Longterm sits - with home owners "visiting"

What if you are on a long-term sit (many months or even years) and the home owner comes home occasionally? Do they have to cancel your sit while they are at home (minus 1-2 days for arrivals and departures)?

I am not quite sure how this works and what is compatible with the THS guidelines, because, at the moment, I feel like I am in a totally “rule-less” area, so I am just asking this question in general. Apart for where I am now myself, I have just seen a new one-year sit advertised in the UK, where the sitter would live permanently in a building outside the main home and the home owners would be at home two weeks and away two weeks every month. How is such a situation regulated?

Hi @Romana , it’s against the code of conduct. They should really post separate sits for the times they are away. As you will be in a separate residence, maybe you are comfortable working out some arrangement with them. If not, you could forward the listing to @Angela_L and she will send it on for review.

Mars, what I described is just a new listing which I accidentally read today, I am not applying for it. But I just wanted to know the rules.

My own situation is that, although I met the home owner of my current 5-year sit (yes, five years!) through THS - and that time declined and she pulled back her ad - we finally, considerable time later, made an arrangement in private without going through the THS platform. I wonder whether it would have any advantages for either of us if we made the booking “official” or if it would just cause us unnecessary hassles?

Aside from THS rules - would one really aspire to that kind of situation? To live in a gate house for a really long time, as a kind of unpaid servant?

The opportunity of living rent-free in a pet-friendly home should not be underestimated. For example in the UK it is extremely hard to find a rental flat if you have a pet, and it is close to impossible if yo have more than one (as I do). To answer your question: Yes, such an offer would be tempting for me, and certainly for many other people, too.


@Romana , then it would be good to forward that listing to @Angela_L or membership services because it violates the code of conduct as it is.

If your five year sit is done through THS, it can result in a good review but if you do it privately, the HO can still submit a reference. If you do it through THS, you will have whatever support they are able to offer in the event of dispute. If it cancels before the agreed upon date and you have a premium membership, you’ll be able to apply for cancellation coverage (hotel costs as long as it complies with their conditions). You would also have to maintain your THS membership as well.

Another thought, if something goes wrong and you’ve done this privately, it will not result in a bad review!

Sounds like you are free @Romana. Fly woman :wink:
Create the world that works for you.


Mars, no hotel will accept a guest with many pets (I currently have 8 chinchillas, as my two breeding pairs meanwhile got babies, and my hamsters got babies, too) … so this feature is useless to me. Hotels are just as horrible when it comes to pets, as 99% of landlords are.

If my current HO would kick me out, I would be stuck with my animals somewhere in the wild, just as it was the case one month ago - until this wonderful lady took me in upon my request. I had left my last THS sit (the one with the unfair review) and had no place to go to. We were homeless!

Before you blame me: I had booked another “work for the right to stay” place along the way which I had found through Facebook, but it proved totally unlivable, an abandoned farmhouse with no power or hot water or Internet where the owner himself slept in his car and expected me to do the same. And I had my car full of pregnant animals and animals with newborn babies! It was a desperate situation. I was incredibly lucky that I still had the contact details of my current HO.

So, to put it short, I still see no advantages in making my current stay “official” with THS. But thank you for clarifying the rules.

1 Like

I agree with @Amparo . You’re in uncharted territory, make your own rules that work for both of you.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. Get a piece of paper, write down what you want/expect, let the owner write down what she expects. Perhaps add a termination clause, e.g either party will give 2 weeks (or 1 or 4 weeks) notice if they wish to terminate.

You will have to be flexible for such a long sit. What if you need to go away for a while? Will the landlady return and mind your pets too? Or will you arrange a housesitter for all the cats and your pets?

Think outside the box. Remember, even if it’s not through THS - it still needs to be a fair exchange for both parties. Make sure you get what you want. Make sure the landlady is clear about what she wants.

I believe that a THS sit should be simple. The more variations like this usually equates to more problems

There is an unusual sit being advertised in U.K. , two months in a rural location but only for Tuesday to Thursday every week - I can’t see the appeal myself .

It already has 2 applicants ( hopefully they have read the listing in full ) … it goes to show that a sit that is not attractive for me will be perfect for someone else.


You never know. Could be a couple living in the region that wants some space away from each other. One week she, one week he. :slight_smile:

Long sits like that can have a strange dynamic. You may be less of an HS and more a caretaker but it sounds like you might be ok with that and it’s worth it to have your pets with you. Personally, if I was the owner, I’d probably get some legal advice to make sure there aren’t any unexpected consequences but that’s on them. As has already been said just make sure you have something in writing about bills, rates, termination time frame etc and also that there are no visa implications if it isn’t your normal country of residence.

We have stayed in a similar situation in France and the HO who usually travelled was “in residence “ the entire time we were there. The situation was a main house with a separate cottage some distance away but quite private. Initially we found this uncomfortable and felt like we were unpaid staff but we quickly overcame our hesitancy as the HOs were lovely and the chores were quite pleasant. While we were ok with it I can imagine in different circumstances it could be a bit uncomfortable.