While I was away, my sitter txt me to ask if she could put up a visitor for 2 days or so to help celebrate her birthday. It sounded as though she wanted to host a party at my house. I wasn’t comfortable with her request and was not sure that THS 3rd party insurance would cover unknown or unvetted visitors. What do you think?
Does the insurance make much of a difference? I think you want to avoid the risk of damage anyway.
I could not imagine permitting a birthday party of totally unknown people, but I doubt that that is your sitter’s intention. A night on the town sounds more likely. Ask her.
The friend staying two nights at your place, you could allow it or you could say no. At the place where I am now the HO hinted that they had no problem with an overnight guest.
The response is completely up to you. As sitters we would never even contemplate such an ask.
An easy response: Thank you for asking, but after consideration, I will have to decline your request. Perhaps if we had discussed the arrangement in advance of the sit my answer might have been different, but I am not at all comfortable with the request at this time.
In my welcome guide under house rules, I specify no parties are allowed. I don’t mind if they have a handful of people over for dinner and game night, but I do live in a three-flat building, and though It’s supposed to be sound-proof, we’ve found that sound does travel when people are congregating for sports or parties (the neighbors below had parties but now they have a three-month old baby).
I had one sitter once ask me if her brother could stay with her for a night or two for ‘safety’ and I said, that’s fine but no parties.
I think the sitter should have discussed this when you originally chatted.
Some HO’s are fine with visitors and/or overnight guests, some aren’t keen but it’s your house so your rules. Sitter needs to respect such.
Yes, @conniedavidson , your sitter should have discussed this prior to the sit. If you do not feel comfortable, wish her a happy birthday but tell her you’re sorry, you don’t feel comfortable having a guest stay over. Make sure she knows whether it’s OK to have her friend come to the house at all or if you would rather she meet the friend somewhere else.
And there is no third party insurance. If something untoward happens in your home during a sit, your sitter must first accept fault and you have to make a claim to your homeowner’s insurance first before THS insurance kicks in.
That is entirely up to you. How old is the sitter? I’ve had owners offer me another bedroom for a friend to stay without my even asking, probably because I’m on my own, which was really nice and I took up the offers. I always ask an owner if a friend can just pop in for a cup of tea and would respect the owner’s decision. However, I am 66 so unlikely to have a party
Your house, your decision and hopefully the sitter will abide by that.
Totally your call @conniedavidson - it’s something that should be asked at chat time before confirming the sit, not now as it’s awkward for everyone. Your home so your rules.
One person overnight has always been fine with us. A party? No way. Your home isn’t her party house. She is there to watch your animals, primarily.
Your response is entirely up to you - whatever you are comfortable with. Yes, it should have been discussed before the sit was accepted but sometimes things come up.
I have on occasion asked I& we can have an overnight guest or a couple over for dinner and I’ve always bee; told yes, so far. However, if the pet owner had said no I would have accepted it and not hold it against them.
We usually sit as a couple but we will be spending next spring/summer in the the UK and my grandchildren are desperate to spend time with us during the school holidays. They are social, articulate children who are used to dogs but I can understand the frustration that families face now. You think you have the perfect sit then wham, not family friendly. Never mind, I will get there in the end.
As long as your pets don’t need to have someone with them 24/7 just say no! She should have asked at the point of applying, and then you would have naturally disregarded her application, as you are uncomfortable with it.
Just say you are really sorry but you don’t feel comfortable with others being in your home, and would prefer that she met up with friends elsewhere instead. You could also mention the insurance thing too, as she may just be naive to that side of it.
Unless there was more to the conversation it is quite a presumptuous jump from quote 1 to quote 2
My idea of friends helping me to celebrate a birthday is a meal or a night at the theatre.
In any case, they asked, so have proved themselves to be considerate sitters. It’s now up to you to agree or disagree according to how comfortable you are with the request.
I do not find that natural at all. If every HO reacted in that way, no sitter would ask such a question in advance.
When I know that kind of thing in advance, I would ask at the point of applying if it was important for planning, for example if it was about my daughter coming with me or coming to visit. But generally, I would ask that kind of thing when the issue comes up, when more personal trust was established with the HO.
Or I ask if it was ok to have a guest for tea or drinks in the garden. Then the HO can say no, or they can answer “Yes, in the garden is fine”, or “No problem at all, take them in the house, let them stay the night.” And then I would interpret “In the garden is fine” as “maybe rather not” and I would probably not invite anybody.
‘naturally’ given the way she feels uncomfortable with the situation, ie it’s ‘natural’ to her, everyone owner is different.
@HappyDeb I think it might be “natural” for her to say no to the request of the friend staying (but maybe not, I believe the OP is considering to give that permission).
But I would find it really weird to decline the application for that.
What may have happened here is that the initiative to celebrate her birthday came from friends. That she had not intended this at all at the point of application.
So she tells the friends:
“But I am not at home, I am on a pet sit then!”
– We will come to that city and celebrate there!
“But it is not allowed, and I need to take care of the pet.”
– Pet can come with us and celebrate. On a river cruise maybe! Cannot you ask?
“Ok, I will ask”.
I understand your nonconformity with that, but I think she’s probably not thinking of hosting a party. “Put up a visitor” doesn’t necessarily mean she plans on having a party. Maybe you could ask her what her plans are and how the visitor is with the pets.
But I agree that she should have asked you before. Do what makes you comfortable, it’s your home.
@conniedavidson The sitter knows in advance when her birthday is, so waiting until after the sit has begun to mention it seems… well… but we don’t know how it is, so no rush to judgement.
It was probably innocent, but to avoid as many awkward situations as possible, we do include in our public listing that day visitors are OK if they discuss it with us during the video chat (before a sit is confirmed). And our listing states no overnight guests, and we do review these points (and many others) during the video chat.
I think that maybe the sitter used poor choice of words for her request. I think she maybe should have asked the HO "would it be ok to have a friend over during her stay? She/He would like to come by me so we could celebrate her/ his birthday. That isn’t to mean they were going to party at the HO’s house, but maybe go out on the town in the evening for dinner & maybe a few drinks to celebrate with a trusted friend. Also I’m guessing the friend may have thought where you live is a cool place (state/city) and thought it would be nice to be there to celebrate his/her birthday. Idk I’m just sharing what I think about the topic.