When sitters are used to get all those trade jobs done while the HO enjoys their holiday!

I have been meaning to flag up this concern for sometime now as it has been an issue and has come to a head on my current sit. It is my understanding that when a HO joins THS they sign up to an agreement which includes that a sitter have uninterupted use of the property (or words to that affect) but as I am sure other sitters have experienced, some HO use this time away to get trade jobs done that would otherwise inconvenience them. I am on a sit at the moment for very nice people (my third stay) who this time have lined up their hedges to be trimmed, a greenhouse to be erected, and work to be done to the downstairs toilet; the last being particularly inconvenient and requiring two visits by the tradie. They asked me on the day if this would all be OK and of course I said it would as I was in an awkward situation and had already arrived. I do not want THS to follow this up with this particular HO BUT I think HOs need to be reminded of what they signed up to as it should not fall on a sitter to supervise tradies, the other issue being that where looking after dogs, the dogs cannot get exercised while a sitter is waiting on tradework to be completed and there are issues with dogs escaping where gates are left open by tradies. Apart from this it means that the sitter can become pretty much bound to the property and not be able to explore the area which makes for a low level experience especially where frustrated poorly exercised dogs are involved! I think THS needs to remind HOs of their obligations to sitters and that any trade work likely to be needed be completed before the sit or be detailed in their original listing to at least give a sitter the option to apply or not. I would appreciate THS feedback on this issue.

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Agree!

We were in the very awkward situation where we turned up on the day and there was a builder doing some work in the garden. The sit was actually a repeat housesit and one we liked, but the homeowner had not told us prior to the sit and just assumed it would be fine. By that point it was too late for us to say anything as they were literally leaving as we arrived.

The only way the builder could get to the garden was through the house (it wasn’t a big house) which meant we felt quite uncomfortable being in the living room watching TV with a builder coming back and forth. Bear in mind this was also late October last year when the virus was pretty bad - we were not comfortable with other people being around us. Luckily the sit was only a few days, but he was there pretty much the whole time.

Like you say - we felt the obligation to stay at the property whilst he was there. Not only because we had to let him in etc, but also we tend to travel with some expensive stuff and even if the HO decides they can trust this person - we have no idea who they are.

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Yes and I feel the same way here with the covid situation as it is! Regardless of the current health issues, HOs should have the courtesy to list any work required during the sit in their original listing…its just the right thing to do rather than spring it on sitters when they arrive. This has been a great sit on two previous occasions but I will not come back; such a shame.

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Hi @carpediem you make a very good point and as a sitter I have been in the same position.

Owners are instructed that any third party in residence is not allowed, third parties such as tradesmen, cleaners, gardeners etc should be included in the listing and sitters made aware of their presence or intended presence before an agreement is finalised.

Arranging work of any description at a property takes advanced planning and therefore should be

Thank you again I will take this up with product.

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Thank you Angela

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Hi @carpediem , you may want to read another thread headed “tenants in the home” which goes on to mention tradesmen.
@Angela-CommunityManager, when are HOs instructed that any third party is not allowed? I know it is documented on the site but if a HO does not read this general information, then they do not know.

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thanks i will try to find it. All the best.

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It does seem a bit over the top to have all those trades people and jobs being done. And what I had an experience with was a trades person coming in the side gate and leaving it open when I had specifically asked if they need to come round the back and they said “no”. Hence the dog escaped! The air was blue and I was not amused - it was a scary moment.

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yes its what i worry about also and when a HO sprung it on me that tradies were visiting, I was quite firm that he should reinforce with them that they close gates as they come and go and that I would not be watching them all of the time…its a big responsibility looking after other peoples dogs and you want to do your best…sometimes the owners undermine what you are trying to do!

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This may be prevented if THS stressed a broad “no additions or changes to listing terms.” While THS agree with us (sitters) that they (home owner) “should” not be asking you to manage tradies, the point is raised here that the homeowner doesn’t read the requirement of not having any third parties on the property.
THS has to be the one to make it clear to the home owner. THS can actually ask the home owner to confirm nothing is missing from the listing prior to the sitter arriving… maybe a week in advance. THS could catch the home owner adding things which the home owner will expect but did not list. I think this is the only way to deter Home owners doing it. This would help a lot of other situations…
I had two sits back to back and suddenly they both wanted me on the change over day. After it started, the first sit wanted me until 10 pm on the last day and the second one wanted me at 8 am on the same day. I think both were extreme. I was wishing we had an afternoon time time agreed to in the listing. I was in the same predicament as the sitters who were asked (after they arrive) to allow tradies about. Both home owners were lovely people but neither would have been happy. It is a long story as to how I worked it out, but it was my time and money which solved the problem.

maybe as part of the sit submission process there should be a specific “you agree that there will be no 3rd party visitors (including friends, family, trades people, etc.) onsite during the sit.”

i think assuming that anyone reads the terms and conditions is a big and frequently incorrect assumption. so for things like this, that can make/break agreeing to a sit, IMO they should be specifically called out. cameras would be another one that should be physically agreed to when setting up a sit vs just mentioned in the rules.

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This is why all messages should be done through the ThS message system so it is easy for them to check back on who said what when. I know we are very guilty of using what’s app or email and I don’t know if they would use them as verification in a dispute.

This has happened to us on several occasions as well but we did get some prior notice. It’s obviously a ploy so they don’t have to deal with the noise, inconvenience, dirt and endless trips to the toilet and cups of tea. Very convenient!
We dint stay in when the builders were there. I didn’t think that was our responsibility. However, leaving a gate open was a huge possibility and we did have to watch the dogs if they went outside. In fact, at one place we couldn’t let them outside when the workmen were there so it was even more walks. :grin: