@PandAonTour We have a very good cleaner who comes in for a couple of hours a week, I always tell sitters and if they would rather she not come I will arrange for her to come another time. I always discuss it with the sitters to see what they are happy with. It is also nice for the dogs, who love her, as it is something familiar for them while we’re away.
Hi Provence, the key to the no third party rule is that no person, other than the sitter(s) occupy the property. that it is completely self contained and the sitters are the only people with access, except for cleaners, gardeners or non resident staff as agreed before sitters confirm the sit.
In the case you describe it is the same as in a block of apartments as long as there is no shared access.
If there are communal grounds and parking which can be used independently, this is acceptable providing the sitters are made aware of the arrangement before the sit is confirmed.
The consideration here also is that the other occupant, albeit it in separate accommodation, is an owner of the property and will have access to the rest of the house, there needs to be assurances and understanding that the sitter’s privacy and sole occupancy of their part of the home be maintained.
Good for you
I wouldn’t have agreed to the sit either. On our very first sit, the homeowners contacted us and said their adult children needed to come home for a couple of nights and stay in the house. We felt like they arranged this to check up on us and we were tempted to just leave. It wasn’t great to experience this on a first time sit but we didn’t throw in the towel and stayed.
You should make that more obvious to owners. I went to a sit where they told me just before they left that someone would be working in the home everyday. I tried to make a complaint and got nowhere. It was horrible!
Thank you for your feedback @RynMara, I will take it back to the team …
We’ve had cleaners at at least two sits for all the reasons people have mentioned above, and we’ve quite enjoyed getting to know them. We tried to stay out of their way while they were working - sitting outside, or going for a walk etc, but we always enjoyed a chat when it worked out. I’m even Facebook friends with the cleaner at one 3 week sit we did. And we had a gardener on one sit who was a lovely man. We were asked to take him tea out during his sit (if we liked), and we thoroughly enjoyed his insight into the area. He even invited us to come to visit his lovely 14th century cottage before we left.
So - I’m all for keeping cleaners and gardeners employed while we are on a sit. They often become friends we meet along the way!
(I should add that they’ve always arrived on time, and have been respectful of our privacy etc)
Of course. If it happens one day (during a few days only) my husband would NEVER go to the garden or the pool. Which are on the back of our house.
He would only share the front courtyard where are parked the cars. But i wonder whether sitters would like to have the owner on the floor upstairs, being able to see them in the garden through his windows.
(When sitters sit in a flat, for sure other tenants living in the same building might see them if they are allowed to use a garden below and to eat outdoors)
I would ask applicants first of course. Not put them in front of “le fait accompli.”
I prefered to ask you first.
If my husband wanted to stay alone in his flat while i’m away, there is no need of any sitter he would look after our dog.
I saw a listing one month ago where there were 2 tenants un the same house. One only was seeking a sitter. So they shared the garden But the tenant was not the owner
So similar for us - our cleaning lady on our long sit in Mexico became our Spanish teacher… She was wonderful. We used to go to the cinema some afternoons to watch Spanish language movies to practice, and one day at the end of a film we heard these shouts of “hola, hola” and saw someone in a uniform at the front of the cinema frantically waving. We thought we’d done something wrong… but discovered our cleaning lady also worked as an usher at the cinema! She ended up taking us to and recommending wonderful local places to eat we would never have found otherwise. One in the garden of a house! Sounds like you’ve had good experiences too. Fingers crossed we don’t have any less good experiences
I’ve read all of this thread with interest. All I can say is rules are great and there for a purpose…but sometimes extenuating things happen that can cause rules to have to go out the window! Three years ago we had a lovely couple coming from the UK to the USA to do both their first pet sit, and for their first ever visit to the US. Unlike many first time US travellers, they had not chosen to go to NYC, California, or Florida, but instead chose our small mountain town in Colorado. We were thrilled that they were choosing to make this their initial impression of the United States. As my husband drove the 90 minutes down to the airport to retrieve them after a long (and quite delayed) flight, he received the call from the emergency room that I was having a heart attack and being air flighted down to Denver for emergency surgery!! This amazing, jet-lagged couple was scooped up at the airport, told about the emergency(at first they were sure my husband was kidding and that Americans had very strange senses of humor!), driven straight to the hospital where they had to wait several hours while my husbsnd attended to me. Then up the mountain to our home where I arrived the next day also. Due to my medical condition our vacation had to be cancelled. I know the sitters at first were worried that we’d be now having to stay in our house with them for almost three weeks…but it turned out to be such a fun time for all of us. We became great friends, they had very few responsibilities so were able to travel about the area and hike, bike, shop a lot, and we sent them on a three day expense paid trip to Utah in our truck so they could see more of the US West. We all agreed at the end of the time that this actually turned out to be a better trip and experience than what we all had originally planned. Still friends today and still savor the memories It pays to sometimes be flexible!
Hi @NOmtnClowns there are so many reasons to be thankful in your story, first and most importantly that you are well and completely recovered.
There are times in life when things happen for a reason, when people are brought together in a time of crisis although at the time we are never quite sure what the reason is and why it’s happened but then one day we realise the why.
Rules are put in place for a purpose, for everyone’s benefit and guidance but life and the unexpected can and does happen as it did with you, these were truly extenuating circumstances. Thankfully mutual caring, kindness and compassion can and did circumvent the rules helping turn a crisis into a positive, meaningful and perhaps even life changing experience.
As you say …sometimes It pays to be flexible.
Thank you for sharing your story and once again we are so glad you are well.
Thanks Angela, and yes, I am quite well now!
HI @NOmtnClowns - That’s so very true! flexibility is everything and that was a lovely story (apart from the emergency) but nice people sort things and make good times. We are real ‘people pleasers’ very flexible and hate to say no to anyone. But having been asked about ‘could the kids stay in the main house’ before anything was confirmed, so having the time to consider it, our responsible professional intuition was to say on this occasion if the kids will be there then their house/pet sitting invite we explained would not be for us. Emergencies happen and kindness, flexibility, being helpful and caring sorts most things, we agree with you.
Julie i am totally with you. On so many levels it is wrong for others to be in the home. Either they are the house sitter or you are. All the concerns you raised are spot on. Same thing happened to me in london. I had agreed to sit when woman came back and said her son would be there. I pulled out. It is just not acceptable. I do not feel safe knowing someone can wander in at any time. Have they locked up? So many things to worry about.
Absolutely Julie, forewarned is forearmed. When possible, making an informed decision on your plan of action is always best! I guess my point was when there is no forewarning, often things can work out for the best. We were just so lucky to have such kind petsitters who were able to make the best of a change to all of our plans.
Hi @snowbob they were our thoughts too, security. Thank you for your reply
No way we would accept sharing a house with kids, siblings etc!
We even find it quite uncomfortable to share with owners when they come home between trips for example, as there’s no set rule of etiquette: should we stay discreetly in our room at the risk of seeming unsociable? Or should we share common rooms and risk
being in the way?
We had at least one occasion when they came back sooner than planned before setting off again and we felt definitely de trop. But would going to a b&b have felt rude?
Another time the owner never left but had us stay and help with the numerous pets. Fortunately we had separate accommodation but it was not pleasant to have someone looking at your work over your shoulder all the time plus the person was not exactly easygoing… it was a long three weeks.
Hi @Jeanmarc have you experienced owners returning on a TrustedHousesitters pet sit and if so was this something proposed prior to agreeing the sit? As this is also something which is not part of owner and sitter housesitting best practises.
On a longer term sit there might be occasions when an owner’s return has been agreed but the sitter must have the option to leave for the duration however this should not be a surprise return and all conditions should be agreed before any commitment is made. If the return is scheduled and significant this would constitute is a separate sit with additional dates.
Whatever the circumstances all confirmed arrangements and conditions of the sit, agreed at the time of application should be not be changed, without prior notice and agreement by both parties.
These conditions and guidelines are put in place precisely for the reasons you describe in your post.
There is a Brooklyn, NY sit currently posted - a long sit, 5 weeks. The posting is for 1 room in an apartment, shared with 3 friends.
Its got 4-7 applicants. I wouldn’t apply, but folks did.
Does this fit the TH guidelines?