Step-by-step Guide – Sitters
House sitters provide their services for free as there is a mutual benefit in the arrangement for both home owners and house sitters. House sitters perform light duties, such as companion animal care and garden maintenance, in exchange for free accommodation.
House sitting offers: the opportunity to experience living in different communities, cultures and countries; low-cost holidays in your own country; the opportunity to save money to buy your own home or extend your travels; or for young adults living at home, spend some time living independently locally without the expense of moving out on your own. House sitters may choose to house sit close to where they live, or on the other side of the world.
- Plan ahead – give yourself plenty of time to find the right house to sit, but be alert to last minute opportunities.
- Browse the listings of available houses and register with Kindred Spirits House Sit or Swap to list your services as a sitter so that those requiring a sitter can contact you.
- Choose a friendly profile photo, with an uncluttered background. If you are a couple or family, include everyone in the photo.
- Write a detailed description of what you can offer, what your experience is, and why you want to house sit. Experience looking after companion animals is particularly important to detail. See our ‘Writing a Great Listing‘ tips.
- Once you are registered you can get in touch with registered home owners direct, or wait to be contacted.
- Look out for our fortnightly newsletter listing newly registered house sit opportunities.
- Once you find a suitable sitting opportunity, get to know the home owners and what is important to them – exchange messages via the site’s internal messaging system intially to protect your privay. When you are ready to go further, exchange names and direct email addresses or phone numbers. Talk on the phone, Skype or video phone so that you can ‘meet’ them in advance. If you are local or in the area, you may be able to meet them in person.
- Be prepared to provide a police check, or reference from previous sits or swaps or rental accommodation. If this is your first time, obtain permission from reputable people who know you, such as employers, to act as a referee for you, and provide telephone contact details. If you don’t have experience, think about ways to gain experience, such as offering to mind the property of friends or family if they are going away.
- The home owner should provide your with clear written instructions on caring for animals and garden, and go over these with you in person if possible, or by phone. If you are not provided with this information then ask – you can only do a good job if you are clear what your responsibilities are.
- If you would like to, you can make a written agreement with the home owner. This way there is a common understanding of the responsibilities of both parties. This can include, particularly for longer term sits or swaps, who is responsible for utilities bills and responsibilities if you are being loaned a car. See our FAQ for more information.
- Be sure to leave the property at least as neat and tidy as you found it. Repair or replace anything you damage or break.
- Finished a successful sit? Ask for a reference to help you get your next sit!