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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 staying in a home. Most house sitters just enjoy the change of scenery and the chance to meet and befriend new pets and people.

As a house sitter, you live in the owner's vacant home and love their pets as the owner would, ensuring they are happy and safe in an environment they are familiar with.

You handle the day to day running of the home such as collecting mail and putting out the bins. You are responsible for cleaning the house to the standard in which you found it and you may also maintain the lawns and garden, as well as any other jobs you and the owner 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 home owner will choose you to take on their house sit.

The most successful sitters are the ones with a great sitter profile who are proactive in pursuing ads that appeal to them. If you regularly check the available ads and make contact with home owners, this will give you the best chance of securing a sit.

With thousands of new home owner ads listed each month you have an excellent chance of finding house sits in your preferred areas. All of the ads on our site are available for everyone to see, even if you are not yet a member. Simply go to the website home page and click FIND HOUSE SITTING JOBS. You can search for a particular location using the 'Refine Search' options on the left hand side. Then simply join up to start contacting home owners!

Yes you can! We have many members who bring their pet house sitting. Understandably however, you will find there are some home owners who won’t want other peoples pets in their home. Some homes may be too small, 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 home owners who don’t mind at all having a sitter who brings their pet with them. Home owners will often say in their ad whether or not they are happy to accommodate other pets.

You can filter ads by selecting the PETS WELCOME option within the Refine Search area on the search page.

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 some home owners who won’t want children in their home which means you do restrict your chances somewhat. Having said that, many home owners, especially those with families of their own, 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 home owner 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 home owner’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 home owners 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 home owners are looking for.

This is something you and the home owner can 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. This can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring that 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 which can be adapted to suit individual needs.

If a home owner has security cameras in or around their home it's important that they advise you of this during your negotiations. Sitters may or may not feel comfortable if security cameras are installed, however it is necessary that the home owner allow you to make an informed decision before the house sit has been confirmed.

If this is something that could be of concern to you, you may like to ask home owners if there are any security cameras on the property and whether or not they will be in use during your stay.

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 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 and/or more jobs to do.

There are some professional sitters who choose to advertise on Kiwi House Sitters who 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.

*If you do expect payment, you must make this expressly clear in your profile.

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 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 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.

For the cost of less than one nights accomodation, you could be staying in comfortable homes throughout the year!

House sitters pay only $84 for a 12 month membership. There are NO hidden or extra fees and we do NOT charge for metropolitan zoning like some other house sitting websites.

We display your profile 24/7, 365 days a year, so get started now to secure your first house sit!

Yes! The reason we don’t charge home owners 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. 

Within minutes of registering you should receive an email linking you to a webpage where you confirm your login details. If you have not received this email within an hour (and you have checked your junk mail) please contact us and we will re-send it to you.

There are two ways to be in contact with a home owner. Most commonly, home owners place an ad on the website. Anyone can view these ads, however only registered house sitters can use them to make contact with the owners.

To contact a home owner, login and click on the ad to open it. You will see a contact box on the left hand side where you can type and send your message to the owner. You will receive an email notification when the home owner replies. If the owner has opted to provide their phone number, it will also be visible if you are logged in when opening the ad.

Alternatively, the home owner may choose not to place an ad and will instead prefer to simply scroll through the sitter profiles and send a message to any sitters of interest, via the in-site messaging system. (Because of this, it is important to ensure your profile and availability are up to date!)

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 through the ads and contact home owners 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 may have already been filled – hence a frustrated and annoyed new member.

Every 5 days we contact home owners reminding them to remove their ad if it is no longer current.

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

No, we don't! We will email you when your renewal is due, however if you do not wish to renew, you don't have to do anything! 

You do need to have an email account when you first register to enable you to 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 this reduces your opportunities as it will be more difficult to respond promptly.

 ID VERIFICATION

House sitters have the option to get the main account holder ID verified. Only the main account holder needs to have their identification confirmed to be classed as ID verified.

House sitters with a successful verification will receive an ID badge icon that is displayed on their sitter profile. This is an optional service made available to house sitters.

We have engaged Trulioo Global Gateway, an internationally trusted service working across every level of business and government, for our ID Verification. Personal details are checked against public databases, purely for the purpose of confirming that a person is who they say they are.

Only the main account holder needs to have their identification confirmed to be classed as ID verified. Should you decide to take up this option, there is a one-off $5 verification fee. 

VERIFICATIONS OPTIONS AVAILABLE INCLUDE:

  • New Zealand - Driver licence
  • New Zealand - Address and Date of Birth
  • International member options (varies depending on the specific country)

Once the ID has been successfully verified, an ID verification badge icon is displayed on the sitters’ profile to acknowledge this.

Please note the system only gives you two attempts to pass and we can't guarantee you will be successfully verified. If this happens please contact Kiwi House Sitters support for assistance.

Here are some important points you should follow when attempting to be successfully ID verified: 

  • Verification must be for the main account holder named within your sitters account ONLY.
  • You only need to fill out ONE of the ID checking options.
  • Names and numbers have to be entered EXACTLY how they are stated on your card or document.
  • You only get two attempts so please input your data carefully (two failed attempts means you'll need to contact our support team).
  • If you are unsuccessful on your first attempt and your data is correct, please select a different ID option.
  • International house sitters can use the selected options.

In some circumstances ID verifications using Trulioo Global Gateway may not be successful. We are sorry if ever this is the case. Unfortunately we will not be able to verify you any other way or refund you the payment.

An ID verification costs a one-off payment of $5.

Unfortunately, as it costs the same for a successful or unsuccessful ID verification we are unable to refund the ID verification payment and can not guarantee you will be successfully verified.

We use Trulioo Global Gateway, a secure and professional third party provider for our ID checks.

To avoid being unsuccessful, make sure you enter your data in exactly as it is stated on your card or document. This includes any middle names or initials that appear on your identification documentation.

If you have tried twice and been unsuccessful both times, please contact Kiwi House Sitters for assistance.

Yes. International house sitters can use the options available for them (this will depend on what country they reside in).

ID verification is provided through the Trulioo Global Gateway, which is an internationally trusted service working across every level of business and government. Personal details are checked against public databases, pureley for the purpose of confirming that a person is who they say they are. These databases are different for each country and they are all established and secure sources with strict protocols, including government departments and Credit agencies.

Kiwi House Sitters does not store any personal data on our site that is not already in our member accounts. The only data we store as part of this ID verification process is the payment confirmation, the verification transaction ID and the member name so that we can offer support if necessary. Click here to view our privacy policy for more information.

No. ID verification is completely optional.

If you choose not to get ID verification, there are still many other ways you can help home owners to feel confident about selecting you for their house sit. For example, a well written profile with a friendly photo is a great start. Having good reviews certainly helps and being able to offer police checks or other references is always beneficial.

ABOUT THE SITE

Once you register as a sitter on the Kiwi House Sitters website, you create a profile which can be viewed by thousands of New Zealand home owners. These home owners then contact you directly to see if you are interested and available to house sit. 

Many home owners choose simply to place ads. You can search the ads to find those that appeal to you and then contact the home owner to express your interest. We recommend being proactive in your approach, so to increase your chances of securing the ideal sit, reach out to home owners and let them know why you are the sitter for them!

Yes! We spend a lot of time and money doing this every day of the year across all mediums to encourage home owners to list with us. We believe the more home owners 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 home owner ads visible on our website are active and available, however we do rely on the home owner to remove their own ad. We stress to all home owners the need to remove their ad as soon as they have filled the house sitting position to avoid house sitter disappointment. Each home owner 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 home owners 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.

Membership badges are earned for loyalty based on how long a member has been listed with us.

  • The SILVER badge is earned after 12 months of membership.
  • The GOLD badge is earned after 24 months of membership.
  • The PLATINUM badge is earned after 36 months of membership.

It's a nice way for home owners and sitters to know how long a member has been with us.

House sitters who earn membership badges can also earn 'Reward Credits' and these can reduce their next membership fee!

Reviews from previous house sits add a lot of credibility to your profile 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:

  • 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 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 has received a new review or rating. Both members 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 will always appear at the top of their reviews list. 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 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.