Payment to housesitter

Hello @Sadiejane Thank you for joining the discussion. Karen is no longer a moderator on the forum as she works in a different department and Therese is currently offline, so I am happy to help :slight_smile: Membership Services is on hand to help with any of these concerns or queries about any type of payment request.

Carla, hello! Just wondered if TH felt sitters asking for transportation costs was kosher?

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I’m just wondering if it’s a scam though… I hope your sitter actually arrives, not to worry you but please get a Plan B in place….think I would’ve cancelled the sitter in the same position. It’s extortion….

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Hello, @Sadiejane :wave:

I am happy to help clarify a bit more. The premise is that no money should change hands (*please see the exception with utilities which has been raised and feedback passed to the wider company) This help desk article about travel expenses should help. For individual concerns please reach out to Membership Services as they will know more :slight_smile: Thank you.

I find the transportation costs difficult.
I think in this instance the sitters possibly being abit cheeky and trying their luck by asking after agreeing. On the other hand maybe when they checked after agreeing the cost was more than they anticipated and as they’d agreed to sit thought to ask for help.:man_shrugging: . Really it could be either option, we dont know.
In the end if it works for both parties thats what matters.
If the HO feels taken advantage of i would see what level of attention the pets get. If they are well cared for thats what matters.

After 85 posts on this topic, at the end of the day it’s simple.

If you apply for a housesit, no matter how short a notice, how desperate a homeowner is, etc etc etc, if you don’t want to travel to the sit “at your own expense and regardless of the travel arrangements” - don’t apply/don’t go! Why does the onus have to fall back on the homeowner?

You read, hopefully, the terms and conditions of the site, you KNOW what is involved and what is expected, just because a homeowner is basically stuck, that is NOT a reason to expect them to pay your way.

In a nutshell, if you can’t afford to travel/you don’t want to pay for the travel/you think you are doing the homeowners a “favour”, then simple - don’t offer, don’t apply. Don’t put caveats on a sit and don’t hold the HO to ransom. Simple!!


Common sense at last. Well said Ziggy.


@ziggy Right on. Thank you!

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Sorry, im just going to play devils advocate here a little.
What if a HO reached out to a sitter, and they live in a remote out of the way place. Maybe its somewhere the sitter would like to go and they agree before checking it out fully. When they check it out they find it difficult and or expensive, more than they expeceted.
Maybe they decide to pull out of the sit due to costs, the HO then has to cancel plans, may also lose money. Or maybe they go ahead but begrudge the cost and are not as friendly as they may otherwise be when they arrive.
This may be extreme but please dont judge unless you really know all the facts.
I fully agree its a two way street but all situations are different.


That is the problem.

Otherwise I agree. If a HO on say a nice Caribbean island (or somewhere in Africa) reached out to me and invited me to sit, I would investigate airfares first. And I might very well have to say that regrettably, this was too expensive for me for the length of the sit.

Then I would not have asked for money, technically. And it would be up to them to make an offer.


I agree @pietkuip i would hope myself id check it all out first. I do imagine not everyone does.
I was sort of looking at extremes, that not everything is 100%, things happen & sometimes, if it works for both parties and both parties are happy leeway is ok…:blush:

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@Gina . “I’d check it out first , I imagine not everyone does”. A conscientious sitter would check if they could afford the travel costs, before confirming the sit, it states quite clearly in the rules that sitters are responsible for their own travel expenses.


I’ve had several HOs over the years, that I’ve previously been in touch with (but not yet sat for), who preferred me as a sitter for an upcoming sit.

And me being keen to do the sit and being available! And quite a few times I’ve had to tell them: ‘sorry, can’t do it, travel costs too high’.

Several of these sits I would have agreed to do, in case the HO had offered to pay $100-200 towards travel costs. E.g. when taking the responsibility to look after someone’s pets for (in my case usually) 1-2 weeks, there is a max I’m willing to pay on travel costs before I might as well go somewhere cheaper or travel on cheaper-but-not-HO-listed dates.


When I was new to the platform, one sitter told me they expected a generous tip for helping out. She was local, and I felt like she was doing me a huge favor since my puppy was so young and was finally learning to be potty trained. I did end up giving her a generous tip and a coffee shop gift card (the coffee gift card is something I’ve continued to do for all our sitters). She was also a new sitter with one review, so looking back, I think it was very inappropriate on her part to ask, but I still feel like she did me a huge favor, so I can’t really sweat it.


Some HO leave you chocolates, wine, and fill the house with food for you, while others don’t leave you so much as a teabag or a slice of bread, but that’s just people. I always weigh up the travel costs before accepting a sit, specially a short one, sometimes it’s just not worth it. I would never dream of asking for a tip, if they’re mean, just don’t go back.


I disagree. Id never ask for money. You arent buying airfare to take care of someones pet. You are buying airfair to visit a place you would like to go. You are caring for the pet in exchange for a place to stay. We were offered money toword airfair on our second house sit. At the tume i didnt realized there was rules against paying a sitter, however, we said no thank you. It was an awesome sit and worth every penny of the airfare.


I have a place to stay.

When there was an emergency request from Copenhagen last November, my main reason to take that was to help someone out.

It was a nice sit (easy dog, central location), but I have been to Copenhagen often enough. I have visited the museums that interest me, etc. And this was not the best time of the year.

This cost me only a train ticket. But for an emergency sit further away, an incentive might help the HO to get applicants.


Indeed. For example, I’m currently considering a last minute sit, however the day the HO leaves (and the day before that) happens to be the day(s) that the airfares are at their highest.

There’s literally a cost difference of 3 times between travelling there on a Monday - Thursday to travelling there on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

If it’d be up to me, I’d like the sit to start on a day that the airfares are low - as a freelancer I’m not bound to certain days for travelling, however I don’t get a choice of dates as a sitter. Of course, I could fly out 2 days early but then I’d blow the cost difference on hotels. I can’t fly in 2 days late either to take advantage of much lower fares.

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I contacted a sitter a couple of days ago who had applied for a sit with me in the past, but I chose someone else that time. I had just had a confirmed sitter cancel for a sit scheduled to start in 1 ½ weeks, so I contacted a couple of past applicants…a little panicky that I wouldn’t find someone so close to my travel dates. She asked for payment, which surprised me and from reading these posts, I see I should report this. In the meantime, I have had a delightful couple apply and I have confirmed them–so all is good in that regard. How do I go about reporting the young woman who asked for money?

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@jennyperry You are correct that a sitter shouldn’t ask for payment for a sit on THS.

You can E-Mail if you wish to inform them and screenshot your conversation with the sitter.

If it’s the first time that the sitter has been reported for doing this , THS will remind the sitter of the rules that asking for payment is not permitted on THS.

Glad you have found some sitters .

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