There are many different kinds of people who housesit - retired couples, professionals who work from home, singles, young families and those who love to travel and make new connections. There is no one stereotypical 'sitter', however all sitters are caring, responsible people with plenty of life experience.
The reasons why people house sit are as varied as they are numerous. Many have been pet owners in the past and want that special connection with a pet again. Some do it as a lifestyle while travelling and enjoying the benefits of staying in a home. Most house sitters just enjoy the change of scenery and the chance to meet and befriend new pets and people.
You might be wondering, why people would choose to house sit for free. The truth is - because they love animals and the unique travel experiences that house and pet sitting provides!
In exchange for caring for your home and pets, sitters get a wealth of benefits including the opportunity to experience life in your location, the opportunity to engage with your gorgeous fur babies and the satisfaction of knowing they are offering a helping hand.
The house sitter lives in your vacant home and loves your pets just as you do, ensuring they are happy and safe in an environment they are familiar with. They handle the day to day running of your home such as collecting mail and putting out the bins. Sitters can also maintain your lawns and garden, as well as any other jobs you mutually agree on. Having your house occupied by a sitter also means that it is much safer than being left empty.
This is something you can negotiate with the sitter. A house sitting agreement is helpful in clarifying your expectations and ensures both parties are clear on the terms of the arrangement. It is very important to discuss all aspects of the house sit before it begins to avoid confusion. This can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring the house sit runs smoothly. Terms that may be noted in the agreement include: details of pet care, information on house and garden care, who is responsible for paying for utilities and what to do in the case of an emergency etc.
Kiwi House Sitters offers a housesitting agreement template that you can adapt to suit your individual needs (under Useful Tools in the left hand menu).
Yes! We do not charge home owners anything to find a house sitter.
The most common form of house sitting is where the sitter looks after the house and pets in exchange for free accommodation and no money changes hands. There may be some occasions when a home owner will offer money to the house sitter. This may be because there are a lot of pets to care for or more tasks to complete.
There are some professional sitters who choose to advertise on Kiwi House Sitters who ask for payment in return for their professional service. If a sitter does expect payment, we ask that they make this clear in their profile. The vast majority of house sitters are pet lovers who believe receiving free accommodation in exchange for basic house and pet keeping responsibilities is a fair and positive exchange of services.
Kiwi House Sitters does not accept home owners charging house sitters rent. In the majority of cases the arrangement is a straight swap where the house sitter cares for the house and pets in exchange for free accommodation. There may be times when a home owner will ask for a weekly contribution from the house sitter. This may be if there are no pets to care for and very few jobs to do, or if the house sit is for a longer period of time. Remember, all the details are negotiable between the two parties and should be discussed prior to confirming your house sit.
There is no one correct way house sitting works. Each house sit is unique and everything is negotiable between you and the sitter. In most cases, the owner is usually happy to cover the utilities in exchange for the sitter taking care of their home and pets. On longer term sits, e.g. 4+ weeks, it is normal for the house sitter to contribute to, or even cover, the utility costs such as heating, cooling, electricity and possibly internet.
As each sitting job is unique, it is up to the owner and the sitter to negotiate the payment (or non payment) of utilities before the sit commences. It is important that both the owner and the sitter are clear and open about what has been agreed to and that it is documented to avoid any confusion.
* If you do require the house sitter to contribute financially in any way, this must be made expressly clear in your home owner ad and/or your first contact message.
House sits run smoothly 95% of the time. On the odd occasion where something may end up broken or damaged by the sitter, the sitter will normally cover the cost if it was their fault. If the damage was caused due to the age of the house or the wear and tear on an item etc. then the homeowner should cover the cost of repairs.
Some home owners like to use a house sitting agreement to prevent any potential problems. Kiwi House Sitters offers a house sitting agreement template that you can adjust to suit your needs.
We approve ads at regular intervals throughout the day. Generally, all ads are approved within 24 hours of being submitted.
1) Login to your account
2) Click DEACTIVATE THIS AD where you see it at the top of your ad
(If you don't automatically see your ad when you login, simply click MY HOUSE ADS in the left hand menu, then follow step 2.)
Deactivating your ad means that you remove it from the list of ads on the website, so sitters can no longer apply. Not only does this avoid sitter disappointment, it also means you are not contacted unnecessarily. Your ad and all associated details remain in your account so you can use them again should you need a sitter in future. Even though your ad has been deactivated, you are still able to message all of the sitters who contacted you. Should you need to reactivate your ad, you can easily do so.
NOTE: You can also email us and ask us to delete it for you.
Please deactivate your ad as soon as -
- You have been contacted by a sufficient number of sitters from which to make your choice, OR
-You have already selected a sitter, OR
- Your sit has been cancelled
There may be other reasons to deactivate your ad. We simply ask that you ensure your ad is deactivated as soon as it is no longer required so that hopeful sitters don't contact you unnecessarily.
It is expected that you reply to all messages you receive. We have made this very easy with 'Group Reply' and 'Quick Reply' options.
If you have been contacted by someone that you do not wish to have as your sitter, please reply as soon as possible with a simple message such as "Thank you for your interest. I am sorry that your application has not been successful on this occasion".
You need to have an email account when you first register so you can activate your account. Once you have registered you can choose to be contacted by phone if that’s preferable, however most first contacts are made via the in-site messaging system. If you don't have regular access to emails, you may find that this hampers your efforts to secure a sitter.
No. All homes and properties must be fully vacant of all people other than the sitters for the entire duration of the sit.
Yes. We do allow AirBnB and other commercially related home businesses but the house sitter MUST be paid for their work. This must be clearly stated in the home owner ad.
We do not allow anyone to share the living space with the sitter so any AirBnB accommodation must be completely separate.
If you have security cameras in or around your home it's important to inform the house sitter of this while negotiating the house sitting job. Sitters may or may not feel comfortable if security cameras are installed, so it is necessary that you advise them of any cameras so they can make an informed decision before the house sit has been confirmed.
Once you place your ad, sitters who have registered with Kiwi House Sitters are able to contact you to express their interest in your house sit. You can then view their profile and engage with whoever you feel is the right sitter sitter for you.
Some owners choose not to place an ad. If this is you, you can simply browse through the sitter profiles on the website and use the contact box to send a message directly to the sitters of interest to you.
We do not screen our sitters. We are a meeting place for sitters and home owners to find each other only. As a home owner you are able to ask for whatever you need to feel comfortable that you have the right person. You can ask for reviews or police clearances and it's highly recommended that you ask for references, preferably from someone you can call to validate the sitter.
After speaking with a few sitters, most home owners feel very comfortable with the process. Also, many sitters offer references and police checks as part of their profile. You can read as many sitter profiles as you like and contact the sitters who seem most suitable.
It’s easy! You can either place a free ad and have our registered house sitters contact you, or you can scroll the list of sitter profiles and contact any whose available dates and profile look suitable. We recommend doing both to increase your chances of finding the perfect house sitter.
The reply rating system is intended to make communication a faster and happier experience for all members. A reply rating appears on a member's homeowner ad or sitter profile as a series of 5 dots. This rates the member's responsiveness to first contact messages.
If a member has responded in a timely fashion, i.e. within 5 days to every first contact message, their reply rating will remain at the ideal 5 points.
For every first contact message that goes un-replied, a point is deducted. To redeem a lost point the member needs to answer promptly to the next two first contact messages that are received.
Membership badges are earned for loyalty based on how long the sitter has been with us.
It is a nice way for home owners to know how long a member has been listed with us.
Reviews from previous house sits add a lot of credibility and reward and promote positive experiences.
Both house sitters and home owners can review and rate any completed house sit. These reviews and ratings appear automatically on the sitter profile and the owner’s future ads or direct contact messages.
The star ratings apply to 4 areas, and allow 1 to 5 stars for each:
These individual star ratings will then be averaged to create an overall star rating from 1 to 5 stars. If an item is irrelevant (e.g. there was no garden) it can be marked as N/A and it will not be included in the star rating. Reviews can be posted with or without star ratings attached.
An email notification is sent when a member receives a new review or rating. Members then have the option to respond to their review once. This is displayed underneath the review on their profile, ad or message.
Members can also ‘feature’ a review which means the chosen review appears at the top of their review list. This ‘featured’ review also appears on the preview of sitter profiles.
All endorsements received under our previous ‘Endorsements’ system have been converted to ‘Reviews’ and appear as outlined above.
We pride ourselves on our customer service and endeavour to reply to all email enquiries the day we receive them. Please allow 48 hours depending on demand.
ID verification is the process by which personal details are checked against public databases, purely for the purpose of confirming that a person is who they say they are.
ID verification is provided through the Trulioo Global Gateway, which is an internationally trusted service working across every level of business and government.
House sitters have the option for the main account holder to be verified. Once this has successfully been done, an ID Verification badge icon is displayed on the sitter profile for your reference.
No. ID Verification is only available for house sitters.
Some house sitters may choose not to get ID verified. This can be for many reasons with one of the main reasons being a reluctance to submit their personal details online in case of identity theft. We understand this and that is why ID verification is optional.
There are many other things that you can do to feel comfortable when engaging a house sitter. You can ask for references that you can contact directly by phone, ask if the sitter has a police check, read any reviews from previous house sits that appear on their sitter profile, meet the sitter face to face, and even ask to sight their drivers licence or other identification if you feel that you need to.