Thursday, August 23

Why should home owners register for free and house sitters pay?

There are quite a few websites promoting house sitting - providing house sitters with a range of house sit opportunities, and home owners an opportunity to list their home and dates when they will be away.

In most, if not all, home owners do not pay.  House sitters do.  It can vary between around $65 a year, to over $100 a year, and some websites have various regional charges.

I have never charged for my efforts - which in some cases have been fairly heavy workload with animals, gardening, mowing lawns, collection and collating mail etc.  For the most part I have been happy to do it - though a recent house owner wanted to charge me for some things, without acknowledging some of the expenses I had on her behalf.  (The payment for the privilege of staying at her home, she said!)

Some home owners leave cash (say $100) for any extra expense - batteries for smoke alarms, globes, extra pet food etc, and most, except the one who wanted to charge me, have given me lovely gifts when they return.

I'm loathe to charge a fee - but at the same time I would like my extra efforts to be at least recognised, and not to be treated like some unpaid staff member!  I know that I cannot go away for a night or a weekend while house sitting - and a payment to the sitter of some $50 a month would be a nice thank you, especially for long house sits.  5 months or more without being able to take a night off is tough!

In the case where there are pets e.g. cats, dogs, etc. the home owner would have to pay some $10 - $15 (and often more) for the care of their pet in a kennel or cattery - so a week's kennelling would be around the $100 week mark.  When the house sit is around 6 months, that is considerable savings upwards of $1500 per pet.

Sure they pay the electricity, water etc. but the house sitter still has costs of his/her own.

I know my presence has saved some householders money - like the Christmas Eve when a neighbour drunkenly smashed the fence so that he and friends could swim in the pool (major safety issue here) and the discovery of a water pipe which had broken and was about to flood the house!

Most home owners are great - but I have had a few that I will never go back to!

It is not easy to walk out of a house (especially where a pet is under one's care), but I do think that there should be some recompense to the house sitter and that home owners registering on a house sit website pay a nominal sum, and perhaps the sitters pay less to register.

I doubt it will happen - but I'd like some house sit websites to consider it.  What about it HouseCarers, HouseSitters Australia, Happy House Sitters?






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