In the Terms and Conditions which were updated 8th June 2023 it says:
The following applies only to Sitters. You will:
immediately contact the Pet Parent in the event of any damage to property and get their approval for repair. If, in the event of an emergency, you are unable to contact the Pet Parent , you will pay for the repair of any damage caused, and request the Pet Parent reimburse you for all costs incurred (provided you have not caused the damage yourself);
An example might be a tree falls on the home and the Sitter cannot contact the Pet Parent, then the Sitter is supposed to pay for the repair and ask the Pet Parent for reimbursement.
That doesn’t seem fair.
What do other members here think?
Hi @Wetravel I have attached another thread you might like to have a look at where this issue has been previously discussed.
The vet expenses discussion led to THS altering their T&Cs. It looks like this is another one, along similar lines, that needs to be adjusted. So a good thing that @Wetravel is flagging it here.
I would indeed NOT want to have to pay for property damage & repair caused by a tree falling on the house due to a storm. E.g. that could be thousands if not tens of thousands of Euros. No way I’m going to pay this & then ask for reimbursement of the HO. Thank you for flagging!
No, they did not change anything. First they waited and delayed.
Then they let it be known that nothing would change.
That is what @Angela_L wrote two weeks ago: Sitter has to pay veterinary expenses up front! - #136 by Angela_L
SORRY, WRONG THREAD BUT YOU CANT DELETE POSTS ANYMORE! I’ll PUT IT IN THE VET ONE. I don’t like this clause anymore than 90% of the sitters on here but yesterday I read all the Ts and Cs on the platform (first time!). The HO also signs up to “full responsibility for setting up payment and having adequate vet care in place for the duration of the sit” & “you agree to reimburse the sitter within 14 days if they can’t reach you and have to pay” in there. THS are just covering their backsides on both sides of the coin, in case anything goes wrong so THEY have none of the liability. They’re asking both sides to cover all bases. For sitters, our solution is still to ask this essential question on all potential sits to be sure it’s safe to take them on
I think I’ll let my membership lapse. I’m not footing the bill for tree removal, urgent home repairs, or costly vet care. Nope.
THS has no power to enforce anything and if you pay for any of this stuff and the home owner decides to not reimburse you, you are down a river without a paddle.
This writing is a clear attempt to shirk any and all responsibility to a different party so that THS is never held liable/responsible/other for anything may actually happen.
THS has insurance in place if anything happens to the house, has anyone had any success what so ever with that - NOPE. Its not very good insurance and they will fight you on every inch and take years when it should take days.
TrustedHouseSitters did not change anything after reviewing the unanimous views from the forum (petowners and sitters) that clause was 5.3.5 is unfair and unenforceable.
After weeks of reviewing it their decision was the clause will remain in as someone has to pay . Direct quote from their response
And when asked about what provisions are in place to support a sitter if the homeowner does not reimburse the sitter for charges paid their response was
The above experience demonstrates that the well thought out , reasonable, clearly articulated and carefully considered views of the forum members do not hold any weight with the THS decision makers . I understand that not all forum members are actually THS members so maybe if members individually take the time to write about these absurd clause to THS they may be persuaded to take our concerns more seriously?
Currently under the TOC If the home gets damaged in a storm and a pet gets injured ; and the home owner cannot be contacted according to these clauses the unpaid sitter must fund all the emergency repairs and vet fees !!!
Then if Home owner does not reimburse the unpaidsitter, the sitter will have to take legal action at their own expense to get the money back .
In my experience, on ALL sits I have done, the homeowners have set up a payment method with the vet before leaving in the event that veterinary care is required and provided. The vets have been advised of the HO’s travel plans and a payment method has been put in place. Normally the vet will also speak to the HO before undertaking any expensive work required, to obtain consent. Most HO’s are contactable when away. Just my personal experience.
I guess it is up to the sitter to ensure that such a process is in place before accepting a sit.
@ziggy - yes yet another thing to add to the ever growing list of questions to ask before accepting a sit. Always best to get things in writing as well if something isn’t covered in the Welcome Guide.
My question list is taking longer than some of the sits I do!
That’s disappointing to read.
Re the setting up auto payment systems with the vet: maybe that’s something you can do in the US, but in Europe I’ve not done any sit where that was the case (however this belongs to the vet thread; not this one)
Re T&Cs: it’s kind of odd to oblige the sitter to pay, but then indicate that THS has no authority to assist with repayment in case the HOs decide not to do so. I’m sure that someone with more legal knowledge than me could probably make a case out of this, as it’s a very unreasonable & skewed balance in terms of responsibility sharing.
Finally, it’s disappointing to see that THS is once again stonewalling when it comes to incorporating member feedback:
- Extensive and overwhelmingly negative feedback on the 5 application limit rule led to zero change. It started as a THS experiment, so one would expect that at the very least THS would embrace doing more than 1 experiment, trialing out 1 or more of the valid suggestions made by members. Only then we can compare what works best
- Feedback on the T&Cs that point out the unreasonably high financial risks that sitters are supposed to shoulder upfront has apparently not led to any amendments to create a more fair share of responsibilities
Is anyone seriously going to put themselves at risk of having to pay what could be a very large bill for home damage whilst on a sit? OK, if a coffee table gets marked that is one thing but imagine if there was a storm and consequent flooding, roof blowing off or a fallen tree - a more regular occurence now it seems.
How can THS expect sitters topay these potential expenses which could run into thousands of dollars/pounds/euros etc. On top of that THS expects sitters to be responsible for paying vets bills if no arrangement has been made by the home owner with their vet.
In neither case are THS offering protection and/or help with reimbursement. I really do think this has to be re-thought and quickly as it seems to me that THS are not taking their responsibility towards sitters seriously and the response that Angela relayed from the membership was woefully inadequate.
A proper risk assessment needs to be undertaken by THS to ensure that all potential eventualities are covered rather than making a glib comment that most sits are completed without any problems.
I wrote in the “About” section of my profile that I do not consider myself bound by these clauses.
So far, THS has not done anything about that. (But they removed the url of my travel blog.)
Edit @LizBCN : the rationale given was that the blog was sharing private details of the most recent HOs. I dispute that I did that.
…maybe that’s the workaround @pietkuip : adding a disclaimer to our sitter profiles, that if you intend to engage me as a sitter, be aware that I do not accept and do not consider myself bound by clause X and Y of the THS’ T&Cs…
I am surprised to hear your travel blog has been banned. I thought links to social media - LinkedIn etc were encouraged as giving owners some confidence that we are who we say we are. I wonder what the rational for banning your blog was -was an explanation given?
Ooops sorry off topic with my last post and the delete function is no longer available.
I understand the thought behind it, but don’t think it is the solution. I’m a sitter and a host. From the host perspective, a statement like that would immediately make me think the sitter was going to be difficult to deal with. From the sitter side, I wouldn’t want the host to think I was going to be a pain!
@Bluehorse I am from Australia not the US. Not sure what you find is disappointing Just stating a fact for how it is normally done here, not all countries are the same as you note. A shame as it does make things so much easier for everyone.
This one I found disappointing to read: