House sitting

Home Security while you're away






Handy hints
from successful House sitters

A selection of Articles & Experiences Click here
for experiences

or scroll down for handy hints


Free accommodation while travelling



Handy Hints

For Owners and Sitters, please remember, the arrangements you make are
mutually beneficial - not just for the benefit of the owner or the sitter.
A little friendly courtesy and assistance from both sides will make for a much more enjoyable experience for all.....


Available for anywhere ...

I'm available for anywhere so why include example locations?

Think from the Home owners point of view - they will begin their search for sitters by searching for their location - eg Hamburg.
The search tool responds by listing only entries that include Hamburg.
If the owner finds no-one suitable listed for Hamburg, they would then search under Germany. The search tool would then list all entries that include Germany, which could be quite a few.
Remember, the internet is still just a computer out-putting what has been input.

By listing a few example city/area names within each country your details will be viewed by more owners. That does not mean the sitter has to list every city in every country.
 But a few example place names from each country often helps your listing to not be buried among many others who are also available for anywhere.


Planning Ahead

From several sitters -
We're continually booked well in advance but surprisingly still find owners looking for urgent sitters who, for various reasons, hadn't planned ahead...
Owners should start contacting sitters as soon as they have rough dates so sitters can fit you into their itinerary.
Some sitters are booked 6-12 months in advance


Advice for owners from a very experienced House sitting couple

Dear Danny,

A few comments I have to make regarding the perspective of the house sitter, as opposed to the house owner. The site accentuates the requirements of the house owner, but not of what could be expected of them by the actual sitter.
Having 27 sits behind us we have an opinion to share perhaps.

Obviously anyone sitting a house with garden, pool and pets are saving a bundle in pet boarding and maintenance of garden and pool care, not to mention security and special requests. No payment has ever been offered to us, but the diversity of consideration is amazing. Our present sit ... for eight weeks is a prime example. A huge basket of champagne and nibbles was left out for us, basics of milk, bread and coffee. The cleaning materials were all new, including dishwasher detergent and laundry powder. There was a full canister of petrol for the mower, the car given for our use had a full tank. We are not required to pay utilities.

We have had sits where we have needed to work four hours a day, only dregs of cleaning materials, and a whole list of things we were expected to do, all for free of course. Considered as cheap caretakers. The pet food was not supplied for the length of time the owners were away and we were expected to provide it. This is one-sided. We felt exploited.
House sitters enjoy the opportunity of travelling and being part of a neighbourhood as opposed to a tourist, not for free accommodation, and also deserve consideration.

Another place we sat had removed the computer modem and had the telephone disconnected in case we would read their email or use the phone. (Imagine) A family member had a key and came when we were out to 'check'. The neighbours were also asked to keep an eye on us, how those curtains twitched! Everyone has bad experiences, but sometimes they stick in one's mind and can really mar any future plans for sitting.

Danny, perhaps you might consider to give some guidelines of sitters needs on the website, after all, we do provide the service!

Off to the US again in four week's time, for six months. We have enjoyed OZ as ever.
Kind regards, (Names supplied)

Thankyou so much for the constructive feedback - We really do hope both owners and sitters can work together in mutual appreciation of what should be a
win-win situation!



Supplying References
As a guide I have scanned all our references into JPEG format and as soon as we get a call I  just email the house owner a copy of all of them immediately. (strike whilst the iron is hot!).
I have also asked all the previous house owners that we have sat for to verify their written references by phone if they are asked and the person doing the asking can quote something that is written in the reference. ALL HAVE AGREED TO THIS!
Kindest Regards, Alan & Dawn

Many thanks Alan & Dawn
Helpful hints from experienced sitters are always welcome
Danny - Housesitworld - Jan 2005


HINTS FOR HOUSE SITTING - from Rosemary & Ken

We have been actively house sitting for 2½ years, have enjoyed the experiences, loved the animals with a passion and offer some hints for those considering house sitting or looking for sitters. We have not found any other guidelines and the following are our personal thoughts that may help.

 TRUST IS A MAJOR FACTOR for both the sitter and house owner. No money changes hands and in the majority of cases beloved pets are a main feature of house sitting.

 OUR AIMS are:

            To provide a caring and loving environment for pets

            To care for the property and gardens as we would our own

            To get to know and be involved with local communities

To hand back a pet sad to see us go but pleased his people are home and a house and garden in as good or better condition than when we took over.


ANSWER EMAILS PROMPTLY even if you can’t accommodate a request and sometimes this can be several a week. We were amazed that people do not reply.

 OFFER REFERENCES although we have found they are rarely taken up.

 IF YOU CAN DO A SIT there will probably be a few emails and phone calls and a chance to get to know each other.

We endeavour to meet our “sittees” before the requested date for a few reasons:

            Ensuring we are suitable for their needs

            To meet the pets

To arrange a hand over (can be at this visit) before they leave and a time for us to arrive on the hand over day. Most are off on overseas travel and we fel the last thing anyone needs before the flight is a handover and get to know you session.

For us to feel comfortable with the environment. We have never had a problem but have heard an odd horror story.

To leave a check list to be filled out prior to our arrival for hand over. This includes pet routines, emergency contact numbers, services, mail forwarding, position of water, power, gas mains and pumps.

 PET FOOD is usually left to cover the length of holiday or regular pre paid arrangements made for fresh food supplies. If we need to buy we keep dockets.

 CAR TRAVEL we check if the dogs are seasoned travellers and some have done a lot of site seeing with us.

 VOLUNTEER ROSTERS we are happy to fill in for Meals on Wheels, Op shops etc. Get to know the locals this way.

 WE SUPPLY all our own food (replace anything borrowed from freezer or pantry), personal needs, laundry needs.

 WE USE          house linen

House phone for local calls only. STD and O/S calls are made from pre paid cards or our mobile

                        Power and water as economically as we can

Cleaning products left or our own preferred items as there are not always supplies available. We have created a “sitting cleaning bag” over the time.

                        Gardening equipment. Ken usually adds a plant or two before he leaves.

                        Computer, mainly word processing. Some leave us some internet access

 IF A BUSINESS IN INVOLVED we keep a running sheet of messages and a spreadsheet of finances. We will bank if required, arrange staff, do bookings, etc.

 HOUSEHOLD INSURANCE most people let their insurance company know about house sitters caring for their property.

 WE DO NOT give out phone contacts, unless requested to do so. We take messages, make the contact ourselves and hand on the message.


            Linen is changed and at least washed and on the line

            We have a cuppa ready

We hand over, have a chat and leave that day. We feel that on return people need to do their own thing and we are ready to travel on.

 We keep in touch with most families and visit when back in their areas. We are keen photographers and have some fantastic pet reference snaps.

 We have a post box in Queensland and arrange our own mail redirections.

 We do ask prospective “sittees” about caravan storage as we are Grey Nomads with our caravan “on our backs” If we cannot keep the van at the property we do ask the “sittees” to advise us on storage facilities in their area.

 If you are “boiled egg” fans, take an egg cup with you!!

 Happy Sitting it’s a wonderful way to meet people and enjoy community spirit

 Rosemarie and Ken Penney, Australia, Aug 2004

Click here to download a copy of their "info" sheet below - in excel format

Many thanks to Rosemarie and Ken for sending these hints and info sheet.
I hope their efforts assist you in having as a great an experience as they have.
Danny - Housesitworld - Aug 2004


PETS Feeding Routine   Vet  
  Bed routine      
  Medications   Kennels/Cattery  
  Favourite Spots      
  Grooming   Other  
HOUSE Meter Box   Electrician  
  Mains Water Tap      
  Pumps/Bores   Plumber  
  Gas Mains Tap      
  Instruction Manuals   Handyman  
  Phone/fax system      
  Security System   Other  
  Computer Access      
GARDEN Watering System      
  Equipment Storage      
  Specific Needs      
  Garbage Collection      
  Recycle Plan      

Your preferred Doctor and Dentist should we have the need for either

Your emergency Contact Number or person to Contact


Articles & Experiences Click here



Endless Holidays - A Guide to House and Pet Sitting Around the World
by experienced sitters
Lynne and Mike Edmonds
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