New to this, and lots of questions!

Yes, as far as I know there are not many sits without pets. The name trusted HOUSE sitters actually is misleading.

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Hi @MaloryTowers and welcome. I had the same idea about requiring utilities contribution for our 5 month sit with no pets. But I think you should look at this a bit differently as it’s not about a sitter getting free accommodation. Looking at it like that from a sitter’s perspective you would be getting free home care and security. In reality neither side is getting anything for free, it is a mutal exchange of pet/home care/security for accommodation. Most sitters are very respectful of how you want things done so I suggest in your communications you mention things that are important to you like being mindful of power usage due to high prices. A good sitter will usually offer to contribute to power use if they are high power consumers for heating & cooling. To be successful in this arrangement, it’s all about how you bith communicate. Good luck!

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@Crookie It’s quite hard, due to the rising costs of utilities. I do understand most sitters will be mindful of their usage, but there may be some that are not. If I don’t highlight the utilities in the ad, then I could end up having high bills. It’s given me lots to think about as maybe it will just be easier going with my original plan of family and friends popping in.

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Are you a member already? If yes, why don’t you just try it? The only thing that can happen is that no sitter wants to pay for utilities.

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@Pawtastic - I don’t have dates for overseas yet. Funnily enough, the more I have read, the more I have been put off. Being new to the site, it almost feels as though there is a clear divide between the way sitters look at things, and the way owners look at things. I’m all for an easy uncomplicated life, and to me, this already seems complicated. Clearly contributing towards utility bills is an interesting one and while it has been pointed out to me that these sittings are not “free accommodation” - in my case, where there are no pets to look after, a few weeds to pull, and a stunning location, I don’t understand why anyone would really object to not contributing a little to the utilities staying for four months. But this is the way I look at things :grinning:

Hi @MaloryTowers I’m sorry if you have formed the impression that there is a divide between sitters and owners as that really is not how THS works, there is more that brings us together than separates us. Please also bear in mind that we have 100K members … the forum is just a small representation of our community, a very important one of course but opinions and attitudes are as different as the 100, 000 members we have.

Some personal experience … We (my husband & I) did an 8 month sit in Spain caring for a senior rescue pet. A stunning ocean view villa, the owner left me the use of her car and we were invited to have guests stay whenever we wanted. The villa was all electric and because we had lived an expat life overseas knew just how cold some of these homes get in the winter, they are built to stay cool in hot temps, in the winter they can be freezing and electricity can be expensive even without an energy crisis.

We offered to pay the utilities because I feel the cold dreadfully and did not want to incur extra costs for the owner, I know we were looking after their beloved dog but this was about our comfort and convenience, I needed to have “thermostat freedom” and yes there are those who would challenge that arrangement but it was our choice, it worked for all of us.

We had wonderful times with our family from the UK, cherished memories, made lifelong friendships and I adopted a blind Welsh Mountain. pony but that’s another story …

On the other side I had a beautiful home in Vancouver Canada, no pets, no gardening even it was maintained by the Strata. We would travel pet sitting and be gone for 3 - 12 months, we left our new SUV for the sitters and yes asked for a contribution towards the running costs of the home (Utilities at the time were extremely inexpensive) we were always inundated with applications and we had repeat sitters from Aus, NZ & The UK all happy to stay in a beautiful home and pay a little in return for absolute freedom to use our home as their own which included having family reunions and vacations.

A win win …

My point is that we are all different and look at things from a personal standpoint … there is no right or wrong just what works for those involved in the arrangement.

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@Angela-HeadOfCommunity. Thank you for your reply and sharing your experience, and I certainly hear what you are saying. I looked through some of the other owners listings with pets, and think I would truly feel blessed to go and experience a new geographical area, looking after these gorgeous animals, and really it wouldn’t bother me if they asked for a contribution towards utilities. I am also gaining from this situation. I suppose sitters that can’t see both sides of the coin, wouldn’t be a match for me anyway, and that’s ok :grinning:

:clap:t3:Absolutely my point of view.
As Angela pointed out, there are more than 100k members and who doesn’t like your conditions doesn’t have to apply. I am sure there are those who find them reasonable, because there is no pet to care for. And, yes, in this case it is free accommodation.

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@MaloryTowers I’ve mentioned this on other threads, but will mention it again here. We are currently on a 5 month house sit in a gorgeous home with no pets. It’s winter here in Australia and quite chilly, particularly at night. We’ve sat for this HO before and she is extremely frugal when it comes to energy usage. While we are very mindful of our consumption, we want to be comfortable without worry and guilt. We offered to contribute to the monthly cost of utilities, came up with a fair amount and all is good!

We are also providing security for her home and maintaining her pool and garden. We still look at it as an exchange and not free accommodation.

You have to do what’s right for you and I think its perfectly appropriate to list this in your add. Some will object, some won’t, some will apply, some will scroll on by. All the best to you in your search.

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Does it matter what it’s called as long as both sides feel good with it :wink:

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Hi @Knowmad - the issue with the UK at the moment is that utility bills have increased, with another rise later on in the year. So there is a potential for any household that is not careful, to have really big bills. I think that seems a very fair way that you and the owner are doing things, that’s great. I originally came on this site to look at it from an owner’s perspective. But I’ve now found myself looking through the listings wanting sitters, and being a huge dog lover, I could see myself potentially being a sitter as I also love exploring new areas. So I would have no issue contributing to the utilities, because I am also gaining something from this experience. I think it would be a different story if it was a high maintenance sit, and there was a lot of tasks to be done everyday. But for me, having a sitter in my home, they would definitely have to be the right fit. That has become more than apparent with just being on this site for a few days.

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Totally agree - the name is misleading.
Sits without pets are rare.

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I’m just wondering. If I were willing to spend four months house sitting for you, would you be willing to contribute to my airfare?

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I like you already.

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Yes we all have the natural tendencies to assess from our point of view. We have to really make effort to see the other person’s position. Everything is going up and mostly will continue to do so with some waves and fluctuations according to the global economic climate. The cost of travel, be that by coach, rail, plane or auto, have been impacted making sitters also have to assess the practicality of doing a sit in a particular place.
We have to adapt and have some good conversations, not only with perspective sitters/Hos but with ourselves to determine what is reasonable and feasible. There is not going to ever be a blanket no or yes but there will be those who will happily find those that are the right match in what each is willing to do.
One of the best things I came to understand in my career in healthcare and apply to nearly every decision I make in every facet of life is Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
Then the right choice becomes evident after those crucial conversations and considerations of all involved.

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I suppose I just want to point out that I am new to this - I asked the question and do welcome everyone’s view points. But I have been quite disappointed by the way some people talk to other’s on here. Not necessarily in answering my question, but when I have read through other postings.

I will just explain again that due to the huge increase in utility bills in the UK, It would be highly possible for me to leave my home with a sitter for four months, and then end up having huge bills. I know it has been pointed out to me that most sitters are mindful, but I would think that not all are.

My home is a lovely home, in a stunning area of Scotland and the only thing that would need done is pulling a few weeds. So as I have said before, paying a little towards utilities, I don’t think is a big ask. I accept that not all agree, and that is fine.

So the answer to you @TwoDrifters is no I wouldn’t be contributing to your air fare, as by your question, I know already we would not be a good match.

I have now decided that I am not going to have a house sitter. I will go back to my original plan of having friends and family pop in. It’s going to be much easier.

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@Angela-HeadOfCommunity Can I also request that this topic be closed, thank you.

@MaloryTowers I have taken the liberty of closing your topic now on behalf of @Angela-HeadOfCommunity

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Hi @MaloryTowers I have sent you a Direct Message …