What is House Sitting?
House sitting is an arrangement between a homeowner and a house sitter. The role of the house sitter is to provide security and some caretaking responsibilities in the homeowners absence.
Assignments can vary in length from a couple of days or weeks to months, and there are properties available in well known, as well as off-the-beaten track locations around the globe.
[important]What does the Homeowner provide?[/important]
- The Homeowner allows the house sitter to occupy their house for a specific period of time rent-free.
- All of the other elements of a house sitting arrangement, like utilities, travel, visa’s, chores and responsibilities are open to negotiation.
- One of the main factors to consider when negotiating these, is the location of the property.
[important]What does the House Sitter provide?[/important]
- In return for a rent-free living arrangement, a house sitter is usually expected to assume some care-taking responsibilities, such as maintenance of a pool or garden, watering plants, property upkeep or caring for pets.
- Each house sitting assignment is different, and all responsibilities should be agreed beforehand to ensure there is a clear understanding of expectations.
- Remember, a house sitting assignment is not a free vacation – it’s a work assignment, and there should be some form of written agreement between both parties. This can be formal contract or a less-formal written agreement, depending on the duration of the house sitting assignment. In either case, it needs to clarify who is covering costs (e.g. utilities), and what duties need to be performed.
[important]What’s the benefit of a House Sitting arrangement?[/important]
The word “House Sitting” has been in use since the mid-60′s. But in today’s society, where more an more people are home owners, or own a vacation property, the opportunities to house sit have become more prevalent. So:
What’s in it for the Homeowner?
- Leaving your property empty for any length of time is asking for trouble. Not only is your vacant house far more likely to be vandalized and burgled but your home and contents insurance becomes null and void after your home is empty for 30 (or sometimes 60) consecutive days.
- In the words of every home security, police authority and insurance advisor: ‘Don’t leave your house unoccupied for an extended period of time!‘
- The most compelling reason for engaging a house sitter is to care for your pets. Boarding costs are expensive and animal psychologists and vets agree that boarding your animals for any length of time can place a huge strain on their physical and emotional health. Engaging a House Sitter to look after your pets in their home environment is cheaper and better for your pet’s well being.
What’s in it for the House Sitter?
- Discover new locations and visit areas that you may not have had an opportunity of visiting.
- Save money with long-term house sitting, and have the opportunity of living like a local.
- House sitting assignments often involve looking after someone’s pets, and according to Professor Richard Wiseman looking after an animal is proven to help relaxation and combat stress.