What are the responsibilities of a house sitter?
What are the responsibilities of a house sitter? House-sitters are people who will agree to move into your property to care for your home while you are away. They do this as part of an active holiday or professional assignment to care for your home and pets in your absence. They understand that it is a responsible role and that your home and pets are their responsibility whilst they live in your home.
The house-sit is a collaborative arrangement
Prepare a house-sitting agreement to underline that responsibility. This way you can ensure routines are managed. It is a good idea to create such an agreement between you and the sitters to outline the responsibilities for the sitter. The agreement also enables you to review the details that are important to both parties in this arrangement. While agreeing terms, remember the housesit is a shared collaboration for mutual benefit. Whether the housesitter is also a petsitter caring for beloved family pets, or simply caring for home and garden, you must collaborate.
At Housesitmatch.com we offer all members access to a housesitting agreement template. In fact we have both a legal document, prepared by lawyers for use by both the homeowner and the housesitter. And we have a more informal version of the agreement. Both are available to all active members. the agreement is easy to use and adapt for your own unique housesitting assignment details.
What does a house sitter do?
So most housesits involve care for pets in their own home. You may be looking after dogs or cats, you may be bird sitting or even Guinea pig sitting.
The care and well being of the pets is the responsibility of the housesitter while the pet owner is away. In summary, that means housesitters are responsible for feeding routines, exercise routines and grooming. All these activities form part of what you might be asked to do to care for the pet.
Some housesitters specialise in particular pets as either dogsitters or catsitters etc. Some even state on their public profile whether they prefer or have more experience with particular pets. Alternatively they may state if they are general all rounders and have cared for lots of pets. Some housesitters like to keep skills sharp by taking pet first aid courses, or dog handling courses for example in their downtime. This may or may not be important to you as a pet owner.
Some housesitters are active in housesitting because they love the active holidays and animals. They may state in their profile prefer to stay in homes and live with and car for the resident pets rather stay in anonymous hotels or hostels. It can really enhance the experience of a new location to stay in a neighbourhood, and live like a local.
As a housesitters caring for your property while you are away, you can ask them to do a variety of tasks. Writing out the tasks helps you and them understand what are the responsibilities of a house sitter. You can obviously ask them to care for your pets, and pick up after the pets in your garden or when out walking. You can also ask them to care for your property including basic garden upkeep. If there is a garden but no regular gardener then housesitters usually tidy the garden, and mow the lawn. You may be asked to plant out seedlings so as not to delay growing season in the garden while the homeowner is away.
If feeding and exercising pets they need to be mindful and manage pet food supplies and cleaning around the pet.
A final note on what are the responsibilities of a house sitter
The owner should outline all the specific housesitting responsibilities and requirements in their listing. Include this list of chores in the written agreement between participants.
House sitting arrangements are free for the home owner and house/pet sitters. However, the homeowner should cover expenses incurred for pet care and/or essential maintenance. It is best to prepare a kitty or float at the beginning of the housesit to cover core expenses. Add this to the written housesitting agreement for clarity.