We’re a couple relatively new to THS as sitters, and we’re planning to sit full-time in our local area of London, UK. On our first sit, we weren’t offered two sets of keys, and we weren’t sure if it was reasonable to ask. I assume some HO’s will only have one spare set and may not feel comfortable giving both sets. Of course, this would be inconvenient for us as a couple to be sharing keys but if that’s what is normal so be it.
With our next long sit starting on Friday, we want to see how other couples have approached this. Has this been a problem for you in the past? Is it reasonable to request two sets of keys as standard?
@Dan - It is perfectly reasonable to request two sets of keys. However it is not always possible for a home host to give you two sets so don’t fret to ask, but don’t be upset if the answer is no.
If you are going to ask, do it before you arrive. Often a second set is something the home host does not consider and when prompted will have an extra set cut especially for your visit
Seems perfectly reasonable to ask, and if they don’t have a spare set or offer to get a spare set cut then I guess you just have to make do.
I always ask for two sets - for starters if the worst happened and one set was lost there is a spare and also it means that if you are sitting as a couple you don’t have to negotiate timings etc if you both go out independently which can often happen in our experience (one for a dog walk and the other for shopping or other less dog-friendly activities).
My thoughts exactly, I just wanted to confirm this is in fact the norm!
WE always just gave one set of keys, then advised where the “hidden” set was located in case of an emergency.
Maybe they would consider a secure outside lock box. I see them all over NYC for the dogwalkers . I did have a sit where I retrieved the key this way.
Same here with Debbie! We also have a key for the sitter(s), an emergency backup set, and of course, key for us too since the last thing we’d want to be is locked out our own house in case of an accident.
Based on a past experience, pet owners, please have a spare key(s) that your sitter can access if needed, and please have your own keys, separate from the sitter’s. If it requires more than one key to enter your home, make sure your sitter has both keys, there is an emergency set of both keys in case the sitter needs the spares and have your own set of both keys.
We have been on a sit where the owner only ever used the garage door, which had a car remote and a keypad outside the door. We had to ask for a key in case the power was out, or the garage door didn’t work for some reason. The homeowners had to search for a key to give us. The profusely thanked us for asking because they had never considered they might get locked out of their own home! By far the best way to go in our opinion is with the key lockbox outside. It is the most reliable and great for when sitters leave before homeowners return.
I was lucky that HOs had left a second set of keys in a lockbox on a sit. I didn’t realize they had a lock that automatically locked without a key. I went to check the mail and the door locked behind me. The mailbox was two steps from the door and I wasn’t planning to carry keys.
@PrettyKitty13 yep, we had a sitter who locked themselves out one time then used the hidden set. They forgot to put them back in the same location, so when we showed up at midnight, we couldn’t get in our home. My husband had to break out the bathroom window and climb in. After that, we always kept a set with us, and had TWO sets of hidden keys!