Seeking Guidance on a House Sitting Incident

Hello everybody,

I’m an experienced THS and I am reaching out to seek guidance on the recent situation that arose following my stay as a trusted housesitter. During my tenure, a minor incident occurred where, due to my inadvertence, I caused a thermal mark on the surface of a table. I promptly notified the homeowner about this incident as it was my responsibility.

The homeowner acknowledged that the incident was not intentional and confirmed that the rest of the property was in a clean and orderly condition upon their return. Additionally, they mentioned that their pets were well taken care of. However, the homeowner has expressed the desire for us to cover a part of the cost of repairing the damage. They believe that the entire surface of the table needs replacement, as they feel it cannot be used with the existing mark. Although the homeowner has not provided an estimated cost, they have indicated that it may be substantial. I find this surprising as I believe it is likely a matter of replacing a synthetic surface on a table.

I am willing to rectify the damage as it is my responsibility, but I am unsure about the fairness of the proposed amount in relation to the extent of the damage. I have photographic evidence of the situation. I am also uncertain if the homeowner has insurance coverage for such incidents and am hesitant to inquire directly, fearing it may cause discomfort. I know she doesn’t have the Premium Membership, but not sure about Standard vs Basic.

Could you please advise on the appropriate course of action in this situation and what would be considered a fair resolution? I want to handle this matter with transparency and fairness. Any guidance you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time and assistance.


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I cant help you with how to proceed, sorry, but has the HO tried to remove the mark herself yet? I have made a thermal mark on a wooden tabletop (not on a sit thankgoodness) and managed to successfully remove it with salt, then white vinegar. Its a bit of a process, but it saves the original finish and there is alot of information on line instructing how to remove these types of marks.
Seems like they may have got a quote from someone who thought they could make some easy money sanding back and refinishing the surface instead of trying an inexpensive repair first.

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If this happened to us I would accept the HOs request to share the cost but ask to see the estimate for the repair first. I would do my due diligence based on the estimate (in their location) and go from there. If it seemed excessive I would discuss the issue with the HO.


Thank you for your reply! Unfortunately tt’s a termal damage, so I think that won’t work.

I spilled something on a bedroom carpet a long time ago, couldn’t get the large mark out. I replaced the entire bedroom carpet, my fault so I took full responsibility and acted accordingly. Done and dusted and moved on. Bitter pill to swallow but you soon forget about it and you learn from it. We really need to take responsibility for our mistakes, regardless of the circumstances.


Thank you, it is the first time that this happens so I wanted to listen your experience. Yours was useful


It is the kind of thing that can happen.

Would one pay if this happened at a hotel? I don’t think so. Of course the table can still be used. Maybe there were scratches on the surface already when you arrived.

I have broken and damaged so many house hold items over my years, I can’t even…and those scratches on my hardwood floor shortly after they were installed…UGH.

It may be just me but other than my car for use by a thsitter where I would collect a refundable deductible deposit inadvance, I would not expect a sitter to pay for anything broken during their stay.

We have home and content insurance for a reason.
And no need to challenge my position, as I am not interested in objection posts.

My suggestion is to tell the home host you need to see an estimate.

In fact, maybe suggest you would consider pitching in for the insurance deductible.

Either way, pay directly to the vendor or insurance NOT the home host.

AND I would definitely mention this in the review as a heads up to future sitters, as I think the home host needs to either contact their home insurance or or suck it up butter cup…as they say.


What happened exactly?

Well, the hotel also has that budgeted in the price you pay them.

That said, I do agree that these things happen. Hard to say what I would do, as we don’t know what exactly happend, how big was the mark etc.

I would ask for an estimate from a qualified repair person.

If it’s a large amount I would inquire about a HO insurance claim.

You might also reach out to THS to see if there is coverage under this HOs membership type.

I applaud your candid approach and your calmness in evaluating the situation. Its also important that you protect yourself and make sure that things are well documented. I wouldn’t just hand over an amount without a repair estimate either.


This should be covered by the insurance that they are obligated to have in place and agreef was in place when they signed up to THS:
5.2.10. ensure that you have adequate home insurance and that this insurance also covers you for the occupancy of a Sitter in your home (you may need to check this with your insurance provider);

So at best they can try and ask you to cover the excess. They can’t ask you to cover anything else unless it is less than the excess and they can’t decide they don’t wish to claim on their insurance and have you foot the bill.


Hi. I left a hot pot on a plastic surface for 10 seconds and it was damaged.

This sounds logical. As it’s my first time, and I didn’t find much information on THS website, I thought this was a useful way of sharing experiece :slight_smile:

Yes, if you damage something in a hotel room, they are allowed to let you pay for the repairs/ replacements. It’s in their policy terms.

Isn’t there damage insurance for HOs?

I recalled this because I had to look it up recently. Your post made me laugh about my own experience – I THOUGHT I’d damaged a spotless quartz countertop. I spent so much time researching repairs. It turned out the mark was already there but the HO hadn’t thought to point it out. :rofl:
Anyway, check out the insurance policy terms in the link. Hope it helps.

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I think it’s the most normal thing in the world that you are paying if you damage something in another place. There is nothing to discuss about it.

In my country everybody has an insurance for these cases.

Of course, the entire surface of the table has to be replaced, but only for the current value of the table.

For example, if the table is 10 years old, you will have a significant reduction in the value of the table and will therefore have to pay less of the damage.

I really hope every sitter has such an insurance.

And no, it’s not the owner’s insurance that’s paying here because the owner didn’t cause the damage.

A plastic surface?

This sounds really cheap, so don’t bother too much.

Is there an outcome to this yet?

In the end, the owner told us we would not have to pay for it! I think she realized it was not as expensive as she thought. Happy ending :blush: