Agree! We’ve used texting with about half which doesn’t have names, but What’s app is really handy AND as an added bonus, everything there is electronically secure.
Hopefully, they were reported to THS and sanctioned.
I can’t imagine that happening. It reminds me of people renting a Craigslist apartment and showing up to find it was a scam. Thing is, the scammers make money off it and here, the homeowners needed the sitters to stay and take care of their home and pets. This would sound like a THS urban legend, but it’s real! And to think it happened TWICE to two different sitters?!?!?
I include my first/last name and phone number in my applications. They can look me up on Facebook or wherever they like. I’d have no problem proving my identity in person but I am not letting a host take a copy of my identification.
As a sitter and homeowner myself, I think it is perfectly reasonable (and prudent) to ask to see sitters ID and ask for an emergency contact. I’m actually really glad you brought this up as it’s something I hadn’t thought of before. In future I think I’ll provide all homeowners I will be sitting for a photo ID and emergency contact information. I would be uncomfortable with a sitter who felt that was too ‘intrusive’. It’s much more of an ‘intrusion’ to stay in someones house. THS is built on trust and if sitters can’t trust a homeowner with their full name and government issued ID, maybe they should not have accepted that sit (?). What a great topic!
Thanks. I actually feel the same way. But after hearing sitters’ responses, I second guessed my even asking AND appreciated even more the sitter who proactively sent me his INT’L DL and his passport (which at the time, I was impressed he thought to do so, even re-assured although I don;t know why. I didn’t do ANYTHING with it except note his last name.
After reading your reply, I am again surprised people are upset at the idea of showing ID to someone entrusting them with a home, pet and possibly car. My home, all my possessions, and personal information is being left with the sitter. That’s a HUGE amount of trust right there.
PS I would also make sure to give the homeowner an emergency contact and ask they take it with them on the trip- just in case. As a homeowner, I have ALWAYS leave SEVERAL E-contacts in the book with a printed welcome guide, (plus maps, menus, local hikes, etc) in case anything goes wrong or they need help of any kind.
Same response for me.
As a sitter I wouldn’t send copies or photos of my ID, especially if the HO wasn’t going to be present on my arrival. I wouldn’t actually ‘know’ who I’m sending it too. The ID has already been confirmed and verified by THS.
I would happily show on arrival if asked especially if using a car I would expect to show a current driving licence. But I wouldn’t allow anyone to copy or photograph it. In the UK it has my full name, home address and my dob is easy to work out from the licence number.
House and pet sitting is all based on trust. We ask someone to take care of our house and herd. We give them the key and leave for a few days or weeks. In the weeks before the sit we’ve had contact through THS mail and later email or whatsapp. If ever during this process I would doubt if the sitters really are who they say they are, I would look for others. But I don’t expect that will ever happen. If people have bad intentions there are easier ways than a sit through THS. If I was a sitter I would withdraw the moment a host would ask me for a copy of an ID document.
For me it would be a bridge too far.
Upon applying I immediately offer a video call; as soon as an owner and I start a dialog, I share my full name, my personal email address, my phone number, my WhatsApp account. I’m vetted by THS and have many reviews. But unless it’s because of use of a car, at that point asking for additional ID I think would make me walk away.
What sitters might not have known (and there is a lot homeowners don’t know about what sitters do with THS) is that homeowners do not get even the last name of the sitter and that info is never online, so even if THS knows sitters’ last names, there is no way that homeowners actually know. It’s great that sitters are vetted through THS, bt what that means or what THS knows about sitters is not something homeowners know.
I, franky, never realized what a hot button question this could have been. I would not need a copy of any official document, but I would like official word from THS who s staying at our house and that they have been vetted and in what way. If it is a couple advertised on the site, then I would expect BOTH partners to be vetted.
IF I didn’t trust the sitter I invited into my home, then I wouldn’t; be inviting them! That said, trusting someone doesn’t mean they couldn’t disappoint and break that trust. I guess I don’t understand with all that homeowners are trusting sitters with why letting them see their ID or even offering to provide it without making the homeowner ask is such a big intrusion.
And even easier, when a homeowners address and Welcome Guide is provided to the sitter, why couldn’t the sitter’s last name and address be provided to the homeowner?
PS Does THS release the address to the sitter upon acceptance/confirmation or is this strictly left up to the homeowner to do?
I think that this is a great topic and like with everything in life, each individual has different comfort levels and different outlooks on this.
As many sitters have mentioned they are often happy to show identification just not send copies of it as there are valid concerns for identity theft nowadays.
And respecting those that do not want to show it at all, each person has to feel comfortable and if that does not match with what makes you comfortable that is completely fine and may not be the best match. The great news is this platform gives opportunities for everyone to connect with like-minded members so you can find the perfect sitter or owner for you!
Many sitters have also mentioned they are happy to swap emails, phone numbers, last names, addresses and emergency contacts. So it is about asking up front for what you want (you can add this to your listing) and then the sitters that are happy to supply that can apply. Making it an ideal match all around.
Sitters are not supplied with owner’s surnames, addresses, emails or phone numbers unless the owner opts to put their address in the welcome guide.
Remember it’s an introductory platform, connecting members, so members are free to swap personal details amongst themselves. Plus as previously mentioned the platform is governed by data protection and data sharing laws (please refer to GDPR laws previously mentioned).
Please see our Trust & Saftey page as it lays out how sitters are vetted:
Currently, only the primary account holder completes verifications, so if it is a couple on the site both will not have completed this, owners are also not currently verified, this has been discussed previously and feel free to add any suggestions to this thread:
Some members do have their own background checks and are happy to show you these when asked. I know that I had a full check previously in the UK as part of a previous job and whilst it was still valid would have been happy to show that.
Membership Services can help answer any more in-depth questions about this at email@example.com
I think the role of THS is to connect homeowners and sitters. They also vet the sitters (I’ve provided my ID and undergone a criminal background check). You seem to be implying that sitters are sent information from THS. That is not the case, THS does not provide information to either party, not even the address of the HO. I’ve had to send messages to HOs more than once requesting their address so I would even know where to go for the sit. When I agree to a sit all I get is what the homeowners chooses to provide (keep in mind that the homeowners have not been vetted in the way sitters have, so we don’t even get that assurance). Not all homeowners provide their information and not all complete the welcome guide. I typically send my last name, email address and phone number as soon as I accept a sit and I expect the homeowners to do the same, but often they don’t.
I don’t know where you got an implication from me that sitters get anything from THS when I specifically say I don’t know what THS provides.
And it really is great you provide stuff to homeowners without them asking. Since our last sitter was the first to do this, I started this p
OST to talk about it:) talk about people are!!!
It was this that made me think you thought info was provided to the sitter. “And even easier, when a homeowners address and Welcome Guide is provided to the sitter, why couldn’t the sitter’s last name and address be provided to the homeowner?” That information is provided by the homeowner.
My point is that all information is exchanged between the homeowner and the sitter. If the sitter doesn’t volunteer their last name, etc all you have to do is ask (they may not even be aware that you don’t have their last name). If you have specific requirements, just state that in your listing. The only thing that I see anyone objecting to is providing a copy or photo of an ID. I don’t see anyone having issues with providing last name, email address, or phone number. And again, the homeowner should also provide that information to sitters.
“After reading your reply, I am again surprised people are upset at the idea of showing ID to someone entrusting them with a home, pet and possibly car. My home, all my possessions, and personal information is being left with the sitter. That’s a HUGE amount of trust right there.”
It isn’t showing an ID that is the main problem for most people. The big issue that most people seem to have, including me, is sending a photocopy of your ID digitally. It’s not the same thing. That is not only a question of trusting the home owners with this copy, but having and sending digital copies of your ID’s means that other parties might get access to them illegaly.
Sitters already get their ID’s verified by THS. They also show a huge amount of trust in the home owners without the home owners ID’s being shown or verified. So I don’t really understand why home owners would be more entitled to ask sitters to take the risk of sending a copy of their ID. It’s an exchange of trust and of services, not a one way thing.
I don’t think homeowners need a copy either. But the information should be provided- which actually isn’t the same as knowing that THS has verified someone, but not necessarily both people who are staying in your home.
And just because THS don’t provide any information to either party now, it doesn’t mean they couldn’t after being asked at renewal. In fact, approval or neial of this information release could be part of the profiles. I don’t see as it’s unreasonable that upon confirmation of the sit, the name, address, phone number, and email address of the homeowner will be provided to the sitter and the same to the homeowner. It would also eliminate the chance that a sitter could show up to a home that as not the one in the listing!
Anyway, I think this topic has been talked over a lot with good exchange of ideas. Maybe THS will consider some of it for the futures and sitters and homeowners will include some of it in their process.
home owners don’t do have the get a background check by ths???
If you are asking whether homeowners get background checks by THS, the answer is, “no”
If you are asking if homeowner get a copy if the background check, the answer is still, “no”.
No, homeowners are not background checked, only sitters are. I’m not even sure if HOs even have to provide ID like sitters do.
We would be happy to provide whatever contact and identification information an owner needs to feel comfortable. We always let people know we are a couple, and ask the homeowner for their full contact information once a sit has been confirmed.