Sitters that don’t vacate property

Hi, we are looking at having our first sit, and want to know if anyone has ever had the issue with a sitter not vacating the property at the end of those agreed date?

Could you explain a bit further if this has happened? For example, do you mean the person asked you if it would be okay that they spend an extra night or two or did they refuse to leave immediately, or???

I have never heard of this happening on THS.

No, this is our first set so we’re new and since we’ve never done this before my husband is worried that they may decide that they don’t want to leave and if there would be an issue where we couldn’t get them to leave if we had to. Just to hear so many horror stories about people that rent from people And they don’t move out and there’s nothing you can do about getting them out legally so my husband just wants to make sure that what we agreed upon means that they have to leave and if they decide they don’t want to leave that we would be able to have them removed.

Hi @ApplePie & welcome. Have never heard of this happening on THS. There’s no reason for a sitter to want to stay at your home longer than the sit for so many reasons. They have another sit to go to, a flight to catch, travels to pursue, jobs to go to, family to visit, their own home to return to and so on. Plus they will have been through verification. ID checks, profile building tasks, review gathering and more to simply be a sitter. Of course, trust your gut and choose a sitter that feels like a good fit for you and your pets, and ask them at video call time, when and where they will be headed on the last day of the sit so you can coordinate your return and also allay hubby’s fears. It really is a win-win system. Best of luck :raised_hands:t3:

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@ApplePie , make sure to choose good sitters with very good reviews, people that you really like and click with on a video call. Also check their feedback left for prior homeowners. If it feels right, you will have a worry-free trip and will return to happy, healthy pets, a home is great shape and new friends made, people you may want to invite back again.


I think the chances of something like that happening would be extremely rare. I imagine anyone that would consider doing such a crazy thing would attempt to do so with a vacation rental property rather than someone’s actual home.

But for your husband’s peace of mind, he may feel more comfortable choosing sitters who only sit part time and have their own home as opposed to those who are fully nomadic and do not have a permanent residence. I am part of the latter category myself and I can assure you doing such a thing never once crossed my mind :wink:

I once read on the forum that the average member only sits 30 days of the year, which means the vast majority of sitters here must have their own homes.


The normal folks among us sit so we can experience different places.

Personally, I don’t even want to do sits more than two weeks long. You’d have to take me hostage to get me to overstay, LOL. And thanks, but I enjoy going home, too.

They aren’t your tenant, they are there to simply take care of your pets and home. I’ve never heard of anyone on THS over-staying their welcome. You are worrying about something that I do not believe exists.

A lot of the sitters on THS are sitting because they love pets, they may miss having their own, or may simply find animals fun, and they get to combine it with seeing different places, that’s why they are usually sitting in the first place. I don’t think any of us sitters see a place in the way you are describing. Relax and take your head into the mindset of the sitter, it’s about loving life and loving animals.

Once you try it, you’ll realise you will build a bond with your sitters during your messages with them, a proper friendship, you don’t expect it to happen, but it does. It’s because you share one thing in common, you love your pet and your home, and they loved your pictures of your pet and your home, and the things your profile said about the character of your pet. Relax! Try it and see for yourself.

Also, to help your husband relax about things, look at some sitters profiles that have a lot of reviews, and it will help you to understand the mindset of sitters. The ones that don’t have many reviews are potentially great too so don’t rule them out, they are simply newer to the site or do it part time. Its just the ones that have alot will be able to word their joy and passion for animals potentially better than the newer sitters.


Welcome @ApplePie
I too have never heard of a sitter overstaying. Sitters are on here for a variety of reasons but mostly they like travelling and meeting new animals. They are usually looking to move onto their next sit or back to their regular life!

We had one member on here, a HO, that repeatedly wrote about this topic and insisted it was an issue in her US state - not an issue of THS sitters overstaying, but that tenants move in and don’t move out again. I tried to look for her username to tag her here, something like Lulubelle or something, if I remember correctly, but I can’t find her name now. Maybe someone else knows her? She brought up the topic several times.

I just found it, see screenshot, don’t think she’s a member anymore.

You can check their THS calendar if they have any other upcoming sits and maybe any worry will immediately disappear.

I’ve never heard of a house sitter doing that, however, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened somewhere.

If it’s a concern, take time to educate yourself about the landlord/tenant laws in your state, and about any additional housing laws that pertain to your particular city. Knowledge truly is power, and believe me, the kind of person who would do something like that will know those laws well!

In my state, guests aren’t considered tenants, so landlord/tenant law doesn’t apply to them. Anyone who refuses to leave your home when told to goes from being a guest to being a trespasser and can be removed by the police as such. Usually, calling the police is enough to make them leave.

Unfortunately, depending on the laws where you live and the circumstances, getting rid of unwanted houseguests may not be that simple, especially if their guest status has changed to tenant status, which is possible, even if they haven’t paid a penny in rent. Giving something of value or a promise of something in exchange for staying in your home could make them a tenant, depending on what the law says. That’s why it’s important for you to know what the laws of your state and city are, and what your options for handling such a situation are.

While I don’t think the problem is super common, I don’t think it’s rare because of the skyrocketing costs of housing. I also don’t think its always someone who doesn’t have anywhere else to go. Sometimes, it’s someone who simply doesn’t like their other options, or they want to live somewhere for free.

Personally, I think that if you’re careful, and don’t ignore red flags and your gut instinct, you should be ok. I honestly don’t see someone who would want to pull something like that spending the money on a membership and allowing a background check to be done.

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Hey, @ApplePie! I understand the worry – you do hear horror stories about not being able to evict tenants, and no one would want to go through that.

If you create a really great listing, you’ll get applications from very good sitters, ones who have multiple 5-star reviews. A sitter who has multiple 5-star reviews will move mountains to make sure they don’t get even one bad review. That includes arriving when they say they will, taking care of your home and animals very well, communicating well throughout, and leaving when the sit is over. That’s because they want to get more and better sits.

If you’d like to add your listing to your profile here, we can give you some feedback on how to improve it so you’ll get the best sitters to apply. Then all you have to do is choose a sitter who has multiple 5-star reviews, and you can be very, very confident that sitter will not outstay their welcome.

No, I’ve never heard of it and never considered it a possibility. Everyone on this platform invests significant time and money into building up their profile, getting reviews and giving the best care possible for the pets because it is a lifestyle they want to continue with.

Their return is they get to spend time in a new place and have a base to explore a different area. They have their own commitments outside of sitting and are not criminals.

Squatting in your house is illegal and of no interest to anyone. Frankly that is a ridiculous thing to worry about.

@Val I usually say everyone has to start somewhere so give a newbie with no reviews a chance . However for your and your husbands peace of mind I suggest on this first occasion for peace of mind that pick a sitter with several recent 5 star reviews .

If it’s still a worry for you then maybe having a sitter in your home isn’t the best option for you.


@Silversitters, absolutely, and as an experienced HO, I’m usually up for that, especially when it’s a short sit and the inexperienced sitter trying to build up reviews lives an easy drive from me. But for a nervous and inexperienced HO? Absolutely choose an experienced HS with excellent reviews.

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I don’t think it’s ridiculous for someone who is new to this to be worrying about the ways it could go wrong. I have friends who think I’m nuts, can’t believe anyone would let a stranger live in their house while they’re gone.


Look for good sitters with more sits arranged.

Look for sitters with homes of their own to return to.

Look at sitters’ past sits for patterns that look promising for departure.

Ask about travel plans. Like some will volunteer that they’ve got other sits and air travel arranged.

Consider that U.S. sitters have gone through background screening.

Also consider that sitters go through intws. If someone wanted to squat, it would be less trouble to just rent an Airbnb and not leave.

There’s no money exchanged for THS sits, so it’s similar to inviting a vacationing guest to your home. They have no right of tenancy.

If your sitter is from another country, they also would have to adhere to immigration and border laws and regulations.

Despite all the above, yes, theoretically someone could squat your home. If so, the quickest way to get them out probably would be to cut all the power and water, LOL. I’m pretty sure they’d vacate for better settings.

Personally, I own two nice homes and an RV outright. I have better things to do than to squat anyone’s home.


I find it quite offensive that someone thinks I’d be interested in squatting in their house - what do they take us for?

I have my own house, career and life to live, why does someone think I’d be interested in gaining a criminal record to stay in their house illegally?