Sitter asking if 3 friends can join?

We are very new to TH (our first sit is booked). We have another date for 3 days listed and a sitter asked if 3 friends could join? We have quite a few animals but it doesn’t sit right having 4 people in the house. What are the rules regarding this, is it left to the hosts discretion?
Thanks in advance

Hi, and welcome!

Do they want the friends to stay for the duration of the sit, or join them for a visit?

Either way it is entirely up to you, and if you’re not comfortable with it you are absolutely entitled to refuse their request.

We have a couple of repeat sits and the home owners have been gracious enough to allow us to bring our daughter sometimes when they have asked us to sit for them on dates she was already planning to be with us.

We are also home owners though, and we ask for single sitters as there just isn’t really room in our house for more, and we too would refuse a request for 3 others to stay for the entire sit. 3 friends visiting for a meal or drinks would be fine for us.

If it doesn’t feel right I would politely decline and move on.

Don’t forget - it is only the registered sitter who is verified. You will not know anything about the 3 friends.
It is really cheeky and it makes you wonder what the sitter’s motif is
I would definitely refuse as @Andalucia says


Welcome @SteveMapes ,
That is not a usual request at all. It sounds like the way you put it, it is just in the application stage now. It would be more difficult if it was after the sit was already offered and accepted. While I respect them asking ahead of time instead of springing it on you later, I would personally be hesitant to allow that many extra people that you know nothing about into your home. It might be a little different if it was someone who normally sat solo but wanted their significate other to accompany them but 3 extra people would make me reject them.

Welcome @SteveMapes- It’s reasonable for the sitter to ask the question at application stage as some homeowners will be happy with the arrangement but it is certainly not expected that you must accept . It’s entirely your choice and you need to feel comfortable with your decision.

I’d recommend that you clarify with this sitter that if they can’t have their friends come along, will they still want to go ahead with the sit?

If you have other applicants that are more suitable, you can politely decline this sitter .

If you are low on applicants apply to sit because of the number of animals / timing of sit / your location it’s an an option you may want to consider and it’s been recommended previously on the forum for sits with no applicants.

We have had 3 hosts this year invite us to have guests to stay ( these were long sits with additional guest rooms available) . We didn’t take them up on the offer, but mentioning it because some hosts are fine with this arrangement for part or all of the sit .

Hi @SteveMapes and Welcome

I guess it is at your discretion but it is not a common request. Rather cheeky if you ask me and I would suspect (rightly or wrongly) that the sitter’s attention would be with the friends rather than your pets.

I would be asking myself does the sitter have a track record of excellent reviews?

Do I have room to accommodate these extra people I do not know anything about?

How would I feel if I came back home to a pile of towels and bed linen (assuming the sitter doesn’t do it all).

Sitters are always wary of third parties in the home and there are rules in place for good reason. I don’t see your situation any differently and you shouldn’t accept extra people unless you are totally comfortable with it.


Could be, but the OP says that there are “quite a few animals” and then those might be much better taken care of than by a single sitter who could be busy touristing. This group might spend a lot of time at the property.

Yes, maybe they would have a party, with a risk of even more friends. This would need some trust building and communication about mutual expectations.


How many animals do you have? If it’s a large amount, the 4 friends might actually be an ideal option for you.


Hi @SteveMapes ,

Yours is a good post to get a discussion going but to answer you specifically we really would need more information.

Is a single sitter applying to a sit advertised as family-friendly?, If you are happy to have a family of four, why not four friends

For an hour? a meal? the duration of the sit?

5? 15? 50? Fish? dogs? horses?

Generally, I don’t think any question asked at the application stage is cheeky, In fact, I think it’s a good indication of an honest, responsible sitter. A cheeky or irresponsible sitter wouldn’t bother asking

The short answer to your main question “Is it left to the host’s discretion” is - Yes.

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@Colin @SteveMapes it certainly is a good post to get discussion going and make you think a bit more about situations.

We sit as a family of 3 or 4, however my initial reaction to this post was that asking to have 3 friends along was a bit much / a bit cheeky, and probably something I would be wary of allowing if I was a homeowner hosting house sitters… And yet, as @Colin points out, we sometimes sit as a group of 4. So why was my initial reaction negative?

I think perhaps because, when we sit as a family of 3 / 4, our application and our profile contain a lot of information about all 3/4 of us. A solo sitter’s profile will usually only tell you about the sitter. There are a number of solo sitters who do sometimes like to invite a friend or family member along for company, and who may change their profile and application message to reflect this.

If the applicant has not provided any information about their 3 friends, perhaps a starting point is an open question like “Tell me about your friends”. They might respond with information on their friends interests and animal experience, which could inform your decision.

I do think there would potentially a difference between being responsible for your family members actions and behaviour on a housesit, and being responsible for the actions and behaviour of a group of friends. You never really know what people are truly like until you have lived with them or travelled with them!

As @Colin and others have said, it is your decision so do what feels right for you.


@SteveMapes As others have mentioned, there is much information missing in your post so we can respond in a meaningful way.

As some have asked, how many animals do you have? Does the sitter want the friends to come over for a meal, an afternoon? Or live there for the duration of the sit…as in a free vacation? Are they expecting you to feed them? Let them use your car, sleep in every bed in the house? Will they clean up, since the 3 friends don’t get reviews on THS?

Only the sitter is vetted via THS and only the sitter gets reviewed. Who is the “adult” to ensure the 3 friends don’t smoke or vape inside (if you’re non-smokers) and who will ensure they treat your animals and home appropriately?

There are so many variable outside of your control, we’d never consider such a request.

But to each his own.

3 unrelated friends in your home when you’re away? I wouldn’t be comfortable.

I have asked to bring my SO with me. He doesn’t have a profile here because his work does not have a schedule he can predict far in advance. Most HO are comfortable having a couple versus a single.

Requesting one additional person NOT mentioned in the profile isn’t that unusal. The first time I used THS, my excellent sitter wanted to bring her mom who was visiting from Italy. No problem! I even got to meet her mom when the sitter came over to get the keys a few days before the sit. Other times when people have mentioned people not specificly listed as co-sitters, I’ve requested linked in or SOMETHING to verify identiy and have recieved it, or the sitters backed out. Three other people – not family – sounds like a party and just NO. I also wouldn’t take the sitter if she said it was okay because I wouldn’t trust her not to sneak them in. There is no rule that just because someone applies you have to take them. If you are new to THS, I would recommend carefully vetting the sitters and looking at their previous reviews.

Welcome @SteveMapes
This sounds a bit naughty and you’re well within your rights to refuse such a request. Of course sometimes may bring a partner or a family member but 3 people.

Why would you consider 3 unrelated people when 1 person or a couple would do? Decline!

@Crookie -I think the issue here is that until we have the definition of ‘quite a few’ in the sentence “we have quite a few animals” we can’t really be sure that 1 person or a couple would do?.

Hi @SteveMapes - it’s been a couple of days since you sought advice on your query.
Members have responded with a variety of opinions and out of interest I was just wondering if you had come to any decisions about your sitter’s request?

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