The outdoor cameras say something different than the sitter - how to discuss with them?

No, we don’t have any strict rules at all, on the contrary, I would say that we offer a really flexible sit. I don’t like strict rules myself either.

But yes, I always say that it’s just not possible to be out of the house for 7 hours a day. If this happens once, it’s not a problem, but not every day.

I think an level of monitoring would be burdensome. The original post indicates a mismatch between “the sitter’s information” and the “camera surveillance”. I’ve been in homes that had extensive cameras (we’re talking more than a dozen external) and even if the owners had a team of people deliberately trying to monitor my comings and goings I don’t know how they would have anything to mismatch as I have never in over a decade of sits told owners my movements in any detail. At most it would be a causal “we too the dog to beach today” or “we tried that restaurant you recommended last night”. Never have I supplied details that would be specific enough to check. Not in order to hide anything just it seems a weird level of detail to provide in casual communications with the owners.

That is not cool! The Sitter should not be having guests without your permission! They should be watering your plants! And…if it was clearly understood that your pet should not be left alone for more than 5 hours, they should not be gone for longer than that on most days!

Definitely send a “friendly reminder.”

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@Coclico . Thank you for some more specific information. I still am not sure what type of animal you have as a pet. However, just based on the guest, I would followup with the sitter.

I would disagree that cameras imply a “boss/employee” situation. There is an agreement between two parties. One party is allowing the free use of their home in exchange for the sitter carrying out certain responsibilities and following certain rules. The responsibilities are a form of currency. If the sitter isn’t carrying out those responsibiities or is ignoring the rules, the homeowner has a right not to turn a blind eye and tolerate it.

Cameras happen to be everywhere and they do cause people to think about their behavior. In my building, we have cameras above the table where packages are kept. I can’t imagine if a neighbor was caught taking another neighbor’s package and this footage was taken to the police and the culprit claimed they were being spied on, they would be laughed out of court.

I don’t do long term sits, and if I did, I think I would have a discussion with a homeowner if I wanted to have a guest and there was a no guest rule. I wouldn’t try to sneak a guest in and I especially wouldn’t sneak a guest in when there are outside cameras!

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Most cameras are set up to send notifications when there is movement in the vicinity of the camera.

HO likely received notification and saw footage of a sitter leaving the house then not returning for several hours and had stated, or agreed, that their pets were on a schedule.

If you have pets requiring meds every 6 hours and the sitter is absent for 8 hours or more the meds schedule is off. I agree with @Marion that a plan B is available in the event the sitter must be absent longer than the agreed upon time. Communicating in advance to HO would have been the most appropriate thing to do.

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I had a HO flip out because she saw on the Ring camera that the cat had gone outside, but didn’t see him come back in. He came in the back patio door, that’s why!! But instead of contacting me first and waiting 10 minutes for me to reply (I was in the shower when she sent freak out messages), she came to the conclusion that he’d been outside all night, and nothing I said–e.g., “he’s right here next to me, do you want to FaceTime with him?” could calm her. (I think she enjoys meltdowns.)

She needs to have an AirTag on her cat!

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By the way, I am of the opinion that cameras are completely commonplace today and we don’t even need to discuss it.

In every hotel, in every hostel, in every shop, there will be cameras that record everything, permanently.

It goes without saying that the homeowners has camera surveillance in a certain price range of the houses.

Every sitter who agrees to a sit knows this, but what amazes me is that sitters know where the cameras are and then still claim something wrong.

So I see that the answers here tend to say nothing when there is not a big danger or the mention it friendly again (of course without saying: You lie, the camera says otherwise) and then at best mention it at the end in the reviews.

It’s always a balancing act, as escalation can endanger your own animals.

Please understand that I will not reveal any further information and details, there is enough information on the topic to answer the original question.

Thank you for all your answers!

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Cameras need to be disclosed fully before the sit. If they face internally this is a breach of the code of conduct.

I think cameras exert an unnecessary power dynamic.

How many sitters arrive to their sit that is nowhere close to their expectations for a sit. IF we are talking about “currency” and “barter” if I deem the house not equal to the time I need to exert to finish these “responsibilities” am I allowed to just “Nah, this isn’t worth my time” and just walk away? We certainly here from the home owners when this do happen they are not happy.

Both sides need to be kinder to each other

I do agree that guests need to be discussed beforehand.

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Not in this country (Sweden). Here it is considered a great intrusion.

In general in the EU, there is the GDPR directive that would prohibit permanent storage of recordings.

I would not agree to the kind of surveillance that you have. Keeping tabs on “tenants” like that.

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It might “go without saying” but on the sits I was at with cameras, or even the potential for indoor cameras like Alexa, HOs disclosed before the sit. While outdoor and ring cameras are commonplace, I’d consider it a bit of a red flag if I got to a sit and they hadn’t been mentioned.

I think it’s fine to say something along the lines of, “Sure, we’re going to X for eight weeks, but I’m going to be getting alerts on my phone and I still want to catch those porch pirates! So I might be texting you from time to time tabout my notifications, or asking you to check on something.”

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Cameras are not commonplace everywhere and I don’t expect to be spied on. I think you missed the Trust part of this situation. Have the courage to say something and clear the air.

(edited by Forum team to meet Community Guidelines)

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What exactly did the sitters do wrong?

According to the OP sitters were out most days 7-8 hours when the agreement was a maximum of 5 hours a day.
They had an unknown guest for 3 days.
And finally forgot to water the plants outside.

Of course they have to be disclosed, before the sit! In my listing it is disclosed. In my case you also see them immediately.

As HO we haven’t the cameras because of the sitters’, please don’t forget that. We have the cameras because of strangers who are not allowed into the area for example.

In my case, the cameras are under no circumstances aimed at a private outdoor area, e.g. on a terrace, that would be absolutely forbidden.

But, for example, to the parking area or the private way that leads to the property and then you get a sign as whether something is happening there or not.
A very normal thing with large properties.

Exactly, this is forbidden and in my case there is of course no permanent storage of recording and this is exactly what I am writing in my welcome guide.

In my neighborhood everyone has camera systems and in the country I would say it’s relatively normal.

Of course if somebody has a problem with cameras than it’s not the right sit.

That’s a good idea. I will think about it to do that.

By the way: About 50% of sitters say, when I mention the camera system, that they are glad that I have it because it makes them feel more safe.

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I dislike cameras.

If it was truly everyday out of house without the pets 7-8 hours. I wouldn’t like that either. I can respect that, but I think the idea of “every day” is probably over blown here.

I travel with my dog, my dog comes everywhere and unless I am told don’t bring my dog because they don’t like that I usually bring the dogs with me everywhere. It’s more fun and they get to explore!

I try to water plants, but most outdoor plants get enough water regardless from the elements in the area.

The sitter needs to be as respected by the home owner or there is no mutual exchange here.

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