Occupied guesthouse on property

This has likely been discussed before, but with a quick search I couldn’t find a thread.

I just got a surprise in a welcome guide. I’m not 100% sure, but it appears there is a small guesthouse or tiny home type structure on the HOs property and a man lives there. It’s very vaguely worded in the welcome guide and only brought up with parking instructions indicating not to park in his space. I looked up the address to see if it’s just a shared driveway with the house next door. However, it appears to be a small structure on their property, there isn’t a separate address for it.

Would this be considered a third party? It kind of concerns me that this wasn’t disclosed in the listing or in the video call and as a solo female traveler I’m not sure I’m comfortable with it. He may be a lovely person, but I have no way of knowing whether he is or not.


Hi @systaran
Can you clarify with the HO?
I think you need to know if this person needs access to the property you’ll be sitting at? If so then yes that would breach THS rules on third parties.

I live in what would be called a condo, I suppose. At ground level. My neighbour lives above me. Don’t park in his space.

Would that worry single female travellers??

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This is not the same thing. I have lived in the city so I am familiar with condos. This is not in a city. This and a couple other surprises in the welcome guide have me concerned about this sit. As someone who has traveled extensively for years, I’ve learned to trust my instincts. Something seems off about this sit and I’m wondering what other surprises I will encounter. But thanks for dismissing my concern.


Trust your gut and don’t talk yourself into anything you might regret.

I did a sit where they had a unit attached via a carport and garage, which they rented as an Airbnb. They had separate entrances and we’d never cross paths unless we bumped into each other outdoors or if we did laundry in the garage at the same time. But it was a short sit, so I didn’t do laundry. I wasn’t worried about it, even as a solo sitter. As it turns out, I never saw them.

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Ask for clarification from homeowner. I have experienced this scenario once before but it was a woman and she was lovely , so I didn’t mind. But I totally get your concern. If he is living on site then I think you are well within your rights to cancel based on the third party rule/this not being disclosed to you before accepting the sit.

The main thing that bothers me is that this info was buried in the welcome guide. I don’t like when homeowners are not transparent and spring things on sitters in the welcome guide. The fact that there is someone living in the backyard was not the only surprise, just the biggest one. I think I have a right to know exactly what I’m agreeing to before I accept.


As a sitter, I would be very annoyed by this. I’m not interested in applying on sits where there are tenants in the home or occupied guest houses on the property whereas other sitters may be fine with this. This definitely should have been disclosed in the Welcome Guide.


Absolutely. The sit I mentioned, they were transparent from the start.

What’s the difference between a city centre condo, a row of terraced houses in the suburbs and a tiny house in the grounds of a larger house?
They all have neighbours living in close proximity. If you are so concerned cancel the sit, give your reason and look for another more suitable one where the house next door is at least three miles away. There is no point getting yourself in a tizzy when you have perceived so many red flags. If something feels wrong walk away.

Where you are so concerned about this @systaran you need to contact the owner straight away to ask for clarification on the “surprises” you have found in the Welcome Guide and explain your concerns, especially if you feel they are violating the T & C.


I’m doing a sit soon where the HO locks off part of their home so it can be used as an airbnb. They showed me that it is totally separate with their own entrance, kitchen and facilities and the dividing door is lock from the side I’m doing my sit in.
To me the HO was very upfront and went to great length doing our video call to show me so I was comfortable. To me it’s no different than the property being split into 2 for flats.

What irritates me is when HOs add a bunch a stuff to the welcome guide that were not mentioned prior to my confirming the sit. This is supposed to be about finding the right fit. When HOs are not transparent it’s not possible to do that. I guess others are ok with HOs changing what was agreed to. And this sit is a bit more isolated than the scenarios people are referring to.

I guess I should just ignore the bad feeling about this sit even though in my many years of travel my instincts have always been right. I guess I’m just being stupid according everyone here. I have traveled all over the world and lived in multiple countries, so I will trust my own judgement and refrain from posting in this community.

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Plenty of responses support your feelings about this. Perhaps reread those with different eyes. It sounds like you know what you need to know and your mind is made up. Since I doubt the guy can move, you need to leave. Communicate with the HO right away so different pet care can be put in place.


@systaran , if you have a bad feeding about the sit I think you have grounds to cancel since this other tiny residence on the property was not disclosed prior to confirmation. It should have been included in the listing. I don’t think it’s considered a third party but if you don’t feel safe, don’t do it. It’s up to you if you want further discussion with the HO.


I am surprised how skittish some of these seasoned travellers can be. Maybe safer to stay at home?

Is not it obvious that there is more information in the welcome guide than in the listing?

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I know. Just think of the fortune we could make setting up a “how to pet sit without drama” seminars.

Seriously, I don’t think it’s skittish. It’s the fact people haven’t really thought about their boundaries and safety. They have quite happily entered into this way of life without mentally listing what they would accept and not accept. They haven’t prepared a list of questions to ask if the information isn’t there then panic when something isn’t how they assumed it is. This is very important for all sitters to establish what they are comfie with and what is a red flag. But especially the young single handed sitters. You can’t just walk into an unknown situation thinking everything’s going to be fine. Ask questions and listen to answers.
And of course there is more information in the guide. I would be first to complain if there wasn’t.

Stay safe my friend, I like your input.


@ElsieDownie You may be right, but I think only hands-on experience leads to asking better questions. One can only prepare with questions to a certain extent, (unless you religiously read the forums and tailor some questions that you think might be applicable to you).

Thereafter it’s the sticky situations you might find yourself in, that make you really think things through, like 3rd parties, dirty homes, difficult pets etc.

@pietkuip some sensitivity goes a long way, and consider a single female traveler vs a single male traveler have to consider additional measures that you might never even think about. Don’t diss her!


First off, I’m not young or inexperienced. Why do people make judgements about someone they know absolutely nothing about? I’ve done over 20 sits and the vast majority of them have been wonderful. However, just as there are a small percentage of bad sitters in the bunch, there are also some bad homeowners. To imply that all homeowners are perfect and can do no wrong is ridiculous. Most are great, but unfortunately, some are not. To blame the sitter is extremely rude. The homeowners have responsibility here too. We always say it’s about finding the right fit. I can choose to pass on a sit for any reason, or for no reason at all. That’s up to me, not the HO or anyone else. In order to make informed decisions before accepting a sit, HOs need to provide all the necessary information.

The issue that I have here is that I was outright lied to. I do ask about who has access to the property. I also ask about any pet behavioral issues that I should know about. When I’m told no, I don’t expect to find out later that what I was told is actually not true. And no matter how many questions we ask, some things are incumbent upon the homeowner to disclose. For example (and not related to this sit), I don’t typically ask HOs if they are growing large quantities of marijuana in the basement giving the entire home and everything in it a very strong and distinctive fragrance. That, and other atypical situations are the responsibility of the HOs to disclose so sitters can make their own decisions. Sitters can’t possibly ask questions about every possible scenario.

In this case, if the HO had brought it up in the call and given me the opportunity to ask questions, I probably would have said it’s fine, because it probably is fine. The fact that they intentionally tried to hide that there’s a short-term rental in the backyard/garden that will be occupied while I’m there is the issue. This is an issue of trust and honesty. Sitters must be able to trust the HOs. I obviously can’t trust someone who has already lied to me.

  1. People specifically choosing a house away from other houses may do so because they value privacy.

  2. If you’re in a condo or terrace, there are other people around. Isolated house and someone living practically in the garden, of course a different situation.

Please don’t dismiss others’ concerns; they’re quite valid, even if you don’t share them.