Security checks for owners

Hello,

After being sitters for around 5 years we only recently discovered that TH owners aren’t security checked/vetted anywhere near as much as sitters are and this really worries us…

Knowing that we could be about to live in a strangers home that hasn’t really had any background checks is quite a concern and I’m sure many other sitters are also not aware of this as we always assumed they were checked as thoroughly too. I mentioned this to Customer Services around 6 weeks ago who said they would relay it to other teams.

Please could you advise what action you are taking to ensure all owners are also fully vetted? Sitter safety is important too!

Thanks

Could this be because you can’t hide that much when your home address is known? :woman_shrugging:t3:
The HO also post pictures of their house and give THS their permanent address. No idea if this is the reason but as a HO I wouldn’t mind being checked.

Sitters have completed a background criminal check, passport checks, external references & email and phone verification as a minimum when joining the site.

I don’t think any of this is carried out for HO’s. It has made me question whether someone could put up fake photos and advertise a sit to lure people in? I highly doubt this happens often but you just never know if they aren’t vetted at all…

Hi @UKSitter

Thank you for raising this point. Your are correct in saying that sitter members currently have to follow a more extensive verification process.

We are currently reviewing our verification processes with a view to make improvements. I know that saying ‘we’re looking in to it’ can be a frustrating answer to receive but I assure you that we have a sizeable project in motion that addresses this subject as well as other important members feedback we have received.

I am unable to give specific timelines for improvements to be made but I am aware that the subject of verifications is high on the list.

Thank you
Paul

Head of Membership Services

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Good point :+1:t2:

Personally, I do not think it is necessary for a HO to go through the same vetting as a sitter. Maybe a passport ID check would be more than enough.

In the THS scenario, almost all the trust is asked of the HO - They are inviting strangers into their homes and leaving their much-loved pets in the care of a stranger.

It is quite correct that the sitter goes through a vetting process.

The HO tells us where they live and gives us the keys of the house to prove it. They give THS their email address and most often give the sitters phone numbers prior to arrival.

Asking HO to be vetted any more than this is just creating more hoops to jump through that are not necessary

I say this as a sitter not a HO

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Ho also pay to use THS, and I presume most use a credit card that is registered at their home address. So that in itself is a check.

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I agree with @Colin, the HO is entrusting the most important things in their life, their home and pets to complete strangers, whose home addresses are not known, if in fact they even have one, as many sitters are permanent travellers. Of all the ways a predator could use to lure a victim I think joining ths/paying membership and creating a profile and listing is probably one of the most unlikely, esp as I would think the chances of them finding a suitable target in the applicants for a listing is pretty slim.

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Owners don’t need to be checked as thoroughly as sitters, but I think I would like to be staying somewhere with the knowledge that the owner has at least had a criminal background check. I appreciate that TH are looking into this as they clearly think it’s important too