Owner cancellations

My husband and I signed up in April and have had 6 sits confirmed but 3 of these have cancelled at the last minute. I’m talking within 7 days of us being due to arrive. This has been really hard to manage logistically and really dispiriting. So I have 3 questions I’m hoping other users can answer:

  1. Have we just been unlucky or is this a normal ratio?
  2. Are there any tell tale signs we can look out for to try and avoid untrustworthy owners?
  3. Are there any consequences for owners who cancel at the last minute, and if not, should there be? (same would go for sitters)
    Thanks for any thoughts on this, Louise.

@Laweeze Wishing you a warm welcome to the forum community and thank you for your first post.

I am really sorry to read about your cancellations, I can see how that would be most disruptive.

I hope that I can offer you some reassurance as a sitter myself in 20 sits we have only had one sit cut short due to the owner’s family issues and no cancellations. But I am aware that it can happen on both sides of the network. I am sure there are others in the community that can share their experiences and offer you further reassurance.

I would advise you to reach out to Membership Services as they sound like last-minute cancellations and if they fell outside of ‘exceptional circumstances’ then they will need to be looked into. Please reach out to support at support@trustedhousesitters.com

Here is also a thread discussing cancellations by sitters, but there are comments about both owner and sitter cancellations there which might be helpful to read:

If you use the spyglass to search the word cancellations there are other topics and helpful information there.

Here is our Code of Conduct that all members agree to Your Member Code of Conduct | TrustedHousesitters.com

Help desk articles: https://support.trustedhousesitters.com/hc/en-gb/articles/360001746237-Can-I-cancel-a-sit-

I am sure that other members will share their experiences and advice with you. Any questions feel free to let me know.


That is very unusual from my experience. I have never had a sit cxl or cxld one with the exception of the pandemic in well over 100 sits.
Be keen in reviewing their profile, reviews, feedback and don’t back away from bringing it up in your interview.
Someone here may also provide details of premium membership insurance coverage.

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You can look at reviews and chat with HOs, of course. Ask Qs and use your judgment. It might help to ask for details such as what time they fly out and fly back in, with the idea that you’re trying to coordinate your arrival or an overlap. If they’ve bought tickets for travel, for example, it’s less likely that they’ll cancel without good reason.

Or you could say something like, “Would you tell me about your travel plans, so we can coordinate?” If they volunteer that they’re going to a wedding or X, their trip’s less likely to be tentative or optional.

If something’s making you nervous, just say so. Like “I’m a bit worried about X, because I’m flying in and would be left with X if the sit didn’t go through.” Just say something like that and leave the HOs to fill in the silence. Your keeping quiet puts the onus on them to answer, and relatively few people are comfortable with outright lying.

Also, use the app, because it shows you what the website doesn’t — all the feedback (or missing feedback) from previous sitters. Read those reviews closely, including what’s between the lines. If you see anything that looks off, ask. Again, you can be direct and polite. Like, “I noticed X in previous sitters’ feedback and I wonder whether you can tell me how things didn’t necessarily work out ideally.” (Neutral, nonjudgmental; not accusatory.)

I’ve done six sits since March and they’ve all gone as planned. More sits booked and no signs from the HOs of canceling.

I did withdraw an application today, because the HO was waffling on dates. I was going to pair two sits abroad. The waffling HO had iffier sitter feedback than the other HO, who coordinated things quickly and smoothly. I figure better to avoid dealing with indecisive HOs whenever not necessary.


As @Amparo says that is very unusual and sounds like you’ve been extremely unlucky. Out of interest in which country were those sits that were cancelled?
I’m currently on my 64th sit and so far have only been cancelled by owners twice, but with very good reasons. One was owing to the pandemic, I was in Brisbane at the time and flew back to the UK before getting locked down in Aus. The second was 2 weeks before the sit because the dog died suddenly. Catastrophic for the owners who I’d visited beforehand. However, on that occasion I managed to get an alternative sit.
You’ve been given good advice here, some of which I’ll also follow in future.
Good luck to you with your future sits and I do hope you don’t have any more cancellations.


Welcome @Laweeze!
We’ve had a few cancellations, maybe about 6 (since 2019 and in 33 sits, but this also includes covid). But to be honest, the non-covid cancellations always gave us plenty of notice, I would say at least 2 months. Having cancellations within 7-10 days of a sit would be extremely stressful and demotivating.

After initial chats and agreements, we then check in with owners a month before the sit to say: ‘looking forward to seeing you in a month! Is everything still on track?’
Then again a 1-2 weeks before the start for fine-tuning arrangements.
I find this sets the tone for expectations.

Good luck! Experience usually makes us find better sits.


This has been asked a lot but has there ever been a comprehensive answer?

That’s all I know.
Have never had to use it.

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Over the past year I’ve had two of 30 sits cancel. One was three days in advance and they canceled with no discussion, I just got an automated message via THS mail. I wrote the owner and asked what was happening and had no reply. The next day I sent a message reminding them of the policy that a sit should not be canceled without discussion with the sitter and only for extraordinary circumstances. Yes, it’s their home but they need to know that I made my plans around theirs and there were adverse consequences for me. I was able to find a satisfactory replacement sit the next day so it turned out ok for me.

The second time was the morning that I was to arrive. At least they let me know but the reason was fishy. Whatever, it is their home and I can’t make them leave. Amazingly, I was able to find a replacement sit within the hour with someone who had their sitter cancel last minute within an hour of my own cancellation.

I have the cancellation insurance but didn’t have to follow through as I found replacement sits so quickly.

I make it a point now to let owners know before confirming a sit that we should consider this a firm commitment and that I am making plans and spending money based on that commitment. I have not had to cancel a sit.


That’s the part for member services to answer.
Beyond my pay grade. :woman_shrugging:

I think you’ve just been unlucky unfortunately, In my experience that is not the norm. I’ve done 19 sits in the past year and I’ve had one cancellation. And they did have a valid reason for cancelling. I’ve had quite a few date changes of a day or two which were annoying and did cost me money for hotels, but just the one cancellation. I’ve submitted an insurance claim and will hopefully be reimbursed for part of my hotel costs for the 10-day cancelled sit.

That sounds really unusual, could you give us any more information - were any reasons given?

We have done around 50 sits, our very first one was cancelled as the home host was called in for an operation that they had been on the waiting list for months ( fair enough)- other than that all the others have gone through without a hitch

Thanks Colin. Glad to hear this is unusual. Two reasons given were illness and one was the husband changing plans. I’m sure the latter doesn’t count as an “extraordinary circumstance”, but what recourse does a sitter have? As a previous respondent said, it’s their home, you can’t make them leave!

Thank you. Good idea to stress that we are making plans around them before accepting.

Thank you botvot. We did the same checking in routine as you and all 3 owners actually replied as if everything was on track…until the last minute. But we’ll carry on doing that anyway.

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Thank you Smiley. They were all UK sits and we are based in the UK. I did wonder if the owners felt less onus to be reliable because they knew we weren’t travelling too far.

Thank you Maggie. Great advice!

Hi @MissChef The Forum Team are happy to help members across many aspects of their lifestyle as we do. Although we much prefer to step back and watch members supporting, sharing and helping one another demonstrating the heart of community and how it works.

For everything else there is our 24/7 Membership Services Team, the help centre and Live Chat … Insurance products & Tech issues are typical examples.

Please message the team on support@trustedhousesitters.com

Ok, thanks, but I don’t know what the terms and conditions are, and I don’t know how to find them. I’ve heard a lot of chatter about it here, but that’s equivalent to “through the grapevine”.

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