Quick tips on choosing a house sitter for a worry-free holiday

Part of the fun of being away on holiday is shedding all the responsibilities of home. It's important to find a house sitter you can trust so you know your home and pets are in good hands. Follow these tips on choosing a house sitter and enjoy peace of mind as you travel.

Quick tips on choosing a house sitter for a worry-free holiday

How to find a house sitter

Various methods are available to find house sitters, so choose the one that is the best fit with your budget and house sitting needs.

Use an agency

  • House sitting agencies do all the work for you, as they check references, draw up contracts, and even keep an eye on the house sitter.
  • However, as their charges are quite high, they are best used for short house sitting stints or if you have to go away suddenly because of an emergency.

Search online sites

  • Reputable online house-sitter-matching sites are popular and are a great way of finding a house sitter. You'll have to register on the site, either for free or for a small sum.
  • Sort through house sitter profiles to find ones that seem to be suitable. Alternatively, place an ad on the site, giving as much information as possible about your expectations.

Check adverts in your local papers

  • House sitters often advertise in local media, so check your newspapers.
  • If you live near a university or college, find out if they have a noticeboard where house sitters advertise.

Go with local word-of-mouth recommendations

  • This is often the best way to find a house sitter as it's either someone you know or a person who has been used by your family or friends.
  • Local house sitters frequently depend on word-of-mouth advertising for their business.

Hiring the house sitter

  • Once you've decided on a few names of house sitters, it's a good idea to meet with them personally, at your home if possible, so they can greet your pets.
  • If they live some distance away, set up a webcam interview. Ask for references and check them out so you know they are valid.
  • It's essential to have a house sitting contract that is signed by both parties; house sitting sites usually offer free downloads.
  • This document allows you to lay out the conditions of the house sit, the ground rules of what is allowed and not allowed, and what you expect from your house sitter.

After you've hired the house sitter

  • Be sure to advise your insurance company that you'll have a house sitter staying in your home while you're away and check if the sitter's belongings are also covered under your policy.
  • Inform your house sitter of the outcome of this enquiry. If you rent your home, advise your landlord in writing of the house sitter's presence.
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