Older kids left at home during the Sit?

We were recommended to a house owner by one of our previous house sit owners. These new owners have a gorgeous 8 bedroom house, indoor swimming pool, sauna etc 2 doggies, water front location, uk. They contacted us, sounded lovely, they wanted to get to their house in Monaco in July. Unfortunately we were already booked for July. We said we would keep in touch, perhaps pop and meet them whilst at our July sit as it was fairly close by to them. Yesterday we had news from the July house owners that because of all the travel uncertainty they were not now going away and cancelled us. So we contacted these new house owners with this news and asked if they were still wanting to travel on July. They were really pleased said they would go for most of our available dates and we could arrive a few days earlier to meet them and the dogs, get to know the house, pool/sauna workings etc, we would have our own 3 bedroom cottage in the grounds. Then they said their 2 children would be in the main house and the dogs live in the main house, not to collect the dogs before 9 am when kids awake…
Mmmmm this made us have a discussion. We take our responsibilities as house/pet sitters very seriously, of course, we all do don’t we. So even if these kids are good kids, I’m sure they are , but with other people on site means we haven’t got full control. What about if they forgot to lock up, the pets got out, they had an accidental fire, or if they did have a party that went wrong whilst their parents were away.
Eventually we decided we couldn’t take that chance and we decided to be honest and let them know our thoughts and hoped they understood.
Would some of you other Sitters feel the same?

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No.
I did a sit where the Ho contacted me the day before the start, to ask if it was ok if a friend was there to stay.
Apparently, he would be no trouble, use the extra bedroom which was away from the main house, never be seen.
Since I had booked flights, I really had no choice.

Anyway. He didn’t get up until lunchtime, sat around the house all day, went out clubbing every night and came home in the small hours. waking me and the dogs.
It was a 4-week sit. After a week I messaged the HO. Him or me. He was gone in an hour.

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Omg that was so bad of the HO to spring that on you and then for the friend to be so disrespectful. We’re people pleasers, sounds like you are too, , and we aways want to fit in with the owners requests and be as helpful as possible but sometimes you have to think of yourselves and I’m so glad you got the totally reasonable and quick result when you voiced your opinion. Thanks for sharing :purple_heart:

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The “No” was wouldn’t do it, reading back on your question I should have replied “yes” I feel the same.

I also did a 5 week sit where the husband was there for the first 2 weeks!
He had been in an accident and was off work a few week before the sit, and because of his work, it meant replacement had to be flown in when he was ill, so he was unable to travel for the 1st 2 weeks as he had to work. Fortunately we got on well, but it was a bit odd.

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Yes, I understood you :blush: thanks!

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Yes, we feel the same as you do, Julie. Older kids or “adult” children in the house while housesitting? BIG NO-NO! RED FLAG!!! I know responsible people whose “adult” children cannot be trusted and have caused serious problems. The 27 year old daughter of an acquaintance was using nail polish remover next to a lit candle! Result of acetone and flames together? The house burned down! If the parents cannot trust their own older kids to let the dogs out, then there is something wrong. We are PET and HOUSE sitters, not BABY or ADULT sitters! We always ask the Home Owners before we accept a sit “who is allowed in your house during the sit?” House Cleaners? OK. Gardeners and pool maintenance people outside? OK. But adult children who come and go to get food or drop off laundry? Big NO!

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@Julie @Petermac @Maryse … HI everyone, Julie perhaps you are unaware but Trustedhousesitters has a strict policy of no third parties being present in the home during a sit, sitters should be the only occupants, with the exception of cleaners gardeners, pool maintenance etc., or any regular services they may have, however this should be included in their listing and routines discussed with the sitter before confirming so that everyone is aware and knows what to expect.

No children, teenagers, young adults, tenants, workers, relatives, etc etc., unless they have fur, hair, feathers or scales, two, three or four legs it is a no no.

If an owner comes to the site and their listing includes another occupant it will be rejected and if a sitter becomes aware of an owner who may be unaware of this policy they should contact membership services who will take this up with the owner and explain that this is a situation we do not allow.

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Does that policy extend to cleaners? We’ve had a couple of sits where we have arrived to be told that the cleaner comes in while we are there. One time a cleaner was there for the whole day. It feels a bit awkward as we can’t feel like we can relax.

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Hello @PandAonTour and welcome to our community forum, thank you for joining the conversation.

It’s a very good question, but one that does fall outside the “no third parties” (see link at end for full information), as follows:

Housekeepers, cleaners, maintenance workers, or gardeners etc, are fine as long as they are detailed on your listing, do not live in, and the sitter is aware of their schedules prior to the sit and it is all pre-agreed.

We suggest this is something to discuss and agree between you with the owners. It’s particularly difficult if the cleaner is employed and it’s a longer sit - in the sense that it wouldn’t be fair to the cleaner to reduce her hours, or the owner might want a particular level of cleaning maintained in the property, a bit like gardeners who are also permitted.

In Mexico where we sat for 8 months overall, we always had cleaners and it was their main income, so we would just make this our shopping day, or get on with some work in our bedroom or the garden, while she worked. It was only 3 hours a week though, not a full day.

At first we felt uncomfortable too, coming from the UK where it’s not so common in smaller properties. But now I quite like it and see it as a benefit, working round it. But we are all different, so it’s a conversation to have with the owners before taking the sit. For a short one or two week sit maybe suggest to the owners that the cleaner might have a week of paid leave if you’re happy to clean instead, or if possible you could maybe organise cleaning for the last day to help with the clean before leaving :slight_smile:

Here’s the third party policy link:

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Hi @Angela-CommunityManager , i saw lately an add in France which said the house was shared in 2 flats, occupied by 2 tenants One was seeking a sitter. So that means you share the garden with the other tenant. Is it allowed ?
On my side, as an owner, If i sit somewhere, my husband might stay on the upperfloor for a few days, before going away His floor is totally independent from the ground level, where a sitter can be invited. The entrance is different, there is no interior staircase but an exterior one. They would only share the courtyard where cars are parked. Is it possible ?

I’ve seen a sit currently advertised that says the wife is going away, the husband will be at home but he works nights so is not able to look after the pets and the sitters are ‘unlikely to see much of him’

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I agree with you @Julie , there is no way I would think of agreeing this kind of house sit.
I would never even consider a sitting where the sitters stay in the annexe, however lovely that accommodation is. We are there to house sit not annexe sit. I don’t see how anyone can look after the pets who are in the main house, also a sitter needs to be living in the main house to ensure everything is fine

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I have many experiences of cleaners:
Cleaners who let themselves in when we had no idea a cleaner would be there
Cleaners who have been told to not clean anywhere where we have been, including the kitchen floor where the dog walks
Cleaners who want to talk all day
Cleaners who don’t clean properly
We still have to clean when we leave so we receive no benefit

We prefer that they are not there but its up to the HO

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@Colin - that is awful.

Hi Colin thank you for flagging if you can remember could you please let me know the location/country of the listing , I can then source and pass to Membership Services to pick up … don’t worry if you can’t I’ll search and locate

Thank you

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We have been in that situation - we stayed in the Airbnb in the garden and the dogs stayed in part of the main house. We did ask permission to use the main house kitchen and snug. There was no real comfie seats in the annexe and the kitchen was very basic. It was ok but not ideal. The dogs didn’t seem to mind. They had a very large utility room with an outside door which they didn’t lock so the dogs could go in and out as they pleased.
I think some pet owners are anxious of sitters being in their space and this is their way of dealing with it.
Don’t start me about cleaners…
Elsie

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It would definitely be UK - Ill try to find it

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HI @Angela-CommunityManager - we were vaguely aware of that but never had to really investigate it fully before. We felt bad that we had raised her hopes when we informed her we had a July cancellation and was she still wishing to travel as we were now available only to give her a negative response when she gave us the further info on her kids would be there. We feel reassured of our response to her being the correct one, from these supportive messages here from other Sitters and your info. Thank you :purple_heart:

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Yes… we’ve had similar… they come in all varieties :slight_smile: Years and years ago I had a cleaner in my own home in UK who every week, despite me mentioning it, moved all my ornaments into different positions after cleaning :laughing:
We’ve had some very good ones too thankfully on our sits. Talking is a big thing I’ve found though, maybe because they aren’t used to having anyone around :slight_smile:

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Hi @Itchyfeet - Thank you, it’s been so good to hear others agree with us. The dogs were adorable and the house omg was gorgeous, huge, they sent us photos of their apartment and its views abroad, they were intending to visit, said we could use it in the future :open_mouth: but all that didn’t sway us. (Nearly :grinning:…only joking). We felt bad that we had raised her hopes when we informed her we had a July cancellation and was she still wishing to travel as we were now available only to give her a negative response when she gave us the further info on her kids would be there. But it didn’t sit easy with us, hopefully we can sit for them in the future when they have a family holiday. Thank you :purple_heart:

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