House sitting-home or away?

Why do we love house sitters? Many homes don’t like being left empty-sounds odd but the moment you turn off the heater, boiler etc the home decides to play-up? In the summer months often we find our trip to sunnier climes coincidentally coincides with a two week drought and we return to a sub Saharan rose bed.

Another huge driving factor is of course security; just knowing your neighbour is ‘keeping an eye out’ is not enough for many homeowners, the old ‘lights on a timer’ trick seems to be out-dated too.

How many of us pet owners prefer to leave our dogs and cats in the comfort of their own homes? I can see the market for house- sitters and the great advantage to us being over 50 is owners seem to like a more experienced sitter.

What’s in it for us? I hear you ask, I can’t imagine a house sitter would be a full-time job, the sporadic hours and perhaps the seasonality of it might be best suited for those of us who are either retired or semi-retired? Searching through the companies which offer the service pay can sometimes be in money however often in ‘free’ accommodation.

House- sitting could then be a great way of seeing the world while saving on the accommodation; you may have a yearning to visit a far-way land and live more like a local.

What do I have to do as a sitter?
You’ll be contracted to look after the house, keep it safe, tidy and in a good condition ‘til the owner returns. And on many occasions look after pets too. Expect to have yourself vetted and checked, I couldn’t imagine employing a house-sitting company which didn’t thoroughly check their applicants. I’d always read all the small print, and make sure I’m up for it before committing.

Will I get paid?
In most cases house-sitting is a straight swap, with no money changing hands for the house-sitters services. However on occasions the house-sitter may receive a small fee, also be prepared to pay a registration fee with most companies.

Who pays the bills during house-sitting?
This is sometimes negotiable between home-owner and house-sitter depending on the case and circumstances.

Where can I find house-sitting agencies?
The web seems to offer the usual myriad of choice and globally too.
HouseCarers was established back in October 2000 and lists house-sits around the world. At the time of writing, there were 249 available, mostly in Europe (6 in England), the USA and Australia. Home owners register for free, house-sitters can join for a membership fee.

TrustedHousesitters is another one of the larger house-sitting websites, we found on the web with thousands worldwide and over 500 in the UK. Registration fees and details can be found at

Trusted house sitter screen grab fair use


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