So, I’ve gotten myself into a bit of a sticky situation.
I’m an owner, leaving next Thursday early morning through the following Monday afternoon for a long weekend. Sitter can leave any time after morning cat feeding.
I’ve also got a stone mason - the young adult son of a good friend, I’ve known his mom since I was a young child - scheduled to work on my garden path starting the Monday morning of my return. Scheduling, between busy schedules on both ends and not being able to work with concrete in freezing temps left us with few options.
Yesterday, mason came to get the key to the garden gate (separate from house key, which he does not have.)
-Could he start Sunday afternoon (instead of Monday) with prep work.
-Could he have bathroom access when he’s there, before I return (Sunday afternoon/Monday morning.)
I have never, ever not given a workman (let alone a family friend!) access to the bathroom, but the (female) sitter will be here, alone. And while I trust this young mason with the world, I understand that to sitter, he is a strange man.
What are some options here? What would you do?
Given it is literally only half a day or so if your sitter is leaving in the morning on Monday is that going to make a huge difference to the tight time schedules? I’d just be inclined to ask the stone mason not to start until Monday. That way you don’t contravene any THS rules about not allowing people to come to the house during and sit and you don’t risk the sitter changing her mind if she doesn’t feel comfortable with it.
I would discuss this with the sitter and see if she is willing to sit while this is going on,
I did a sit earlier in the year (winter time) where a ground source heat pump was being installed. The work should have finished by the time the sit started and the owners did say they’d cancel their holiday (it was only 5 days). I told them not to and didn’t mind the work going on in and outside with several workmen installing radiators.
Oh, thank you. I didn’t realize that about THS rules! Guess I missed that. I’m not sure if sitter is leaving on Monday morning - she can leave in the morning.
Ask the sitter if it would be ok. I’ve had painters, gardeners, builders etc in and outside the house but i was always asked first and situation explained to me by the HO.
I can’t find the exact page (I am a sitter not an owner) but have pasted this from a previous thread which is refers to the Third Party Policy.
"The Code of Conduct is quite specific that all parties agree to the Third Party Policy. This states that “Once a sitter has begun their sit, THS require that the owner(s) have vacated the property for the entirety of the stay. This includes family members, tenants or employees”
Oh, thank you. Good to know, and it makes sense.
Here you go @LizBCN (and @GardenCat) - here’s the Third Party guidelines link:
Just for info all these snippets of help info can be searched for on the Help Desk link which is on the footer of the website.
As a sitter, I wouldn’t have a problem with someone working on the exterior of the house. But I wouldn’t want someone to have access to the interior of the home/bathroom. If you live in the country, I could see how it would be problematic to find a public bathroom. In the city, I would ask him to go elsewhere. But definitely ask your sitter how she feels.
The trouble with asking the sitter is that you are putting her in a very difficult position. She should not have to be asked how she feels about this.
From reading some of the threads above, it is clear that some sitters are more flexible but others, including myself, want to abide by the Third Party Policy.
Like @PetsSit , we had painters, gardeners, poolmen, roofers and Internet-providers coming over. The owners always told and/or asked us in advance. It never bothered us. I enjoyed practising my Portuguese with the gardener in Porto and in England, the painter gave us a great recommendation for Sunday lunch.
As a sitter, I would have no problem with a worker using the bathroom. As a homeowner, I asked my last sitter if she would be OK to allow someone into my garage to get stuff while I was gone. I believe that I made it clear that if she was uncomfortable, the visitor could wait until my return. I didn’t want to make it difficult for her to say “no”, and she didn’t.
Hi! You’ve gotten lots of great insight but just wanted to chime in that you should always do what feels best for you.
Every situation is different and worth having an open honest discussion.
You can speak with your sitter and see how she feels about it without assuming anything regardless of her being female or solo.
We are usually tough birds or we wouldn’t be doing this.
State that you are aware of the policy if at this point you would like to proceed with the discussion and allow her the choice.
Or as others have said just wait til after the sit is over.
It really is up to you.
Me, I go with flow like this guy and never get bent out of shape about pretty much nothing.
I’ve had all kinds of workers, visitors and such during my sits and have enjoyed the opportunity to chat with another human.
Thanks, Smiley. Update soon to be posted below.
Thank you. I either didn’t read the fine print or I read it and forgot it. A good reminder when I complain about Airbnb guests not reading the listing thoroughly… It looks like the part of the TOS I failed was that I did not arrange with the sitter in advance for the mason being here. Truth is, I made the plans after booking the sitter, thinking she would either be gone before he arrived, or that he would be working on the landscape and never entering the house, anyway, and it being November, the sitter would likely have no reason to go into the garden.
Thanks so much, everyone, for your thoughtful responses.
Obviously, I didn’t read the TOS carefully (enough) or, I read them and promptly forgot them. There’s a lot of stuff floating in my brain and stuff gets lost and confused.
This ended up being one of those confluences of events that didn’t happen in the order I would have liked, with more moving parts and people and scenarios than I can sometimes handle gracefully.
I was getting nervous as I’d reached out to the sitter soon after the mason asked me about starting early/bathroom access, and hadn’t heard back. Anyway, I did just hear back from her: something is going on that she’s not getting THS notifications or emails when she gets messages, so she didn’t know there was a message waiting for her.
She said that all was totally fine: mason doing the work while she’s here, using the bathroom, all of it. Totally fine.
I will try to manage this more smoothly next time to ensure not putting a sitter in a potentially awkward position. Thank you all so much again.
Thank you. Interesting your country/city assessment - It’s the opposite, here. I work outdoors, and in the country, I can always find a bush to pee behind. In this city, there’s no private outdoor space, and our coffee shops and restaurants don’t let people use the bathroom unless they’re paying customers.
Hi @GardenCat thank you for the update.
We are extremely glad to know that the situation has been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction and it highlights the importance of how we communicate with one another.
Please don’t be too hard on yourself we all have many moving parts in our lives … some moving more than others.
“All’s well that ends well”
You’re probably the most ‘go with the flow’ person I’ve met Amparo. Keep going with it