Understanding The Responsibilities of a Housesitter

Housesitting is a great way to earn a living while traveling the world. In fact, it is a very popular side hustle for traveling nomads. It provides them with a free or affordable place to stay while exploring the world. On the other hand, homeowners reap the benefits of having someone in the residence to handle specific tasks and reduce the likelihood of a burglary. Though this sounds like a win-win opportunity, it is essential to understand what’s expected of you before entering your first contract.

Maintain The Property

Housesitters are expected to keep the property up to par. You may be asked to clean the house, tend to yard work, take out the trash, and oversee the work of hired staff such as the gardener, housekeeper, or pool contractor. In a nutshell, homeowners expect sitters to leave the house in the same or better condition than at the start of the contract.

Collect Mail and Packages

Allowing the mail, newspapers, and packages to pile up outside the home sends a message that no one is home. This can increase the likelihood of a residence being robbed. Property owners may ask housesitters to retrieve the mail and special packages and secure them in the home.

Caring for Plants

If there are plants in the home you’re watching; you will likely be required to keep them alive by watering them and ensuring they get enough sunlight. This may also be necessary for outdoor trees, plants, shrubs, and gardens.

Taking Care of Pets

When traveling, most people leave their pets at home. Rather than pay for daily rates at a kennel, homeowners entrust their pets’ care and well-being to the housesitter. It will be your job to make sure that the pets are fed, have plenty of water, and get the exercise they need. For those with tank pets, you may be asked to do more, including maintain the proper temperature and cleaning the tank as needed.

Home Improvement Management

Taking a vacation while having renovations done on the home is a widespread trend. However, since home improvement jobs are very involved, homeowners rely on housesitters to help make the process more comfortable while they’re away. For example, suppose they were hiring roof repair contractors to fix a damaged roof. In that case, you’d be responsible for letting the contractors on the premises, monitoring their progress, and reporting relevant information to the homeowners. You may even be asked to take pictures along the way to ensure things are going as planned.

Vehicle Maintenance

Most people leave their vehicles home when going on vacation. However, leaving a car sitting in front of the house or garage can make a property more vulnerable. If they plan on being away from home for a while, leaving a car sitting can also lead to mechanical issues. As such, you may be asked to start the car or take it for a spin from time to time to keep everything functioning correctly.

Utility Management

While some housesitting contracts won’t require you to pay a cent, others may require you to pay for the usage of utilities while they’re away. It will be your responsibility to cover the cost of the utilities you used while living in the home. These bills will need to be paid in full and on time to prevent ruining the homeowner’s credit or accumulating debt.

Temporary Landlord

If you happen to housesit for a homeowner who has rented out a room or portion of their home to tenants, you may be asked to handle the responsibilities of a landlord temporarily. These responsibilities might include collecting rent, tending to minor maintenance or repair jobs, and reporting any suspicious or inappropriate activity to the homeowner.

If you’d love to travel more but don’t know how you’d afford the nomadic lifestyle, housesitting is undoubtedly worth considering. Before looking for housesitting jobs online, however, it is vital to understand your responsibilities. Knowing this upfront can help you in determining which contracts are best suited for you.


Author: Joseph Hanover

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