I’m just now compiling a database of our past sitters and realize I don’t even know the last names of some of them. Our last sitter from Australia proactively sent a photo of his passport and int’l driver’s license without us ever asking (and while we first found it odd, we actually found it somewhat reassuring.)
I currently ask for their email address (to send a copy of our home guide), phone number (which I use for the door code), and it could be a good time to ask for the DL if it wouldn’t be offensive. I don’t know why it should be after all we show it all the time when writing a check or paying with CC, but that’s why I’m asking:)
PS While reviewing emails for the database, I saw we asked our very first sitter for the name/phone of an emergency contact. This seems like a great idea that I never did again, and will try to remember from now on. (What if we’d been trying to get in touch in an emergency and they weren’t answering? What if they left something very valuable (like their phone) and we needed to contact them?
Sitters: Would you be offended to be asked for a photo of the driver’s license? (And why?)
Homeowners: Are there other things you suggest requesting?
THS: When we offer and sitters confirm, our address and home guide is provided to the sitter. Might this be a reasonable time to share with homeowners the sitter’s full name, address, phone, and a copy of their driver’s license?
@AmyNJoe , I feel it is a bit too intrusive to ask for a passport and it shouldn’t be necessary to see a driver’s license unless the sitter will be driving your car. THS does background and identity checks on sitters. This ensures that your sitter is who he says he is and that she has no criminal history. It is certainly a good idea to know the sitter’s first and last name, their phone number and email address. You can do a web search with this information if you like. I have done many, many sits and have never been asked to show these documents.
If you feel you need to see these documents, perhaps the sitter you are considering is not the right choice. A sitter’s reviews, profile, the feedback they have left and the impression you have from a video chat should leave you feeling very confident.
I don’t have particularly strong feelings either way, but just wanted to say, as a sitter, we often don’t know the owner’s last name either! It’s often only when I collect mail or sign for a parcel that I learn the HO’s last name!
WOW! That’s crazy! We leave our full contact information, emergency contacts, and more about us in our home guide. It seems it would be irresponsible to leave the house and cat with someone who couldn’t contact us or others in an emergency, who couldn’t relay essential information to the vet or emergency crews, and who couldn’t leave a message for us at the hotel, or call the plumber and be able to say for whom they are sitting.
As a sitter, that certainly would make me nervous!
As a sitter I would absolutely not be offended if asked for my DL or passport, address, etc. Personally, I feel that you are trusting me with your home and pets and asking for a bit of personal information is not out of line. Stick to your guns! Those who are offended will find other sits.
We’d send you our driving licences @AmyNJoe if we were using your car but otherwise, with 30 reviews, a website of our own, professional profiles and a video call with you before all this, then it would seem like you’re still not sure we are who we say we are…. We rarely know the second names of our HOs either but always have a what’s app & an emergency contact for them. So far so good. It all comes back to the trust thing & good communication on both sides.
We don’t allow use of car, but we do always expect to know sitter’s full name, email address and cell phone number. That’s a good idea to have an emergency contact for the sitter. We provide all that about ourselves in our Welcome Guide.
Hi @AmyNJoe to answer your THS question, we would not and do not share any personal and private member information without explicit written permission from the member concerned. Additionally and of great significance, we are governed by GDPR Rules & Regulations.
I assume if you are going to ask the sitter for a photo of their ID that you are willing to provide them with a photo of yours. As as sitter I had to provide a copy of my ID to THS and undergo a criminal background check. That’s one of the benefits of using a site like this rather than getting a sitter through Facebook or some other place. THS sitters have been vetted. The homeowners, however, have not. You know the sitter you are choosing does not have a criminal background (at least US sitters, I don’t know about other countries). I don’t know anything about the homeowners. Sometimes they provide their last name in the welcome guide, often they don’t. I provide my last name, email address, and phone number when the sit is confirmed. I can’t think of any reason you would need a copy of a sitter’s drivers license unless they would be driving your car, of course.
I’m always happy to provide a copy of my driving licence if driving the hosts car but have bever been asked for it otherwise. We were asked once, early on, by a host for a copy of our passports- on arrival at the sit!- we were a little taken aback at that late stage but they said their first sitter told them ‘everyone provides their passport details’ Not true! We were vetted by THS on joining and now with 68 5* reviews behind us I would not expect to need to provide further reassurance via documents. Anyway my husband & I don’t use our passport names in daily life- we use other names which are on our THS profile- so our passport names may not necessarily be helpful for hosts. We always provide our WhatsApp number, even in the application letter sometimes. Also happy to provide email address if requested.
I always think the sitter already provides much more information (in their profile & application) than hosts anyway! For example we had a sit recently where we connected only by phone and not via video call. We made a whatsapp connection but they had no profile picture on it, or surname anywhere. They, like most hosts, had no pictures of themselves on their listing and we did not meet them at either end of the sit. Also, rather unusually, they did not have any family photos around in their house! We did invite them to send a holiday pic of themselves whilst away but they did not. So not only did we not know their surname we also -still- don’t even know what they look like!!
Despite all that it was a lovely sit & we had a great connection via messaging & we’d sit for them again! But next time I’d want to meet them and have a face to face connection!!
Although I would feel a little uncomfortable being asked for a copy of my ID ( unless they need this for insurance reasons), we do always supply our full names, address, email and phone number, along with our emergency contact to our hosts. I do think that this is important for the host to have this info. For US sitters, THS has verified my identity, completed a background check and I also have a link to my Airbnb profile and LinkedIn profile. That said, if a sitter is new and does not have many of these verifications, an ID request may be more appropriate. I also forward the address of our sit and our host names and contact info to our emergency contact before we leave for our sit. It is important that someone knows where you are in case of an accident or some other type of disruption happens to you while on the sit.
I think at @AmyNJoe, you are mainly considering asking for surnames and emergency contact details.
I’d have absolutely no problem with this & and I am actually surprised we’ve not been asked before and also not thought to give this info either.
Though as others say, we’ve never thought to consider the HOs surname either.
I wouldn’t feel comfortable though supplying passport or driving license details.
I may consider now adding our surnames with our whatsapp numbers.
Certainly wouldn’t be at all offended at being asked for them., as miriam says we are being entrusted with their home and pets.
Yes, I know you don’t currently, but why not consider in the future? I don’t need to see their driver’s license, but it seems not too much to ask for their legal last name and address. Obviously, not until confirmed, just as you do with our address and home guide information.
It’s not a deal breaker for us, but I guess I don’t understand why this is secret?
What are GDPR Rules and Regulations?
And why is it that only one person in the sitter pair is verified?
I wouldn’t be offended to be asked for a photo ID once a sit is confirmed. In fact, we’ve done it for a few sits where the homeowners were brand new to the site. If I had any concerns about the homeowner after mesaging and video calling, I simply wouldn’t accept the sit. But we’re happy to provide our last names in our first few messages as well. It’s a relationship based on trust, and that includes knowing who is in your home. As an owner, do what feels right to you.
Good to know. Homeowners are not told that. Course that info would have to have been provided, it would have to be current, and we would have to be able to reach THS anytime of the day or week. (Are they available 24/7?)