Slow response time after applying for sit

Hello THS team,

I have a suggestion for a small improvement to the system based on an issue we have faced during the past few months, and wonder if anyone else has experienced similar frustrations.

At the beginning of the year my wife and I set off on a year-long trip to celebrate the honeymoon of our marriage. We wanted to experience life like the locals without breaking the bank, so THS proved the best solution for accommodation. We also wanted to be somewhat spontaneous, only planning ahead as much as necessary, and here is where the problem arises.

We traveled from Greece to the UK with sits planned for the first month or so, hoping to secure a few more sits for the following month. Due to the abundance of sits in England, the lack of responses, and our urgency, I applied for about 20 sits in many different parts of the country with similar dates.

After a slightly frustrating few weeks with very few successful responses, we eventually secured a lovely sit in Cornwall, and then, as if the floodgates had opened, we received message after message saying something along the lines of “Sorry for the delayed response… are you still able to sit for us?”.

Looking back, I should have canceled the other sits straight away after securing the one, but regardless, these delays added to the complications of planning our travels and also added some complications for the hosts seeking sitters who once applied but are no longer available.

Upon reflection, my wife and I came up with two possible solutions:

  1. Add an ‘average response time’ field to each profile, so those looking for quicker feedback know who to contact, and to ensure we are all kept accountable for our communication patterns.
  2. Add an optional ‘date of final notification’ field to each sit, so prospective sitters know by when they should be hearing back.

I believe a measure of timeliness within the system would streamline the process significantly.

On a closing note, we have had an incredible experience using the platform and meeting all the wonderful pets and parents involved, and hope to be back again, so thank you THS!


@nik_anasta Wishing you a warm welcome to the community forum, it is lovely to have you here.

What a great way to spend an extended honeymoon :smiling_face:

Thank you for your suggestions! If you use the spyglass you can search key words and find previously discussed topics.

There is also a suggestion list of things that you would like to see implemented on TrustedHousesitters, I will share the link now:

Did you know that you can also add your THS sitter profile to your forum profile? That way other forum members can see it and connect with you.

Here is how to add that:

That is amazing to hear and please feel free to share your housesitting adventures:

Yes, I have just withdrawn 2 applications where my original messages remained unread after 18 days and 1 month. Both are showing “Reviewing applications” but how can they be doing so if the application remains unread? Clearly, the 5 applicant limit is not speeding up the process as promised


Many forumites are of the opinion that a huge proportion of HOs don’t realise that their listings are suspended once they receive the magic number of applicants & they are hanging on for more, better fits when in reality nothing is going to change unless they decline some and “unpause” the applications.
And of course there were always HOs who were sloppy and lacked the courtesy to sort their applicants promptly.


We typically get the given the go-ahead or a conversation starts within a day or so of applying, but TBH we haven’t applied for many overseas ones, so maybe that’s the difference.

So if I apply for a sit and don’t hear anything for 3 days I withdraw my application. My presumption is that the pet owner is either holding out for someone they feel is more suitable and keeping us in the background ‘just-in-case’, or they drag their heals in life… which means we wouldn’t be a good fit personality wise anyway. The only exception would be if the 3 days fell over the weekend, as a lot of people would be naturally preoccupied with family etc.

We want to build connections with like-minded people who think we are the right fit for them straight away, not a back-up choice. The same goes for their ad as we would have applied for their sit because we thought they were the right fit for us over others.

So I just simply remove my application along with a kind message if we don’t get a response within a few days so that we can focus on other new sits that come up.

We don’t want those pet owners who stop us from moving forward with our amazing journey, we want the pet owners who say ‘you sound like the perfect match for us’ straight away… because we thought we were, that’s why we would have applied in the first place.

Yesterday a sit had 1-3 applications and so I applied. Next I see - homeowner is reviewing applications- mine had not been read. This morning the counter has been reset and it looks as if there are no applications. Mine has still not been read? Can the owner see that I’m from overseas or something. It’s very confusing and disappointing as it takes sometime to perfect and tailor each application. What to do?

The “reviewing applications “ message pops up automatically when 5 applications have been received. It doesn’t actually mean that the homeowner has read them yet.

At this stage The homeowner can read the applications and decline any unsuitable applicants and unpause the listing so that more can apply.

If you haven’t received a message that you’ve been declined that’s a good sign that the owner will be in touch soon to have a chat about the sit . Did you give your phone number or contact details?

There’s no harm in being proactive by sending a follow up message saying if you would like to know more about my house sitting experience I’m available for a video chat and give your contact details.

Also there is an anomaly with the THS platform on App and desktop. If someone reads your application on a desktop it will show as unread on the app …

1 Like

@Silversitters! Thank you so much for the information! However, the HO hasn’t read my application as it’s showing unread. It all seems a bit complex to me at present. But hey…

@Amethyst have you checked your inbox on both the app and the website - if the homeowner read the application on the website it still shows as unread on the app.

It does sound strange that it’s saying no applications if you’ve not had a declined message … are the dates still the same ?

HI @Amethyst
As @Silversitters mentions, if you have not received a decline message, the owner has not chosen a sitter and there is also a big possibility that they may have not read any of their messages from all the applications, so don’t lose hope. You can always send another message just as a nice follow up to your application, which might propel the owner into reading and replying. Response times are so difficult to predict from owner to owner.

I wanted to confirm that if you go to the listing that you applied for - at the top of your inbox - view listing, the dates will be greyed out and there will be no indication of the number of applicants, this means your application is among the 5. Your message has been sent and is in the owner’s inbox.

If you were to search for that listing on the website, it will show it as ‘reviewing’.

I hope this helps to explain a bit better.

Thanks so much for the clarification. The dates are indeed greyed out. I checked on the app and the application must have been read as there is not an ‘unread’ label. The 2nd message I sent, does have an ‘unread’ label.

Thank you again Therese! Thanks to all who responded and helped to clarify this. It’s clearer - thank you!

1 Like

Therese - as you state:

“that if you go to the listing that you applied for - at the top of your inbox - view listing, the dates will be greyed out and there will be no indication of the number of applicants, this means your application is among the 5. Your message has been sent and is in the owner’s inbox.”

This is indeed correct. Many thanks again.

@Silversitters Is that correct - the discrepancy between app & website regarding message unread? How ridiculous is that? I almost always use the app as it is more convenient. Honestly, THS gets more & more bizarre.

1 Like

I has been discussed on this forum before - I can’t find the thread - maybe someone can confirm if this is still the case ?

Hi @Silversitters
I am checking the read/unread scenario with our tech team, if you can bear with me.

@Therese have the tech team come back with an answer to this please ?

Hi @Silversitters
Please bear with me, I am checking with tech team again.

Hi @Therese
I am in a similar position in that I applied for a sitting on Friday evening, soon after, I assume a 5th had applied as the message is “Reviewing applications” My application is unread.
Does the HO receive a message stating that it has been paused?
Thank you

Hi @Itchyfeet
When the HO goes on to the website, there is a pop up message, that says the application limited has been reached and they need to now choose their sitter.

I assume that the HO has not gone onto the website since posting and therefore not read and responded yet. I do hope they do this soon and wishing well for this sit.

Screenshot 2023-09-16 161955