What’s your thoughts?

Relatively new to THS but a successful sit completed & more booked in. Just read a listing that I was particularly interested in due to pet & location. But the HO states we must provide ID to them & stay is limited to certain rooms. Now in principle I have no problems with those things despite already having been ID checked by THS but does this behaviour indicate a lack of trust by HO & would others consider it a red flag. As it happens I’ve decided not to apply - plenty of other fish (sits) in the sea & don’t feel need to compromise if it doesn’t feel 100% from beginning. Just genuinely interested to know others thoughts & whether it would out you off.


We have experienced Sits in which the Owner had a couple of rooms locked, i.e. the office and the master bedroom. We were still provided a very nice guest bedroom suite.

This does not bother me at all. I understand it.

Having to show your ID. This would not bother me either. If it bothers you, in your application, you could say that you would also like a copy of their ID. That only seems fair.

At least they have a clear listing!


That’s a good point about them being upfront. We would never go in other peoples bedrooms or offices etc but it seemed a bit odd not to use all of downstairs.


As someone above had said, I wouldn’t really have an issue with either of these things provided the limited access was reasonable and understandable, like the master bedroom or a home office. If it felt more like they were trying to ensure we used as little of the house as possible, that would be different.

We have had a couple of sits where certain rooms were locked off and I didn’t take it personally. For example, one person’s company did some sort of contract work with the federal govt and I’m sure he had files with very sensitive information.

Homeowners are taking a big risk in letting a stranger in their home and while asking for ID doesn’t appear to be typical based on my 10 years of full-time sitting–can’t recall any instances–it is certainly not unreasonable.

While THS does a basic ID check and for US citizens a background check, they are essentially nothing more than a matching service, and they are by no means personally vouching for any sitter who joins the site.

I find it kind of amusing when people expect someone to be on board 100 percent fully with the concept with zero concerns simply because the word ‘Trusted’ is in the title!

While those requests could possibly suggest a lower level of trust, they wouldn’t automatically indicate that in my opinion, and I would pay attention to the overall vibe I got.

If it does feel off to you, then it is probably a good idea to take a pass and trust something else will come along. With so many sits, there really isn’t a reason for anyone to do one they don’t feel totally good about.


Maybe they don’t realise that your ID has already been checked as part of the THS experience. If it’s a large house, it wouldn’t bother me at all if a couple of rooms are off limits. Plus the added bonus of having less to clean at the end of a sit! It doesn’t seem particularly trusting, but you are a complete stranger to them, so having someone unfamiliar in their house may be the biggest leap of faith they can manage right now.


Personally I wouldn’t been keen to give ID (passport/driving licence) due to possible fraud that may arise from it (giving away birth date, etc). But I would perhaps ask why HO feels they need it, given identity has been verified by THS. Sometimes people just aren’t aware of issues around identity theft. Would they be prepared to provide proof of ID too, as this would only be fair?

With the ‘certain rooms’ thing I think it depends on intent, what rooms are available and way things are phrased. It’s quite common for HO to say ‘the main bedroom will be locked’ or ‘due to precious family items in the dining room, I’d rather this room was not used but we have a lovely sunny kitchen with table and chairs’. If it’s that you can’t use the kitchen or sitting room, that seems inhospitable.

I tend to follow my gut feeling - as you seem to have rightly done.


Only one HO has asked for ID. And they clearly stated that this was in order to serve documents in case anything happened. The request was on the handover day, nothing was mentioned prior. I declined, to their shock. I reminded them my ID was already checked, while theirs was not, and that if something were accidentally damaged it would fall under their home insurance claim. Not a great way to start things off.

Regarding designated spaces, I’ve never encountered that and would also decline. It just reads as entitlement and very unwelcoming. The locked rooms or designated spaces , I’ve only encountered a few in which the HO locked one room. And frankly, I’d do the same. It makes sense to have your documents and precious items in a space that you know nothing can happen to them. Think that protects both parties.


I was now on a sit where the teenage kids had “keep out!” signs on their doors (maybe they are always there). Anyway, of course I respected that.



In many condominiums, in order to register people for parking HO’s will need the driver’s license, car registration, license plate, and make/model of car. This is not a red flag as it makes it possible for the sitter to come and go without fear of being towed.

As for locked bedroom or office, some people work in jobs where their equipment cannot be allowed into anyone else’s hands such as guns/bullets/tasers, etc- that’s a matter of safety for everyone involved.

Reasonable accommodations should be part of the plan so that you are as comfy as possible during your sit while your safety and your car’s safety is kept in mind.


Where one or two doors are locked, or when it’s mentioned in the listing, it seems pretty sensible to me. However, we encountered one sit where most of the doors in the large property were locked and they’d even locked the utility room door, so we couldnt do any laundry. The hosts were people who didn’t offer us a drink on arrival and instead instructed us to take the dog for a walk whilst they ate their lunch. It was a short sit, so wasn’t a big deal, but it certainly conveyed a huge lack of trust (and their actions suggested a huge amount of entitlement!).


We’ve done plenty of sits in large houses, whereby we have been asked to only use certain rooms, although we’ve had a full house tour everytime just so we know what is behind the doors, but we don’t mind at all. We don’t need 3 or 4 reception rooms, we only need one comfy one, plus it’s easier to keep clean. So personally I would relax about that. We’ve had room behind doors with antiques, nice pictures, enormous dining tables, so we don’t want to be living in those areas with pets running around. Do you really want to be responsible for those things?

We’ve never been asked for ID but I don’t personally see any problem with an HO asking for it, they may just be new, or it may just help put their mind at ease. Especially for those where flights are concerned, or perhaps if someone is younger, or doesn’t have many reviews.

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@HappyDeb i totally agree with your comments, and closing doors to rooms we don’t need to use is something we routinely do - as you rightly say, less cleaning! - but there’s a big difference between closed doors and locked doors. We honestly dont go into rooms we don’t need to use (always ask whether any houseplants need watering, otherwise just dont enter) but there’s an inference of mistrust when very many doors are locked, and keys removed.

Ironically, at the sit we did where the majority of doors were locked, the welcome guide detailed where different types of fire extinguishers were located throught the property but we couldn’t have accessed them in the event of a fire because they were behind locked doors!


@ChristineB I don’t feel these are red flags at all. I even ask in my initial video chat if there are certain rooms in the home that are off limit to the sitter. Also I cat sat at an apartment building in the Philippines that had a doorman and I was asked by the pet parent to provide a copy of my photo ID so I could be added to her guest list and recognizable by the doorman.


My passport has been passed around more times than a charcuterie board at a picnic since I’ve been traveling fulltime. With scanning my passport at immigration, the airline checkin, submitting a copy of my passport online to apply for visas, hotels and hostels making a copy at checkin there’s no telling who’s parading around as me on the 5 continents I’ve visited so far.


I don’t think I’d have had any problem showing my ID had I been asked for it during my first sits. In fact, I was even kind of surprised that nobody did ask. It makes sense to prove that I am who I say I am, especially when no video call is conducted prior to the sit. After all, I could have sent anyone in my place. But since I was never asked, and knowing now that ID checks aren’t customary, I might have second thoughts about why a host would want to see my ID.

Regarding locked doors—on my recent sit, I encountered a host’s bedroom door “locked” with a tied up rope. While I found it somewhat laughable, it was also rather disturbing.

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On the other end of the security scale, I did a sit in a big old rambling house at the end of a long track, where the owners had to hunt around to even find keys for the external doors when I said that I’d like to be able to lock myself in at night.

Halfway through the sit, something odd happened that really spooked me, and I ended up using a wire coat hanger to lock my bedroom door at night (old-fashioned doors with latches), slept with a kitchen knife under my pillow, and had to use a vase as a chamber pot because I was too terrified to make the dash along the landing to the bathroom at night. Sounds crazy now, but felt very much less so at the time!

I have learnt that smaller places - with fewer rooms to check that nobody’s hiding under the bed or behind the curtains - suit me better as a solo sitter. :rofl:


The sort of rooms I’d be understanding about being locked would be music rooms/sound recording studios, offices, a dining room with expensive table easily damaged….think I’d want to know the reasons for locking rooms.
Asking for passport ID is ok :ok_hand: for us.
I think for me it’s all about ‘tone’ in how these things are communicated though. And at the moment sitters have plenty of choice in the UK so that we can pick what suits us best.


I wouldn’t touch that sit with a bargepole.
It sounds like they reluctantly let a stranger in their home, but don’t really trust them and see them as somehow lesser human beings who can’t enjoy all of the house.
I do understand locking some rooms. That’s different from restricting access to parts of the house. It also depends on how it is worded.
Nobody has ever asked me to show ID and I have done about 50 sits now.


Yes, I just saw a listing in London of a home that was just too expensive: grand piano, the photo of an immense dining room, I would not feel at ease.


How about the following as regards to valuing your guests/sitters??
This is from a real listing.
“I have a guesthouse next to mine which I rent out at Airbnb. When the house is available you can stay there with your own kitchen and bathroom, otherwise I have a sofa bed in the living room.”