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What Is House Sitting?
House sitting is an arrangement for someone to live at your home and look after it while you are away. Short term house sitting is a situation of mutual help, neither party wishing the other to be out of pocket because of it. The house sitters gain by living rent free for that period while the owners of the property can maintain security and have pets cared for while they are away.
What Are The Benefits Of Being A House Sitter?
The ultimate house sitting situation for the travelling caravanner would be a property with an area big enough to park their caravan, thereby saving on storage costs for the caravan for the duration of the house sitting period.
Some of the advantages for the travelling caravanner would be –
Not having the expense of caravan park fees
Caravan can often be in a secure area of the property ie behind fence boundaries
While staying, you can drive and explore the local area
What Are The Benefits Of Having House Sitters While You Travel?
- having your home, pool and garden tended in your absence
- having your home occupied in your absence, without the security concerns of leaving an empty house. (some insurers do not cover homes unoccupied for > 30 days);
- having your pets cared for in their familiar environment, without having the cost of boarding them at kennels or a cattery.
What Do You Have To Consider When Having House Sitters While You Travel?
- are they reputable – do you need to do police checks or do they have references. If so, ring and talk to the referee.
- what do you want the house sitters to do for you while you are away eg:- compile a list like feeding livestock, minding pets, mowing, watering plants, collect mail, put out garbage bins
- provide food for pets or livestock plus details of such things like food times, dietary and medical requirements. Provide contact details for the vet.
- set up a written agreement of what both parties agree to do and in exchange for what and for how long
- will you give them access to your home or say just the toilet, shower or laundry while you are away. If so, arrange keys/burglar alarm code.
- where will you let them set up their RV on your property and is there power available for them
- do they have pets and are you okay with their pet being there
- let your neighbours know you have house sitters and introduce them
- make other arrangements for payment of bills or collection of mail if necessary
- let your friends know where and how you can be contacted
As A House Sitter What Do You Need To Be Able To Do To House Sit?
- list yourself with a house sitting agency or RV network
- obtain references, a CV or a record of a police check
- have a clear understanding of what you have to do in exchange for what eg: looking after pets, mowing etc in exchange for electricity for your RV plus laundry and bathroom facilities and for how long. Better still enter into a signed agreement or letter of understanding.
- if looking after livestock or pets obtain details of their dietary requirements, medication, food supply, feeding schedules and vet’s name and address
- are you physically able and do you have the experience to do what is required
- obtain house keys and alarm code password (if any)
- ask the property owner to show you where the mower and fuel is kept
- ask the property owners to show you how to shut off gas, electricity and water in event of any emergency
- obtain car keys for any other vehicles that may need to be moved in case of fire or other emergency
- obtain the property owner’s mobile telephone or other contact details for when they are away
- have the property owners introduce you to their neighbours so the neighbours are aware you are there
- make sure everything is clean and in order when the property owner returns
- obtain a reference from the property owner if they are happy with your house sit
Finding A House Sitter
To find a house sitter do a Google Search and type in ‘house sitters Australia’ and scroll through the various sites available.