When you are going away on holiday, you want to be able to relax and not have to worry about the safety of your home. Nowadays, lots of people choose to hire a house-sitter to live in and look after their home and/or pets while they are travelling. Here, we look at ways to choose the perfect house-sitter.
Choose Someone You Know.
Perhaps you have a sibling, a friend or an older niece or nephew who will be happy to live at your house while you are on holiday. This is really the ideal situation, as the person will be someone you know and trust. You probably won’t need to pay them – and you certainly won’t need a reference or to make criminal record checks etc. You will definitely be able to rest assured and enjoy your walking holidays or cycling holidays without having to be concerned about your home.
Employing a House Sitter.
If there is no-one you know personally to take care of your home whilst you are on holiday, you may wish to advertise for and employ a house sitter. Choosing a trustworthy, professional house-sitter is rather like interviewing for a job: you need to find someone whom you like; are happy to trust with your home and belongings and have the skills that may be needed to help with the upkeep of your home. There will need to be an interview process, just like a job application and you will definitely want to meet the person face-to-face before making your final decision.
Make Your Expectations Clear.
Is this a paying position, or will the house-sitter be expected to contribute to bills/shopping for the period they are in your home? What duties and/or chores will they be expected to carry out? Will they need to take care of plants or pets? Make your criteria and rules especially clear, for example, no smoking, house parties etc. Have a clear job description and a contract in place stating exactly what is expected – and what you will provide.
Is the person available on the dates you need them? Have they done house sitting before? Do they have experience of looking after homes and pets similar to yours? Be sure to ask for references (and follow them up), recommendations, proof of identification and criminal records check, should you require them.
To save yourself the time and hassle of checking up on candidates and taking part in the selection process you can use Mindahome to do most of the hard work for you, leaving your time free to plan your walking holidays, beach vacations or weekend breaks.
When it comes to choosing the ideal house sitter for you, it is important to go with your ‘gut instinct’. If you feel a person is right for the position, if they seem comfortable in your home and if you like them, then they are probably the perfect person for the job!
Nicky Jones owns and runs a successful house- and pet-sitting agency in London, after working as a house-sitter herself for many years. She is also an accomplished travel writer who writes regularly for a number of online publications. Her hobbies include playing tennis, running and going on cycling holidays with friends.