Sitters who repeatedly cancel sits?

There are many sitters on THS who have never cancelled a sit and would not do so even if a “better” sit came up . I include myself in his category. Understandably there may be exceptional circumstances where a sitter does need to cancel a sit at short notice .

However , on this forum I am frequently reading about sitters cancelling . Since HO’s cannot write a review about a cancelled sit , where is this information recorded ?

How does an HO looking for a sitter find out if a sitter is reliable or if they have a record of frequently cancelling sits ?
Equally how would they find a sitter who has been 100% reliable and has never cancelled a sit ( or only cancelled once because of an emergency)

Are cancelled sits recorded by THS ? What action does THS take if a sitter frequently cancels sits ?

As a HO I would like to know this information and as a sitter I would like a record of my reliability to be noted compared to someone who has been very unreliable without a genuine reason.


Totally agree with you silversitters. I think some of the newer members just look upon it as a free holiday. We have only ever once cancelled a sit in 9 years, when the hubby had to go into hospital. We recently did a last minute sit for a couple who had been let down with less than 24 hours to go, and stood to lose their holiday.

There should be some sort of record of the unreliable sitters that HO’s can see. Also, they should be blocked from doing any more sits on the cancelled dates. Surely that’s possible? TH needs to deal with this, sooner rather than later, or they will get a reputation for being unreliable, which is unfair on the majority of sitters.


Hi @Silversitters & @Chrissie, thank you for being dedicated, responsible, and reliable sitter members. The majority of our sitters demonstrate these qualities, and we need to acknowledge and remember that. Personally, as a full-time sitter for 13 years, I have never cancelled a sit either.

Cancellations are taken very seriously within our community. They are documented, logged on members’ accounts, and investigated. If they violate our Code of Conduct members involved in such cases may be suspended pending the outcome of any investigation and risk losing their membership.

There are occasions when cancellations are unavoidable when these happen we support those involved and do all we can help everyone manage the situation to a successful outcome.

Cancellations cause stress, worry and inconvenience whether initiated by a sitter or an owner. Having been involved in helping members in some of these situations, I have witnessed firsthand how upsetting they can be. Trust is the very foundation of our community, and it is the loss that is most difficult to repair.

I want to emphasize that cancellations, compared to previous years, are not increasing within our growing community. However, each and every cancellation is significant to us, and we are constantly exploring ways to effectively manage them if they do occur.


I agree: there should be a record of cancellations - perhaps not made public if it’s just once or even twice - but someone who has done it multiple times is not reliable.

When we needed sitters ourselves, our first pick met us in person, met our dog, saw our home, asked permission to have family over (primary reason for sitting was to catch up with local family). We agreed.
ONE week before we were leaving on a 24 day trip abroad they e-mailed that they’d decided our dog was too big.
Cannot describe the panic on our end. Happily another candidate was still available and all was good. But that experience made us as sitters very careful to only go-forward on agreements we are 100% confident about.

We have been last-minute sitters twice.
One case it was horrible: Christmas time & the HO couple were making a long-anticipated trip to see family in another country.
Their booked sitter ghosted them two weeks before the date: stopped responding to notes via THS or Emails.
Perhaps something tragic happened but what if that was just someone who’s done it half a dozen times?
The red flag should go up when someone has cancelled multiple times.


@Chrissie thank goodness that you were able to step in and sit at short- notice and save the couple’s holiday.
I agree with your suggestion that HO’s should be able to see the sitters reliability when making their decision to invite them to sit . As a sitter I would welcome this .
It could be as simple as Number of sits cancelled in last year .


@ASASG thanks for sharing your experiences regarding last minute cancellations. How stressful for the HOs .
From what you have said these were clearly not cancelled because of a genuine reason or exceptional circumstances .
It’s great that last-minute sitters saved the day, but concerning that it happened in the first place .


@Angela-HeadOfCommunity it’s reassuring to know that cancellations overall are not increasing .
I would be interested to know the figures for cancellations without a valid reason ?
How many members have had their membership revoked for cancelling without a valid reason ?
How many times can a sitter cancel before their membership is revoked ?


Honestly, in every system there are going to be genuinely good people and a few who are inconsiderate. On the whole as HOs and Sitters our experiences have been overwhelmingly excellent and we have loved being part of the community!


I don’t think any sort of public indicator of a sitter’s cancellation ‘record’ would be very helpful since it could make a sitter appear unreliable when they actually are not, especially depending on how this information is calculated–the whole time a person has been a member, the last year, the last six months,etc…

There are many reasons a sitter may need to cancel that have nothing to do with not taking the commitment seriously or being untrustworthy, and having some ‘imperfect’ record could unfairly work against really good sitters.

A sitter who falls ill and needs to cancel 8 short term sits over the coming months is a very different situation than someone has cancelled that many over the course of their membership because they decided to take another opportunity, they don’t take the commitment seriously,etc…

I know there are cases when things come to light after accepting a sit that totally change the nature of the assignment, and the sitter wanting to cancel is totally justified. Fortunately I have never had to deal with that.

I have been housesitting full time with my husband since 2014 and there have been less than a handful of times we have needed to cancel–helping family members recover from surgeries, advancing illness and needing to help provide care,etc…

Fortunately, in all these cases, the sit was not for at least two months, leaving the owner ample time to find a replacement. Having this less than perfect record displayed on our profile without any context as to why we had to cancel these sits would seem unfair.

Situations may arise that make cancellations unavoidable and even the most committed sitters find themselves needing to do this sometimes.

If THS does track cancellations and they come across ‘repeat offenders’ they can investigate further and remove them from the site.


What @KC1102 said – sometimes things happen and cancellations are unavoidable. I am leery of applying for something many months ahead because you never know what could happen. I had a sit booked 5 months in advance and almost had to cancel with TWO DAYS notice because MY house-checker ended up in the ER and I only found out by chance. Talk about panic!!! There would have been a long chain of angry frustrated people. I imposed on an acquaintance and got to my sit, but I had to spend an entire day trying to find someone to help.
So if there is monitoring of cancellations, “someone” needs to consider whether there are valid reasons. Who decides?


ABGM, that’s a very good point. Who decides. If someone says “I’ve got COVID”, how do you know they’re telling the truth. Sometimes you commit to a sit, then the next day see an even better one, perhaps when you commit, you could automatically be blocked from applying for other sits on those dates.


I think blocking the dates would be a huge disincentive to those doing the wrong thing and not unfairly label those with valid emergencies publicly as unreliable. We’ve never cancelled a sit in over 5 years and 50+ sits and hope we never have to. But I can see that here are circumstances where it could happen from the stories in this discussion.


@KC1102 until you mentioned it I hadn’t thought about how a genuine reason for cancelling could result in multiple cancellations if the sitter had planned back to back sits over a short period of time . Good point that I hadn’t considered.

There must be a way of distinguishing between sits cancelled for genuine exceptional and unavoidable circumstances ( which could happen to anyone of us at sometime) and those who repeatedly cancel for flaky or self-serving reasons .

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Maybe when sits get cancelled within 7-14 days of the start date they should get recorded? Or maybe, if THS keeps a register, they can reset it back to zero if the sitter didn’t cancel any sits in 12 months? Or maybe everyone starts with a full score (eg 5 out of 5) and the lose half a point for every last minute cancellation etc. Just some random ideas!

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I hope cancellations will not become noted. Already it’s much more difficult to manage this system now with the changes to the way we can apply for sits. Since only 5 people can apply it’s imperative to apply very, very quickly. While we always do our best to be sure the sit is a good match there can be information that is not even disclosed until after a sitter has accepted. What about cases like that? We’ve even had information about care of an ill pet that was quite invasive and that was not disclosed until after the sit was set. Why should a sitter be penalized for canceling that when the host should have disclosed all those details from the start? And, things happen. Life happens. As long as the sits are cancelled with plenty of time for the hosts to find new sitters should not be penalized. It should not even be noted because just as receiving 4 stars over 5 can have quite a negative impact so can having a cancellation noted. I can say this as both a host and a sitter. We have never cancelled last minute but if we had an emergency we might some day. As a host long as sitters have good reviews that is reliable for me. We are well aware as both hosts and sitters that situations can change. Hosts also can cancel. Will that be noted too? This just starts to sound like a very nasty business that will change the feeling of this site. Currently, we prefer TH over other sites where we have membership but if this type of change occurs we may cancel our TH membership.


I totally agree that if a sit is cancelled because full details were not revealed before the sit was confirmed then this should not impact negatively on the sitter .

As has been reported on this forum there is an occasional problem with sitters who let down the HO at the last minute without a good reason or ghosting the HO leaving them high and dry without any contact . There are some who cancel the HO because a “better” sit has come up or as reported this week on this forum because they were expecting to be paid .


Hello @HostAndSitter and a warm welcome to the Community Forum and thank you for joining in with this topic :wave:t2::slightly_smiling_face:

For reference, as a member you can also add your TrustedHousesitters profile on to your Forum profile by following the attached link, should you wish. This will then enable others to offer you helpful advice and feedback and will also give your listing extra exposure!

If you are unsure how to do this, or if you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to ask, we are all more than happy to help. :blush:

Just a quick question, is there any content you would particularly really like to see on the Forum?

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I hear what you and @Silversitters are saying. We have had to cancel in the past with our sitters due to getting terribly ill. I would hope since COVID that all of us can give each other a little more grace when it comes to getting ill or having various emergencies come up that would prevent any member from the agreement.

The only way I could foresee a way that this could work for all is in the case that a cancelation is made the member that wants to initiate the cancellation would have to submit a form classifying their reason for the cancelation. I think many of us would have different interpretations as to what “emergency” consists of. If a cancelation does not meet the criteria (let’s just say a member canceled less than 7 days before a sit because they were offered a better opportunity) that’s not really a good enough reason to cancel. As @Angela-HeadOfCommunity has already mentioned cancelations are really rare in this community, even during the pandemic. I don’t think anyone should get a lower “rating” for a truly valid reason for having to cancel…However, if members knew when another member had canceled (especially if it was more than once) without some sort of verified reason I think that would help a lot of us save time in the decision making process. The cases that you bring up like a sitter not knowing all the facts about a pets care would fall under them having the right to cancel without retribution because all the facts were not given.

I know I and the team really appreciate your thoughts on this but at the moment this is hypothesising about a system that is not in place.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Conclusion Of Pausing Application Test - Updated Post

The problem is it will be one person’s word against the other. The whole issue changes the wonderful ethos of this site which is based upon trust. I feel like this is one of the few safe spaces left in the world where we can simply get a sense of people and rely on goodwill and faith in humanity (sorry to sound sappy.) Let the few bad apples go without a big fuss.