Request advice re money/tips from hosts

Hi all, I’m looking for some advice. This is the first time I had this experience since joining Trusted Housesitters and nomador last year. When I arrived at my current sit, there was a card for me from the host. When I opened it, this is what the host had written:

Thank you for looking after the cats, house and garden while I am away. Enclosed is some money in case of emergencies but please feel free to treat yourself to cinema/meal. If [any of the cats] need the vet this will cover the taxi trip - hopefully you will not need it!!


The host had enclosed £50. What would you do in this situation? Say thank you and accept the money? Return the money? Wait till the end of the sit to see if any of the cats need to go to the vet? Other?

Say thank you, keep it until end of sit in case cat vet emergencies do need the taxi ride and if it doesn’t happen then treat yourself!


thanks for your advice

1 Like

Unfortunately the message is a little ambiguous so in this instance I would just keep it in the unlikely event that you will need it for any pet related expense, and return it in full if you don’t.

Had it just said ‘treat yourself to a meal’ - then I would have done just that.


thanks - good point

I agree with Cuttleish; hold on to it in case needed, but if not say thanks and have a good meal.


Thanks for your input


Use it for any pet / house sitting expenses, provide the receipts or a note of the expenses & leave the change for the HO.


I agree with Colin. If in doubt, go with the safest option (give the money back in full unless you needed it for the kitties).


My vote goes for holding onto it for possible pet/home related emergencies (Once I had to buy toilet paper), and if nothing is needed, treat yourself to a nice meal or use it for a train/bus fare to your next destination!


Agree with @Colin and @Crookie


I would keep cash to the end just in case an emergency did arise then leave them a card saying thank you for trip to cinema with popcorn, coke & burger, take £25 and leave £25 for them. They did say please feel free to treat yourself. If cash was meant solely for emergency they would have stated that and not mentioned anything about treats. Enjoy!


I decided to return the money in full to the host. Luckily none of the cats needed to go to the vet.

As it turns out, after I returned the money, the host wrote to me that “the money was yours to take, I will leave it again at Christmas.” [I am returning for a repeat sit in Dec/Jan].


I am back at the cat sit that started off this question/topic. This time the host has left me a gift/tip of £60 and as it was made very clear that they wanted me to have this money, I have gratefully accepted it.


We would prefer to buy goods and services for the pets, keep receipts and get reimbursed. We had the situation where the wife told us the husband would leave money (and a key) for us for pet incidentals in a certain drawer. We searched all the drawers and no luck on either. It was an uncomfortable situation. Now we ask the homeowners to please not leave money for us. We can take care of costs so long as they will reimburse.

The exception is the envelopes of cash for household workers. Giving these to workers on the appropriate date has always worked out.

1 Like