GENERAL HOUSE SITTING
There are many different kinds of people who housesit, retired couples, singles, young families, professionals, artists, etc. There is no one stereotypical 'sitter'. Generally, most house sitters are well educated, caring, responsible people with plenty of life experience. The reasons why people house sit are as varied as they are numerous. Some house sitters are people who need temporary accommodation while they are moving from one house to another, some see the benefits of living rent free, while others simply enjoy a change of scenery.
The sitters' responsibility is to live in and look after the house they are minding. This may include house security, house cleaning duties, garden and lawn maintenance, caring for pets, forwarding mail and phone messages, the occasional odd job, and anything else the home owner and the sitter both agree on.
There are too many variables to guarantee anyone they will be employed as a house sitter using our service. Things such as location choice, location flexibility, date flexibility, duration flexibility and how the house sitter’s profile is perceived by the homeowners searching the list all play a part. Remember each homeowner is unique and in the end they choose who they think is suitable for their house sitting position - not us!
First of all it’s important to note that most homeowners tend not to take up the free advert offer and simply scroll the house sitter profiles to contact them directly - so don’t be too disheartened if there are not any house sitting adverts in your preferred area.
You will need to check what homeowner adverts are currently advertised to see if there are any sitting positions in your preferred area.
Sure! However if your house sitting party consists of a pet of some kind (a dog in most cases) you need to realize that you do reduce your chances of securing house sitting work. There are many homeowners who would not like a foreign pet around their home for whatever reason. In saying that there would be many homeowners who wouldn’t mind at all as long as their home and pets are cared for.
Sure! Even though some homeowners would not like children in their home for whatever reason there are others who may actually like kids in their home especially if they have pets that need some extra loving.
Yes. The lengths of house sitting positions can be anything from 1 day to 3 years +. The general length of a house sit tends to fall between 1 week and 4 months but it is not uncommon for house sitting positions to be longer eg 6 - 12 months etc.
Word of mouth is by far the best way to keep yourself employed as a house & pet sitter. If you engage in one or two house sitting jobs that are well received by the homeowner you are probably going to get called upon for their next away trip plus the homeowner’s family and friends’ away trips! This could potentially extend on to the friend’s friends and their friend’s friends etc. So if you happen to get one small house sit in Bondi think of it as potentially house sitting Sydney because it may well be the start of many years of free accommodation – a small pet minding job in St Kilda could potentially mean house sitting Melbourne itself!
Every house sitter has to start somewhere. Most homeowners are willing to consider first time house sitters. First time house sitters tend to emphasise other qualities they have within their profile. Remember that just because you have house sat before does not mean you are a better house sitter than someone who has not house sat at all.
Basically, it’s up to you. From our research most home owners and house sitters tend not to use a house sitting agreement and simply choose to discuss things verbally. However, it’s very important to discuss all aspects of the house sit before it's confirmed to allow everything to run smoothly and avoid any confusion, so we do highly recommend documenting everything discussed either within your My Messages area in your ‘conversation' with the other party, within an email, using a house sitting agreement or another form of documenting. Things that may need clarifying could be things like required pet care, garden care, who is responsible for paying for utilities etc.
Aussie House Sitters offers a house sitting agreement template that you can adjust to suit your needs if you desire one.
WHO PAYS WHAT?
Usually house sitters house sit in return for free accommodation and do not get paid. However there maybe times when a homeowner will offer some money for the house sitting job. For example if the house was situated in an undesirable location, and/or the length of the sit was not really desirable (too short), and/ or there were lots of pets to care for and jobs to do, then the homeowner may offer to pay the house sitter something.
There are some professional house sitters who may choose to advertise themselves on Aussie House Sitters and they usually do ask for payment in return for their professional service. However the vast majority of house sitters using AHS would be doing it in return for free accommodation and most owners would be expecting that.
These things are all negotiable between the homeowner and the house sitter. In the majority of the cases it’s just a straight swap eg the house sitter cares for the house and pets in exchange for free accommodation. However there maybe times when a homeowner may ask for some weekly money from the house sitter. For example if the house was situated in a desirable location, and/or the length of the sit was long and desirable, and/or there were no pets to care for and very little jobs to do, then the homeowner may ask the house sitter for a little something each week. Remember – it’s all negotiable between yourselves. Hopefully you should be able to work something out that seems fair to both parties.
There is no one correct way house sitting works. Each house sitting job is unique and everything is negotiatiable between the sitter and the owner. In most cases, the owner is usually happy to cover the utilities in exchange for the sitter taking care of their home and pets. On longer term sits, e.g. 4+ weeks, it is normal for the house sitter to contribute to, or even cover the utility costs e.g. heating, cooling, electricity and possibly internet.
As each sitting job is unique, it is up to the owner and the sitter to negotiate the payment (or non payment) of utilities before the sit commences. It is important that both the owner and the sitter are clear and open in what has been agreed to and that it is documented to avoid any confusion.
It is totally FREE for homeowners to use Aussie House Sitters to find a house sitter. It costs only $65 for house sitters to list with us for 12 months. There are NO extra or hidden fees! We do NOT charge for metropolitan zoning like other house sitting websites do. We run your advert 24/7, 365 days a year!
Yes! We do not charge homeowners anything to find a house sitter.
REGISTRATION AS A SITTER
You can choose from the safe and secure online credit card option or cheque or money order through the post. We are also able to organise direct deposit or credit card payment via the phone. Please email for further details on these extra payment options.
You should receive your login details via email within minutes after you register. If you have not received this email within an hour (and you have checked your junk mail) please email us and we will re-send you your details.
We offer homeowners FREE 'Homeowner adverts' on our website. Anyone can view these ads but only registered house sitters are able to gain access to their contact details. The house sitter is then able to contact any of these homeowners directly to make an enquiry. Keep in mind that many homeowners choose not to place the FREE advert and simply scroll the list of sitters and contact them directly.
To contact the homeowner you click on the adverts 'name' first. If you are not already logged in you will need to login here first. If the homeowner has placed their phone number for contact it is made visible here but most select to be contacted by email only, in which case you click on the 'Contact this homeowner' link. A message box appears, you simply type in your enquiry and click on the 'Send message' link. Your message goes directly to the homeowner's personal email account. They can then reply directly to your personal email account.
Registering as a house sitter with Aussie House Sitter is easy and fast (usually completed within 5 to 10 minutes). Once you have registered you are able to contact the homeowner adverts immediately.
Unfortunately we do not offer this service. This is mainly due to potential mix ups. If we happened to contact a homeowner to confirm that their advert was still active and they replied ‘yes’ then by the time the enquiring house sitter got around to registering this sitting position my have already been filled – hence a frustrated and annoyed new member!
Yes – we email reminder notices a few weeks before your membership expires.
ABOUT THE SITE
House sitters register to list their profile on the Aussie House Sitters database. Here they can be seen by thousands of Australian homeowners. These homeowners are all able to contact the house sitter directly - some owners don't even place an Ad, they just browse through the sitter profiles and click "Contact".
Also, all registered house sitters are able to contact any of the homeowners that have advertised on the website.
It's very simple really.
As far as Aussie House Sitters is aware all the homeowner adverts advertised on our website are active and available BUT we do rely on the homeowner to remove their own advert. We do stress to all homeowners they need to remove their advert as soon as they have filled the house sitting position to avoid house sitter disappointment. Each homeowner has the ability to activate, deactivate or delete their advert.
The house sitter list is ordered by the most recent house sitter to have logged in. You can move your profile to the top of the list by either a) logging into your account, or b) once logged in clicking the 'Save Changes' button within your 'My Sitter Profile' page. We believe this is fairer than listing alphabetically or any other method. This way active house sitters will float around the top of the list but those who no longer require a house sit or those who are currently on a house sit filter towards the bottom of the list.
You will need to have an email account when you first sign up so you can activate your profile but once you have registered you have the ability to choose to be contacted by phone if that’s preferable.
A REPLY RATING appears on a member's search listing and profile page, as a series of 5 dots. This rates the member's responsiveness to (first contact) messages.
If a member has responded in a timely fashion to every first contact message, their REPLY RATING will remain at a perfect 5 points.
For every (first contact) message that goes un-replied, a point is deducted (you lose a dot). To redeem a lost point the member needs to answer promptly to the next two (first contact) messages that come through.
Our members occasionally suggest that a rating system would help them choose between candidates.
While ratings can be useful for some sites, they can also be very damaging in others. We have carefully considered introducing a ratings system, but have decided against it because we feel that it could have a negative impact on many of our members, which would be completely unwarranted.
• Subjectivity: Choosing a House Sitter is an incredibly subjective task, involving a mix of characteristics, experience and "chemistry". All homeowners have different standards, expectations and personalities. While one homeowner might think ‘0 stars’ another might think ‘5 stars’ about the same experience.
• Love: This site and the community of people involved are characterised by generosity, responsibility and respect. We value this and work very hard to affirm and maintain it. We feel that a ratings system has too many potential negatives for some members that would undermine the wonderful spirit of the site for no real benefit.
• Unreasonable criticism: It only takes one negative comment to destroy a House Sitter’s chances of getting any further sits. A house sitter could be trying their best, but if they don’t have detailed instructions they might disappoint an owner without meaning to. A rating would unfairly punish a sitter in this instance.
• Quality: It is genuinely hard to find a ‘bad’ House Sitter or Homeowner. The overwhelming majority of the tens of thousands of sits that happen every year are fantastic exchanges that are wonderfully satisfying for all parties.
• Confidence: There are many things that help build confidence in a House Sitter, which we believe are actually more helpful than a rating. These include references, referees, endorsements, number of completed sits and personal history. And don’t underestimate the importance for homeowners to take time to talk with a potential sitter. This is a great way to have confidence in what the sitter can provide.
• Incentive: An argument for ratings is that it provides incentive for a House Sitter to perform well. We feel that good performance is already an outstanding feature of our AHS members. House sitters genuinely want to do a great job for their owner and homeowners genuinely want to make the sitter’s stay comfortable and enjoyable. Good character and common courtesy drive our members to "perform" well. We have other more practical incentives for sitters to perform well, these include receiving positive endorsements, repeat sits, referrals and additional references and referees.
• Skewing: ‘Ratings’ may help in choosing a camera: is it what was expected, did it arrive on time etc. These factors can easily be measured faiirly. However, given the same sitter, five different homeowners could rate them very differently, so it is hard to see this as a fair measure. Sitters performing at the same level of expertise can be "marked" differently and if this is displayed on the site, it is not a fair assessment and not helpful for either the sitter or the owners looking for a sitter.
• Endorsements: To help in selecting a sitter, we have “Endorsements” from previous house sits. This is a feature that is becoming popular in many sites. It means that members can be rewarded with positive recommendations from other members, and it adds an important layer of credibility to a sitter's profile.
• Complaints policy: For those rare occasions when a Homeowner or House Sitter has experienced a problem, we are always available to hear complaints about members and we do take appropriate action. We have a thorough complaints procedure we use when needed.
Endorsements from a previous house sit assignment (from either the house sitter or homeowner) add a lot of credibility to a member's profile, and they reward and promote good citizenship.
Both house sitters and homeowners are able to compose an endorsement for the other if they feel like spreading the love, and rewarding them for a job well done.
Yes! We spend large amounts of money doing this every day of the year, across all mediums.
Generally we reply to all email enquiries the day we receive them, however please allow 48 hours depending on demand.
If a homeowner has security cameras at their home (either internal or external) it's important they inform the house sitters of this while negotiating the sitting job. Some sitters may not want to take on a job if there are security camera. As a sitter it's your right to be informed if an owner has security cameras in and around their home. You can then decide if you're willing to take on the house sit or not. Many are happy to do so, as long as they are informed and given the chance to decide.