The Updated Code Of Conduct

Here is the revamped Code of Conduct changes have been made based on feedback from our members. Again you spoke and we listened, thank you.

At TrustedHousesitters, we’re proud to provide a platform with trust and respect at its core. So that we can keep our community the safe and respectful place it is, all members are asked when joining to familiarise themselves with our Code of Conduct.

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Hi Angela. I appreciate the plain English used in Code of Conduct. On first reading I see two areas that I have some concern over:

  • Homeowner - “I will only cancel a sit or return home before the end of a house sit if there are extraordinary circumstances.”

I think there should be added, “and I will make every effort to give the sitter as much advance notice as possible”. We have posts here where that was not done, and that’s discourteous.

  • Sitter: “Once on a sit, I will never arrive later or leave earlier than the agreed date and time.”

Although an extreme exception, some sitters have found the homes uninhabitable on arrival, by basic health standards. This point should reference that type of extreme and what’s expected of the sitter e.g. contact THS. It’s not reasonable to use the word ‘never’. Even if it was reworded to “I will make every effort to …”, it would be better. Also, what if they were in a car accident, for example? Communication is key - ‘never’ is unrealistic, in my opinion.

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Hi @Snowbird thank you for sharing your opinion and resulting feedback, this will be passed on to the product team @Ben-Product

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Nothing about cameras within the HO’s property, I see?

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Hi @LTD that is covered in the T&C’s all members agree to …and the subject is currently under discussion by the team

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Hi Angela,
Thanks for publishing this updated Code of Conduct. I second the suggestions made by @Snowbird. With so many members, both old and new, it would be great to see this being emailed out to the THS Community. It doesn’t hurt to have a reminder of this.

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Hi Angela
This new code of conduct is something that all of us can read (if we want to), or is it a code owners need to accept before being able to confirm a sitter ? As a clause they sign to proove they are aware of ??

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Hi @Provence every member has to agree to the Code Of Conduct … sitters and owners.

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Hi Angela, we prefer it if an Owner has an Account set up at the Vets. Rather than us pay out and then ask for a refund from them.
Of course we would never contact a Vet without the consent of the Owners, it goes without saying there would be full communication with the Owners of any pets were showing the slightest sign of being unwell.

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HI @Julie thank you for highlighting, veterinary care and preparation for an owner’s absence and sitters presence is covered in the T&C’s which all members agree to.

Though experience I know there are issues with some owners being able to set up accounts or leave CC details with a vet, it can be rather complex but I know, from experience again, that this can be overcome when an owner has a long and established relationship with a vet.

Having prior sit communication with owners and knowledge of what is in place, in the unlikely event of an emergency, and agreeing to their plans is so important and will leave nothing in doubt.

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Thank you Angela for you helpful reply. Think we have been lucky with all Owners apart from one that had Veterinary Accounts set up, the other 2 set up accounts when we mentioned it. As you say lots of communications between owners and sitters about any situations occurring is key.

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I also have concern about the following

  • Sitter: “Once on a sit, I will never arrive later or leave earlier than the agreed date and time.”
    It has been mentioned on numerous threads that some sitters have arrived at a HO house which was indeed uninhabitable on arrival.
    Other sitters on the Forum have added their opinions that they would not stay either.
    What support would THS give to the sitter upon arrival, bearing in mind that the sitter would not have any photographic evidence of the house at that stage. The HO is unlikely to allow the sitter to take photographs.
    I understand that the sitter would be at risk of having their membership suspended if they left.
    Also, a sitter may have problems contacting MS services as evidenced in other threads.
    @Angela-CommunityManager
    What should a sitter do in these cirmcumstances - you have stated in other threads that no sitter should have to accept these conditions.
    Can the sitter refuse to carry out the sit without fear of having their membership suspended?
    Does any sitter or HO have any experience of THS support in these circumstances?
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Hi @Itchyfeet thank you for your feedback.

As you reference Membership Services I have asked one of their senior team members to respond and I will update when I hear back.

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I would love to see the feedback here!

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Hi @Angela-CommunityManager
I am just wondering if MS have had a chance to look at this question ?
Thanks

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Hi @Itchyfeet Just to let you know Angela isn’t around today, but I’m sure she’ll get back to you once she’s next in the forum. Thanks.

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Living in a rural area of southern Italy where it is still very much a cash economy our vet wouldn’t have any idea about us setting up an account but if a sitter brought one of our animals in sick he wouldn’t hesitate to treat it and expect us to settle the bill when we got back. It’s important that any rules and regs, T&C or whatever allow for flexibility to suit local conditions.

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Hi @Itchyfeet I do apologise for the delayed response to your question I’ve asked @Therese-MembershipService to pick this up and reply …

Hi @Itchyfeet … Let me have a look into this for you and I will respond via Membership Services. Kind regards
Therese

Hi @Itchyfeet @snowbird @Vanessa-Admin @Angela-CommunityManager
We did write to @Itchyfeet directly from MS, but as they rightly pointed out, we need to share it directly here on the forum for other members … Here was my reply. I hope this helps.

''Thank you for your email and your comments on the Forum, and we take into account every suggestion from all our members.

I will attempt to answer them as best as I can here to your following concerns.

''I have concerns about the following :

Sitter: “Once on a sit, I will never arrive later or leave earlier than the agreed date and time.”
It has been mentioned on numerous threads that some sitters have arrived at a HO house which was indeed uninhabitable on arrival.
Other sitters on the Forum have added their opinions that they would not stay either.
What support would THS give to the sitter upon arrival, bearing in mind that the sitter would not have any photographic evidence of the house at that stage? The HO is unlikely to allow the sitter to take photographs.
I understand that the sitter would be at risk of having their membership suspended if they left.
Also, a sitter may have problems contacting MS services as evidenced in other threads.

What should a sitter do in these circumstances - you have stated in other threads that no sitter should have to accept these conditions.
Can the sitter refuse to carry out the sit without fear of having their membership suspended?
Does any sitter or HO have any experience of THS support in these circumstances?’

"As a member, you’ll know that everyone in our community has agreed to a code of conduct promising that listings are always truthful and that a clean environment is provided. So if this is not the case, we would investigate any matter impartially. If a sitter was unable to complete a sit due to it being uninhabitable and would need to see photographic evidence of any of the areas of concern. Also, you would need to let us know whether you visited the home or video called the owner before the sit?

In the meantime, we would recommend you contact the owner as soon as possible. They may be able to offer a quick solution and get your sitting experience back on track. For example, they may be able to send a cleaner/service around immediately to help.

If a sit is completely uninhabitable or unsafe, then we of course would never wish any member to be in this situation and would want to investigate further.
However, if you ultimately decide that you’re unable to stay on the sit, please don’t leave until alternative pet care arrangements have been made. This we take very seriously. While we don’t want any of our members to stay in a situation that makes them uncomfortable, the safety of pets must always take priority.

Talking to the owner will hopefully resolve the issue so best to try and work together on this. We would ask that the sitter not leave the property without speaking and addressing any concerns with the owner first.

We are now operating on a nearly full membership services team so we are working at responding very quickly to members in the future.’’

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