House-sitting: 10 tips for the best experience ever
5. Leave clear instructions
Home-owners should leave a detailed home-book that will be THE reference document for your house-sitters.
“Do not start writing it on the day of arrival – you might forget important daily details,” suggests Mariannig. “Start to write days before, fill it in carefully and once again – take your time.”
Compose a list as you correspond with candidates, adding things prompted by their questions of you. This way you can guarantee that you won’t forget those daily details that are nonetheless important.
As a sitter, make sure the home-owner has done this as it will make your life so much easier. If you come from two different language backgrounds, it can be a good idea to include some small pictures to make absolutely clear what you are referring to. Of course, there will be little things you forget but don’t stress! During the agreement period, you’re still just a phone call away.
6. Gather all manuals and instruction booklets in a specific place
You are making life easier for yourself and your guest if you do this. You won’t be bothered by easily solvable problems while on holidays and your guest will have everything at their fingertips!
7. Make sure to tell your neighbours, friends and family
When leaving your house in your guest’s hands, don’t forget that your neighbours can be of great help – even if you forget to tell your guests something as simple as which night is bin night. And by telling your neighbours and friends about the presence of strangers in your home, there is that bit of added security.
It’s a great idea to leave a list of phone numbers of friends, in case of an emergency or even just for a general inquiry. Plus, the aim is for your sitter to enjoy themselves, so by telling your neighbours about them, the sitter will instantly have some local people to turn to.
8. Try to plan the arrangement so you are there to welcome your house sitters
By asking your sitters to arrive the day before your departure, you will feel a lot more reassured about the arrangement. “This will give you a good margin of safety in case of delay, and enough time for them to undestand your home, get to know your pets, the neighborhood,” Mariannig explains.
You’d be surprised how much easier it is to trust someone when you have shared a meal or even just had a chat face to face. Also, the sitter is likely to feel even more of an obligation to return your home in even better shape than when you left! As Mariannig says: “the icing on the cake will certainly be the building of friendly links!”
But of course, this is not always possible. If not, find a trustworthy friend or relative to welcome them. Then give them a call on the day of their arrival to see if they have any questions and to make sure everything is understood.
9. Draw up a home inventory
Of course this need not be as involved as if you were renting a property, with a list of stains on the carpet or scratches in the paint. But it’s a good idea nevertheless for home-owners to write up an inventory to understand the environment in depth and avoid any misunderstandings or mistakes.
Basic things can be addressed in an inventory, such as: whether the bins have been emptied; the plants watered; is the fridge clean; is the pantry stocked; and so on.
10. Sign a house sitting contract
Although such a contract will be unlikely to have any legal weight, this is not the point. The point is to clearly outline each individual party’s obligations and expectations to avoid any misunderstandings. By having one definitive point of reference, you will both know where you stand in all matters from Internet usage to pet care.
– Download your house-sitting checklist –
The best way to keep track of your house-sitting agreement? A checklist! Click here to download yours – for home-owners and sitters.
Do you have any worries or questions you would like addressed? Share in the comments box below!<< Return to part one or part two. Proud partner of Nomador.com
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