to go by when deciding to apply.

And no, I do not apply to sits with veterinary issues. I am annoyed when that kind of information comes up later. (But I would just withdraw my application with the explanation that I did not feel qualified to provide that level of care.)

Going forward, take a look at your listing after it’s published. That way, you can see what sitters see.

Not that it’s OK for people to be rude. Just that it’s better to avoid wasting time — theirs and yours.


It’s not the welcome guide. It says “Edit your listing”. It says “Hi Ian, this is where you can create and edit your listing” followed by different sections on you, your home, your pets, etc. I thought the information on my cats would appear as it was marked as part of the listing.

Yes, that’s what I’ve done now but it wasn’t obvious that this information would not appear before I posted. It’s not really much of a waste of time really, though. Most people copy and paste their applications anyway. You can see this when they omit one of your pets’ names :slight_smile:

I am on the other side too and apply for sits all the time and most pet owners don’t even bother to answer. It’s the luck of the draw. As a pet parent, I always give a polite reply back to applicants when I decide not to accept their offer, so I didn’t and don’t present any attitude to applicants at all and never have done. Another candidate gave me a nice reply. It wasn’t my fault that what seemed to form part of the listing does not actually appear.

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If you did not read your own listing, yes, it was your fault.

Another one who just wants to argue instead of being helpful. I didn’t ask you to cast apersions on my character. All my reviews as a sitter and as a homeowner are 5 star. I often go beyind what is required to make my sitters comfortable. I did read the main parts of my listing and I have never had problems with listings before. It does not form part of my job and I am making an offer for an exchange of favours which I and people can agree to or not. I have been away from this site for a year and everyone seems to have turned rude and aggressive. This is not X.

When the user interface is bad, complain with THS.

Not that that would help anything, but at least it is the right address. For example, photo captions do not appear in the web interface. That is of course much worse than any pushback by me in this thread. Is it not horribly callous and rude by THS to just discard that explanatory writing by the homeowners? And to let it be like that, year after year?

THS used to answer on this forum but I presume they are cutting back and no longer have moderators that help here. My main point really was that the design is bad and there is no need for applicants to send aggressive messages under any circumstances. And obviously, if someone is aggressive to me, I am never going to let them near my pets or my home.


Unfortunately this data is being collected by THS for either statistics or future filtering and at this time is not visible to sitters. You will need to mention directly in your listing that you’re searching for a single sitter.


Hey, @IanK! It sounds like your listing might be confusing to sitters. If you link it here, some of us can read it over and give you feedback to help prevent these kinds of problems in future.


It is very silly that those questions are asked by THS but then your profile doesn’t display it. But you should have reviewed your own profile, it’s a pretty important thing to get right. But yes, THS asking it and then not displaying it is silly, I wonder if they are just gathering that info for research reasons.

While sitters should never be aggressive, they would have felt totally mislead with them not being made aware about the medical issues before applying and not being made aware that you couldn’t have couples before applying. Wouldn’t you?

If it were us, we would have naturally wondered 'what else has he not mentioned? Because some HO’s deliberately leave out medical or habit behaviours from their profiles.

But you seem like a really nice guy, who genuinely just forgot to review your own profile. But it sounds like you’ve sorted that now anyway.


@IanK - Our product team do not reply directly to forum posts anymore, but we will certainly send them feedback on any issues that are reported here. I will tag @Carla here for any insight she may know of in your case and others regarding your listing.

Aggressive responses by members in any inbox application is not in line with TrustedHousesitters t & c’s so please always report these to membership services.


I also wanted to pop in to say to please remember to post with kindness and respect in line with our forum guidelines


According to the HO the applicant replied she shouldn’t have wasted his time. Well, The reaction is perhaps a consequence of the 5-applicant rule which forces people to apply quickly if they want to stand a chance. If this applicant chose this listing and then found that he didn’t stand a chance from the beginning and maybe missed out on another real chance - he might get angry. Of course, no reason to let his anger out on the HO but we are all human and make mistake.

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Thanks for the reply. I have probably been with THS for ten years or so on and off but this is the first time I have had problems with applicants. It is the system that is misleading and I have now updated my profile, so it should be clear now. I think the aggressiviness may be down to the competitive system of 5 applicants that THS implemented a few years ago.

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There is no reason for the sitter to feel that they missed other chances. They can apply for as many sits as they like - assuming they aren’t confirmed for those dates and that they apply before the listing is paused. Applying for this sit doesn’t prevent them applying for other sits at the same time.


I’ve had that happen with 1 sitter and so going forward when I decline a sitter, I just say ‘thank you for your application; however, I’ve selected another sitter’. I understand you saying you want applicants to mention the cat issue, it shows that they read your listing & will give them the opportunity to explain their prior experience caring for cats with health issues. Hope you have better luck in the future!

While you apply to one sit another sit might reach 5 applicants - and be out of your reach. Don’t know how often that happens but it is possible.