What happens if I get no applicants?

I had a confirmed sitter for Christmas and New Year, they cancelled and now I have no new applicants. I’m not really surprised, it’s a long sit and most people have already made plans for the holiday season. Do I have any options here? I had thought there was a guarantee of a sitter and if not then there was some form of compensation but I can find no reference to this now. Cancellation insurance does not apply to me apparently. There’s 4 weeks to go, very few alternative routes for me to take with 2 dogs. If this happened a few months ago I would have time to make other arrangements, but now?
I appreciate any advice

Hi @siobhanjoneill and a very warm welcome to the Community Forum.

I am sorry to hear of your sitter’s cancellation. Did they give a reason for cancelling?

The cancellation insurance would not apply as the sit is still a long way off and you do still have time to find a suitable sitter/s. I do understand your concerns but try not to worry as you do still have plenty of time, there are still many sitters who haven’t sorted out their Christmas sits yet.

I would suggest that you add your TrustedHousesitters profile on to your Forum profile on here by following the attached link, should you wish. This will then enable others to offer you helpful advice and feedback for your listing and will also give your listing extra exposure!

It looks like the sit insurance applies to sits canceled 14 days or less in advance.

THS may be able to promote your listing and the suggestion you’ve already been given is a good one.

I had a sit (I’m the sitter) canceled within 14 days and I was left with a non-refundable airfare. But we mutually agreed to cancel as the HO was starting chemo unexpectedly. I traveled anyway.

I do think there are more sits available than there are sitters available at present so definitely take advantage of promotion opportunities.

I’m not doing sits at present. Somewhat because of how expensive airfares and rental cars have gotten. I don’t know if that is affecting sitter supply. But there is plenty of time to find another sitter.

Best of luck.

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I think you may be referring to this guarantee?

Our Money Back Guarantee

Our Money Back Guarantee reflects the confidence we have that you’ll find a great sitter.

If you do not receive any sitter applications within 14 days of posting your first listing, you’ll receive your money back with no strings attached.

To qualify for the Money Back Guarantee, you must publish your listing a minimum of 14 days before the start of the first sit.

To claim using the Money Back Guarantee, or if you have any further questions, please contact our Membership Services team.

Unfortunately since you had a sitter that would mean you had an application so this would probably not hold.
If you are referring to the insurance which will pay for boarding or paid sitters then this is only if you had the top level membership and if the sitters cancelled with less than 14 days to the start of the sit so that is possibly not valid either.

If you relist your sit dates you should still have time to locate another sitter. Adding your sit link to your profile as Samox24 posted will help us suggest changes that may help.

Also please do talk to Member Services about the cancellation as sitters who cancel without good reason should be removed from the platform.


Where are you located?
If you link your listing here, someone who sees it might be able to help. I’ve seen this here on the forum before.
Good luck!

There are still at least four weeks till Christmas. If you notice there are a lot of new Christmas sits. Things shift all the time. Cancellation insurance only exists for premium members and only covers sits where the sitter cancelled within 7 days of the sit and the HO was unable to get a replacement sitter. So no, there is no insurance, refund, or compensation. The refund when you join only holds if no one applies to your sit within 14 days, so that’s a nope.

The good news is that you have time to get a sitter. If you got more applicants and any of them seem like they’d be okay, you could start by writing to them and asking if they are still interested. You can sent them private invitations for your dates. They may or may not still be interested.

Karma works here. If you never contacted them and are suddenly offering a sit, they may not be interested. However, if you were fairly transparent about your process and let them know you found someone else, they may be open if they haven’t found another sit.

If that isn’t working, you can and should repost your dates and start again.

The forum can help. If you put a a link to your listing, people will be happy to critique the listing so that it is the best it can be and help you attract more sitters.


The period of time that a homeowner with a premium membership can claim on insurance is within and including 14 days before the scheduled start of a sit.

Hi All,
Thanks so much for the replies.
I have had my sit relisted and boosted and I’ve put the link to my HS profile in my forum profile (I think correctly?!).
I’m in Dublin Ireland, my previous sitters cancelled because of illness.
The Money Back Guarantee must be what I remember from when I first joined, not as useful as I had hoped!!
Fingers crossed I get some applicants and I welcome any further advice.

Now I cannot even see how things are going for you. Instead of the number of applicants I get: “You are busy with another sit”

This is something HOs should be aware of in the new regime, especially when their dates are flexible.


I, too, find this very frustrating @pietkuip. I helped new owners today as they’d inadvertently listed a one day sit and hadn’t meant to. Now I can’t see how they’re going attracting applicants.


Hi! Your dogs look adorable, and the cats are so cute! However, you might want to do re-take some of the photos of your home. Try to clean all the counter tops, tables and chairs, make the bed nicely and then take some new pictures. You would have the beds made and clutter put away when the sitters arrive, so show that in your pics!

HI @siobhanjoneill to encourage a holiday sit you can emphasis the dog sitter can be made available so that people can explore Dublin for more than 3 hrs at a time (per the review you have).

Maybe share more photos of the house, living accommodations?

For next time:

Before accepting a sitting invitation I always make sure the HO has a Plan B if I would need to cancel for any reason. If they do, I say yes. If they don’t I say no. Life happens, and you never want to be left in the lurch without a backup plan.

Best wishes,

Thanks. I didn’t realize. (In my case, the odds of my using the insurance as a HO are small as I live in a competitive city, and have cats that can be left alone for many hours.)

Thanks again all for the input, I’ve updated some of the descriptions and I’ve notified the admins about the weird message under the sit dates.
The photos of my house are the same ones I used for last years sit and when I relisted earlier this year. I don’t think this is the issue as both times I received many applicants. I think the issue this time is that it’s so close to the date.
The first time I listed this year I also received many applicants who were just looking for free accommodation which is a bit worrying.

It’s also a fairly long sit. I’m wondering if it’s the length. I’m thinking there “vacation” under two week sitters who have to get back to real life, and the short term travelers hopping from place to place, and then there are the nomadic people who do this full time and usually have everything locked up. Given Dublin’s popularity, I think you’ll find someone.

I would really consider changing your photos. There are lots of Christmas sits, it seems more than there are sitters who want to sit for the holidays. I’m sitting this year at Christmas and I confirmed a repeat sit months ago. Dublin is a fantastic location, but your photos really aren’t very inviting. I would never apply for a sit with a photo of an unmade bed. I think your listing would be more competitive for a holiday sit if you unclutter a bit, make the bed, and take more inviting photos.


I think the competition is fierce this year. There are way more sits than sitters for Christmas. I agree totally with @systaran - declutter, make the bed, tidy up, make it look inviting if you want to compete. Good luck.

@siobhanjoneill you seem lovely and Dublin is gorgeous at any time of year, but @systaran and @Cuttlefish are totally correct. You mention you don’t think the photo’s are the issue, but I don’t think you’ve taken a second glance at your photos, in particular the one of the double bed.

You are asking people to sleep in an unmade bed with dirty sheets that looks as though they are sleeping in the dogs usual bed, and that may be the case but take a better pic of at least the bedroom with a made-up bed and remove the one you currently have.

That one photo will put off an awful lot of sitters, believe me! Because instead of looking at how cute your pets are, that one photo potentially makes sitters look at all the other photos in a different light, looking for clutter and mess.

I know you wouldn’t have your sitters sleeping in an unclean bed, but that’s what that photo says. Take on board what the others have said, because they are simply trying to help you have an amazing Christmas because you seem really lovely.


I think your listing looks great, and don’t agree with comments about redoing your photos.
I prefer to see a house that looks like a real home, not a show house!
I’m actually in Ireland and would have loved to help, but I’m doing another sit over x-mas.
Feel free to PM me for my contact details if you think I could help another time.

I agree. The unmade bed is extremely off puting and seems strange to take a photo like that, rather than make it look nice first and then take the photo. Needs something to make it look nicer. Perhaps a nice throw on the end and a couple of nice cushions on the pillows. Just seeing an unamde bed makes you think unkept house also.

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