Kiwi House Sitters

The largest pet & house sitting site in New Zealand

House Sitter FAQs

GENERAL HOUSE SITTING

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 and have 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 traveling and enjoying the benefits of living rent-free. Most house sitters just enjoy the change of scenery and the chance to meet and befriend new pets and people.

A house sitter handles the day to day running of the home while ensuring the pets are happy in an environment they are familiar with and are loved just as the homeowner would.

A house sitter lives in the house while the homeowner is away and takes care of the home, pets and garden. When the home is occupied it is much safer than if it was left empty. Also, the pets are well cared for, the garden and lawn are maintained and the mail is collected, as well as any other jobs the homeowner and the sitter mutually agree on.

There are so many variables in applying for a house sit that we cannot guarantee anyone will be employed as a sitter using our service. If you demonstrate in your sitter profile that you are caring, reliable, and trustworthy, there is a strong chance a homeowner will choose you to take on their house sit.

The most successful sitters are the ones with a great sitter profile and who are proactive in contacting homeowners. If you regularly scroll through the list of homeowner ads and contact all those that appeal to you, this will give you the best chance of securing a sit.

With thousands of new homeowner ads listed each month you have an excellent chance of finding house sits in your preferred areas. All of the homeowner ads on our site are available for everyone to see, not just registered members. If you go to the website home page you can search for a particular location using the Refine Search options. If you find anything suitable you can join up and start contacting the homeowners.

 

Yes you can! We have many members who bring their pet house sitting. Understandably however, you will find there are always some homeowners who won’t want sitters bringing pets into their home. Some homes may be too small or not set up for pets or have pets that don’t tolerate other animals. This means you do restrict your chances somewhat. Having said that, there are homeowners who don’t mind at all having a sitter bring their pet with them. Homeowners will generally say in their ad whether or not they are happy to accommodate other pets.

 

Sure! We have many families who enjoy the opportunities house and pet sitting provides. House sitting as a family can really enhance your time together while greatly reducing the costs associated with travel.

There are always some homeowners who won’t want children in their home which means you do restrict your chances somewhat however, many homeowners, especially those with families of their own family, welcome having another family in their home. If you can show your family is respectful, reliable, and trustworthy, there is no reason why you can’t apply to house sit.

 

Yes. The lengths of house sitting positions can vary from between 1 day to 3 years +. Most house sits tend to be from 1 week to 4 months however, it is not uncommon for house sitting positions to be longer e.g. 6 - 12 months. You can do a search for house sits via the sit length in the search filters.

If a homeowner is happy with the way a house sitter looked after their home and pets, many will ask them back again for repeat sits. Word of mouth is the best way to be continually employed as a house and pet sitter. If you engage in one or two house sitting jobs that are well received, you will probably get called upon for their next trip away, plus be recommended to the homeowner’s family and friends.

Every house sitter has to start somewhere. If you’re a friendly and responsible pet lover who loves to travel, there is every chance you will be successful in securing house sits. Most homeowners are willing to consider first time house sitters. First time house sitters tend to emphasise other qualities such as growing up with pets or looking after their own homes. All house sitters have a sitter profile where they can demonstrate the relevant skills and experience that homeowners are looking for.

This is up to the homeowner and the house sitter to negotiate. A house sitting agreement is helpful in clarifying the owner’s 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 is confirmed to avoid confusion and ensure everything run 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 etc.
 
Kiwi House Sitters offers a housesitting agreement template that you can adapt to suit your individual needs.

 

If a homeowner has security cameras in or around their home it's important to inform the house sitter of this while negotiating the house sitting job. Some house sitters may not feel comfortable if security cameras are installed. Many house sitters will be ok with this however, it is necessary that the homeowner inform them before the house sit has been confirmed.

WHO PAYS WHAT?

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 the odd occasion when a homeowner will offer some money for the house sitting job, e.g. if there are a lot of pets to care for and jobs to do.

There are some professional sitters who choose to advertise on Kiwi House Sitters and they usually ask for payment in return for their professional service. 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 homeowners charging house sitters rent. In the majority of the cases the arrangement is a straight swap where the house sitter cares for the house and pets in exchange for free accommodation. There maybe times when a homeowner may ask for a weekly contribution from the house sitter, e.g. if there are no pets to care for and very little jobs to do, or if the house sit is for a longer length of time. Remember, all the details are negotiable between both 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 the sitter and the owner. 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 e.g. 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 in what has been agreed to and that it is documented to avoid any confusion.

It costs only $84 for house sitters to be a member for 12 months and there are NO extra or hidden fees! We do NOT charge for metropolitan zoning like other house sitting websites, and we display your profile 24/7, 365 days a year!

Yes! We do not charge homeowners anything to find a house sitter. The reason we don’t charge homeowners is so that more owners will use the site to advertise for a sitter. This means more jobs for sitters to apply for and therefore better value for your money. 

REGISTRATION AS A SITTER

The most common form of payment is our credit card option where you make a secure and easy one step payment online with eWAY. Alternatively, you can make an online payment via PayPal. 

You should receive your login details via email within minutes after you register. If you have not received this email within an hour (and you have checked your junk mail) please email us and we will re-send you your details.

Kiwi House Sitters offer FREE Homeowner ads on our website. Anyone can view these ads however, only registered house sitters have access to their contact details. The house sitters are able to contact any of these homeowners directly to make an enquiry. Keep in mind that many homeowners choose not to place an ad, preferring to scroll the list of sitters and contact them directly.

To contact a homeowner you need to login and click directly on their ad. If the homeowner has included their phone number it is made visible here however, most choose to be contacted by email only, in which case you click on the 'Contact this homeowner' link. A message box appears, you type in your enquiry and click the 'Send message' tab. Your message goes directly to the homeowner's personal email account. You will receive an email notification when the homeowner replies letting you know you have a new message in your account.

Registering as a house sitter with Kiwi House Sitters is easy and fast, usually taking just 5 to 10 minutes. Once you have registered you are able to scroll the homeowner ads and contact homeowners immediately.

Unfortunately we do not offer this service. If we contact a homeowner to confirm their ad is still active and they reply ‘yes’, by the time the house sitter registers and sends a message, the position my have already been filled – hence a frustrated and annoyed new member.

Yes – we email a reminder notice 2 weeks before, then again 2 days before your membership expires.

You do need to have an email account when you first register to enable you to activate your profile however, once you have registered you can to choose to be contacted by phone if that’s preferable.

ABOUT THE SITE

House sitters register and list their profile on the Kiwi House Sitters website where their profile can be viewed by thousands of New Zealand homeowners. These homeowners then contact the house sitters directly to see if they are available to house sit. Some owners choose not to place an ad; they simply browse through the list of sitter profiles and click "Contact".
All registered house sitters are able to contact any of the homeowners that have advertised on the website.
It's very simple really.

 

Yes! We spend a lot of time and money doing this every day of the year across all mediums to encourage homeowners to list with us. We believe the more homeowners who use our site to advertise for a sitter, the more jobs to apply for and therefore better value for your money. 

As far as Kiwi House Sitters is aware all the homeowner ads visible on our website are active and available however, we do rely on the homeowner to remove their own ad. We do stress to all homeowners the need to remove their ad as soon as they have filled the house sitting position to avoid house sitter disappointment. Each homeowner has the ability to activate, edit and deactivate their ad 24/7.

Every time you LOGIN or click the MY ACCOUNT link, your profile will rise to the top of the list (maximum once per hour).

We recommend you do this regularly so homeowners can find you easily and are more likely to contact you directly. This system means active house sitters will stay near the top of the list and those who no longer require a house sit or who are currently on a house sit filter towards the bottom of the list.

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.

Reviews from a previous house sit (from either the house sitter or home owner) add a lot of credibility to a member’s profile, and rewards and promotes positive experiences.

Both house sitters and home owners are able to review and rate their house sit. These reviews and ratings appear automatically on the house sitter’s profile and the home owner’s future home owner ads.

Members can receive and create a review and/or star rating for a completed house sit. The star ratings apply to 4 areas, and allow 1 to 5 stars for each:

  • House
  • Pets
  • Garden
  • Communication

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 it as N/A and it will not be included in the star rating.

Reviews can be posted with or without star ratings attached.

Both members also have the option to respond to their review once which is displayed underneath the review on their profile or ad. An email notification is sent when a member has received a new review or rating.

Members can also ‘feature’ a review which means this appears at the top of their reviews on their sitter profile or home owner ad. This ‘featured’ review also appears on the preview of a house sitter’s profile.

All endorsements received under our previous ‘Endorsements’ system have been converted to ‘Reviews’ and will still appear on sitter profiles and home owner ads.

We pride ourselves on our customer service and endeavor to reply to all email enquiries the day we receive them. Please allow 48 hours depending on demand.