Paying To Sit - Contributions to Utilities

Well said as usual!

I hear you! I was born in Brisbane so was makin a joke! Those Queenslander houses can get chilly!

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More & more of this is happening. I was sitting in NYC for the summer this year. Many home owners ( well, apartments) told me locals are using THS to develop their own pet sitting businesses. They show up to meet the HO & announce their fees for pet sitting. One HO said I was “the only sitter either not asking for money or without any pet experience at all”. This is why rules are important here.


Homeowners, please let us know if a TrustedHousesitters sitter asks you for payment for their pet sitting services. Whether it be in the initial back-and-forth, or when they arrive. At TrustedHousesitters we believe in a mutual exchange where what is exchanged is love, care and a place to stay for your sitter while you’re away. If you come across anyone who’s trying to work under a pay-for-service model on our platform, we would appreciate knowing about it/them. Thanks.


Hi @Karen-Moderator , your response would be more beneficial to HO if it was posted on Owner Questions, Advice and Help, or the thread was moved to Sitter & Owner Exchange.

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Thanks @temba. We actually do have an active discussion going on in the Owner channel on this topic, too. Thanks for nudging me to include the link to that discussion here.

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Agree with you completely. I am not opposed to HOs asking for contributions to bills, especially for longer sits. The red flag for me is the implication that sitters are there for ‘free accommodation’ and therefore should replace items or contribute towards bills, while overlooking the often demanding nature of looking after someone else’s pets and property. THS is based on mutual appreciation and asking to replace items doesn’t seem very appreciative of the sitter.


I agree with you that thoughtfulness goes both ways and sorry to hear about the negative experience you’ve had with sitters using your supplies. I try to limit my use of the HO’s supplies and consumables and am very mindful about what they will return to. Unfortunately, there will be people who think they can use whatever they please and, in reference to the topic of this thread, this may include utilities: leaving lights and heating on in a manner they perhaps wouldn’t in their own homes. Hopefully the majority of sitters don’t have this mindset.

My previous comment was specifically in reference to HOs who think sitters are there for a free holiday, which house and pet sitting is not.

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There are sitters who really do @Pawtastic how do I know this? I am one and I know many other sitter members who are an exception to that theory.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled the world since my early twenties, I’ve seen most of the places I ever wanted to and made enough memories to last a lifetime, however I will never have met or spent time with too many pets or their human families, they are far more important to me.

I’ve traveled from Scotland to CA my 9th time with this family and their furry members it’s certainly not the location that’s my motivation as I would surely have chosen to go to different places … I do sit for the sake of pets.

We should try never to generalize, it closes the mind to all opportunities.


I’m also prompted to comment on your post, as I too had a reaction to some of your content. What I show in the quote here works both ways - for owners and sitters. Yes, a sitter gets to use your ‘most precious belongings’, but that sitter also stands guard over them too. Your comment, to me, exemplifies the true ethos of TrustedHousesitters; there is no ‘free’ anything. In exchange for you inviting a sitter into your home and the company of your pets, the sitters give their time and experience to safeguard both, so that you can travel worry-free. Surely that’s priceless?

I do understand and respect that the responsibilities on sits varies tremendously, but that core responsibility - of caring for someone’s home & pets - carries the same duty of responsibility for a sitter - whether it’s a mansion or a modest home, and whether it’s one cat or a mini-farm. As a sitter, I am fully aware of that responsibility, from the moment I confirm a sit to the time an owner returns. That’s not a free ride at all, and there’s never a moment when I forget that responsibility and commitment.


@Pawtastic , I’m just linking in with @Snowbird here: if you (or anyone for that matter) has ever been a housesitter, you will understand that we tread VERY carefully in other people’s homes. Of course we make ourselves comfortable, but only to a point. Most of the good housesitters always have, in the back of their minds, this voice that says: careful! That is why most of our friends and family can’t do housesitting and can’t understand how we can do it. They can’t live with that permanent feeling of ‘be careful, we are in someone else’s home and we are the keepers of someone else’s most intimate earthly things’. Good housesitters are a very special type of person, always thinking: how can we leave more than we received.


Well said @Snowbird totally agree with you


It will definitely lessen the amount of folks who apply.

So well put. Such great technical details. Thank you!

There’s a lot of really great HO’s on THS! Please don’t judge them all by this post. I agree with you & never deal with ones asking for money. But just move on & sift through. You can build great experiences & even good friends through this platform. I have! You just need to learn how to navigate it. It’s tougher these days as there’s so many more posts for one night stays with 6 dogs, 3 cats etc but keep looking the gems are there! Good luck.


Just saw this ad, it was for three months and at the end of the description it said, they will ask the sitter to pay for the electricity they use. Never seen that before so wondering if is this normal. I thought the services from both sides were supposed to be for free.

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@temba upon reflection I added this same message to the end of that other conversation. Communicate, communicate, communicate! :heart:


@Tomma I have seen the same ad! It’s unusual to ask the house sitter to pay for electricity, but not unheard of, particularly for longer sits . However, I have seen this most often where it was purely a house sit and there were no animals. I guess it is down to the sitter as to whether it’s something they are comfortable with. It seems to me that it may feel like less of a mutual exchange where you are looking after someone’s pets (and therefore saving on kennel/ cattery fees and ensuring the animals are well looked after in their own environment), while also contributing to bills.

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@toml How did you find faculty taking sabbaticals? We have thought about this option in San Francisco, in order to spend time with family there for an extended period of time, but I don’t know how to approach this. Any advice would be great! There are several universities in the area.

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Yeah, definitely should be a mutual exchange!

I’m also very mindful about the electricity and gas that I use as I treat every home I stay in as my own for that period of time. For example, I am in a big house right now and one night got really cold and extra layers didn’t help anymore so I thought, ok, I’ll put heating for an hour, but first I went and turned down the radiators in all the other rooms that I don’t use and closed all doors. And since I am alone staying here their bills will probably be less than usual because it’s normally two of them here.

P.s. for that particular sit we are talking about - I didn’t even plan to apply because there’s just a low-quality photo of the dog and no photos of indoors :sweat_smile: