Free Airbnb — 5 Tips to Make the Most Out Of House Sitting

Whether it’s for the occasional getaway to explore a new location, or a full time way to avoid paying rent, house sitting is growing in popularity across the globe.

Photo by Jarek Ceborski on Unsplash

Be Honest

Be open and honest in your profile and all your communications with homeowners. They are considering leaving their home and their precious pets in the care of a stranger — the more you seem like a real person to them, the more chance you have of getting the gig.

Meet Them First

Where possible, arrange to meet the homeowner in the home before confirming the sit. This gives them a chance to become more comfortable with you, while also giving you the chance to check the place out first. If you’re a clean freak and the place is filthy, you might want to politely decline the sit.

Have a Way Out

If you do manage to meet the homeowner and check out the home before making the commitment, make sure you have a ready excuse to decline. Telling someone you won’t look after their home and pet because their house looks and smells like a rebellious teenager’s bedroom is awkward at best.

Honour Your Commitment

If you make a commitment to look after someone’s home and pets, stick to it. Pulling out of a house sit because you got a better offer is not okay, and you won’t do yourself any favours if you keep doing this. Of course, there are acceptable reasons to cancel a sit. I have done it once due to a family emergency, and as long as you give as much notice as possible, homeowners are very understanding. But the more you can honour your commitments, the better your reputation will be. Homeowners have friends who also need sitters; we have gotten a lot of great sits through referrals. Become a trusted and reliable sitter and you won’t have any problem finding places to stay.

Trust Your Gut

Above all, your personal safety must come first. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Before my partner joined me I house sat alone, and there was one occasion where I felt decidedly uncomfortable. It was a two bedroom apartment, and the owner was an elderly woman with an equally elderly dog that needed looking after while she was away. She warned me that her adult son might pop over with some medicine for the dog from time to time, which I said was fine. What he actually did was pop over and declare he was spending ‘a night or two’ in the other bedroom to keep an eye on the dog, which was absolutely not fine.

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