Frequently Asked Questions
House Sitters FAQ
What is house sitting?
House sitting is the practice whereby a landlord/homeowner, leaves his house for a period of time and entrusts it to one or more 'house sitters'. The house sitters are entitled to live there rent-free in exchange for assuming responsibilities such as taking care of the pets, performing general maintenance, gardening, keeping trespassers off the property, readdressing the mail, and in general, making sure that everything runs smoothly.
What are the advantages of house sitting?
House sitting allows you to live rent free. This way you can save money for a deposit or take the liberty of working part time, going back to studying. It's ideal if you want to try out new suburbs or experience life in the city, on the farm etc. Some families find it a good way to have a budget friendly and comfortable holiday. Others see it as the ideal way to move closer to their (grand)children or to see Australia. House sitting really should really be a win-win situation for both home owners and house sitters.
Who can become a house sitter?
Any responsible person can become a house sitter. What matters is that you are reliable and committed to take care of the house and pets you'll be looking after. You must genuinely love pets and be prepared to give the best of yourself to keep them happy and healthy whilst the owners are away. Some home owners prefer families as their house sitters; others are looking for singles or retirees. Every home owner chooses who he/she thinks is suitable and that's different for every house sit and pet.
What do the home owners expect?
The home owners expect the house sitter to live in their house, to keep it clean and secure. The main task is usually to look after pets that need to be fed, groomed, walked, cuddled and kept happy. Other duties may be mowing lawns, forwarding mail, maintaining the pool, phone messages, the occasional odd job, etc. Every house sit is different and everything is negotiable. The home owners and house sitter must agree beforehand what exactly has to be done.
What does it cost?
Easy House Sitting has just been launched and for a limited time only it's FREE to register as a member. This membership allows you to apply for as many house sits as you want for the duration of 1 year. Once the launch special expires, a yearly fee will be charged for all new registrations. As a member you can contact all home owners directly via our website. Once you secure a house sit, home owners will allow you to live rent free in their house for the duration of the sit.
How does Easy Housesitting work?
Home owners can join for free and put an ad on the Easy House Sitting website. This guarantees lots of ads and lots of available house sits. House sitters join Easy House Sitting and can then create a profile.
  • Home owners can browse through the house sitter profiles and contact any house sitter they are interested in via the Easy House Sitting website.
  • The best approach however is for you to keep an eye on your inbox. If you have enabled email notifications, Easy House Sitting will send you an email every time a new house sit is available that matches your search criteria. If you like to apply for the house sit, you can contact the home owners directly via our website. If the home owners think you are suitable, they will contact you. Most home owners will then conduct a phone, Skype or live interview to make sure they found the right person for the job.
What do I bring to a house sit?
The house is fully furnished so you will bring only what is required: clothes, toiletries, maybe your laptop. It is not uncommon for home owners to lock certain items away or to agree on which bedding, towels etc. should be used.
Who pays for the utilities and pet food?
The general rule is that the home owner pays for all utilities (other than phone calls) and all pet related costs (mainly food), especially if there are several pets or the house sit is relatively short. For longer house sits (+ 3months) or house sits without pets we suggest a set contribution per week to be paid. Everything is negotiable with the home owner. Any repairs due to normal wear and tear should be paid for by the home owner.
Do I need a written contract between myself, the home owner, and the house sitters?
It is recommended that both home owner and house sitter sign a contract setting out the arrangements: dates, pet responsibilities, house duties. The contract is between home owner and house sitter. Download the example House Sitting Agreement.
Can I leave in the middle of a house sit?
No. If you commit to a house sit and sign a contract, you can't just leave in the middle of the sit. Under no circumstances can you just stop looking after the pets/house. We recommend that the home owner and house sitter have a 'temporary' replacement plan in place in case of a real emergency. This could be a neighbor or relative of the home owner who could step in for a couple of days should there be a real emergency. It is recommended to specify this in the contract.
What if the home owner needs to come home early due to an emergency / illness?
It is recommended to specify this in the contract. Easy House Sitting suggests the home owner gives at least 1 week's notice. If the Home Owner can't accommodate the house sitter for at least 1 week, it is reasonable that he'd pay the house sitters a small sum. ($250) Most home owners have their holiday planned well beforehand, flights booked etc. It's exceptional that changes occur during the house sit.
Step by step plan to a good house sit
Once you've decided you want to house sit, you should take your time to create a good profile. Your profile is your 'resume' and good first impressions are important.
We've got some tips to get the most out of it:
  • Upload a decent, clear photo of yourself.
  • Mention all relevant experience of house sitting, caring for pets, house maintenance etc
  • If you have done house sitting before, ask your previous home owners if you can use them as your referees. Discuss which contact details can be passed on. Make sure they know beforehand that someone may call them so that they are prepared.
  • If you haven't done any house sitting yet, you could use your employer as a reference.
  • Having a police check is always a plus, especially if you haven't done - much - house sitting yet. If you've had one done recently for a visa, job, etc., mention this in your profile. You can also order a police check from the police department in your state.
  • If you work from home, work part time or don't work, that could be a plus as you'll be more likely to spend time 'at home' and with the pets.
  • Watch your language and use a spelling checker.
Also:
  • Check your calendar to determine when you are available. Keep in mind that most home owners like to arrange their house sitter well beforehand (several weeks to several months before the start date of the sit)
  • Try to be flexible in case the owners propose an interview. (They may just decide to go with the first good candidate they meet so let that be you!)
  • Treat phone calls / interviews like 'real' job interviews: be friendly, polite and on time if you meet the home owner.
How do I contact a Home Owner via the website?
To contact a Home Owner, you have to log in first. Once you're logged in, you can go the the ad of the House Sit and send a message to the Home Owner. If a Home Owner has sent you a message, you can reply to the message via the 'Messages' page in the 'My Account' section. If the Home Owner has given his/her contact details, you can choose to email/phone directly. Note that you have to be registered as a House Sitter to be able to contact a Home Owner. If you are unable to contact a Home Owner, you are most likely registered as a Home Owner yourself. Sent us an email and we'll make the necessary changes to your account.