I am both a sitter and a homeowner and have had pretty good experiences on both sides so far. I recently had some sitters stay who were unusual, though, and I’m trying to work through what I could do, if anything, next time, to avoid this. It’s too tiring to go into more details (such as how it was clear they didn’t read the welcome guide), so I’ll focus on one item:
For some context, I had to split the sit into two because the incoming sitter, who had stayed before and was great, could not do the entire sit as I hoped. At the end of the first part of the sit, the unusual folks texted that they’d clean everything before they left. However, when my next sitter arrived the following day, right away, I received photos from her of a dirty, slept-in bed, sink and tub full of hair, and a crumb-covered sofa.
First, why would the first sitters say they were going to clean and then obviously not?
Second, when I texted them to tell them this, they denied it and said the incoming sitter must be making it up or someone else had been in the house! I checked my security footage and there was no one there but them and her. How would someone have the nerve to blame someone else for their mess??
Thinking about their denial, while it’s possible that the second incoming sitter walked in, messed up things and took pictures (why? Just to make the first people look bad?), that does seem a bit psycho and like a real waste of time for a 1) busy person 2) who already has a great reputation plus 3) sat for me before with no issues.
The unusual folks provided no documentation of anything, so in the end, I said it’s sitter #2’s documentation against sitters #1 non-documentation.
Finally, given the context of the other ways in which the first sitters were unusual, I chose to not write them any review and instead tell them how to improve for the future. I have insurance agents in my family, and I own a rental property, so I have seen what can happen without documentation to protect yourself. I document exactly the condition of a place before I leave with a lot of photos and tell the homeowner precisely what I have done and what time I leave. On some occasions, I have even made a short video of my final walk-through for my own use, just in case.
This, they indicated, was over-the-top.
I am done with this nonsense drama and yet I also want to avoid this kind of weird thing in the future. I think it IS over-the-top to expect that a sitter at my place does a video walk-through, etc., and I never would ask for that. However, I believe firmly that a sitter aware of the potential for liability (especially in the good ole US of A), should document their doings clearly to “CYA.”
Can other homeowners/homeowners+sitters relate? Provide constructive advice for the future? Is there a “TOP TIPS FOR SITTERS” posting I can share with future sitters so they’ll understand this kind of thing without me blathering on about it? Thanks.