Questions to Ask on House Sitting Traveling

A vacation house on a beach

If you are planning on taking a “house sitting and travel” job then it is very important to make sure that you are on the same page as the house owners from the outset. Make sure that you know exactly what is expected of you, what is permitted and what is not, and that you and the house owners are definitely on the same page. Here are some questions to ask when house sitting:

Regarding Logistics/ The Home:

  • Where are you going away to, when exactly and for how long? (Make sure you know not only what day they will depart and arrive home but at roughly what times.)
  • Would you like me to arrive a day before you leave? (Some house owners prefer to have a day to go over everything with you and complete the handover.)
  • What are your contact details? How often would you like an update while you are away?
  • Is there an emergency contact should there be a problem with the house or your pets?
  • Does anyone else have keys to the property? Are there spare keys at the neighbor’s, for example?
  • What local attractions would you recommend visiting while I am here?
  • Which areas of your home can I use/ which items are off limits?
  • What household chores/ maintenance jobs would you expect me to undertake while you are away?
  • Can I get online while house sitting? What are the Internet passwords, where is the router/modem etc?
  • When are the bins for trash/ recycling emptied? (Which bins are for what, etc?)
  • How do you work the appliances (washing machine etc.)? Am I permitted to use these?
  • Is any work or are any deliveries scheduled for while you are away?
  • Is there a security system? If so, how do I arm and disarm it?
  • Does the home have any quirky issues that you can help me troubleshoot?

Regarding Pets:

  • What are the daily routines for each pet?
  • Do the pets have any health issues/ medications?
  • What do the pets eat and where are their food/ bowls etc. located?
  • Are pets prohibited in certain parts of the home?
  • Where do the pets sleep?
  • Where do the pets do their business? How often do they require access? (E.g. how often does a dog need to go out into the garden? Does a cat go outside? If so, how often? How often does cat litter need to be changed?)
  • Where are local dog walking areas? (And where are any leashes, toys, dog bags etc.)
  • Are there any behavioral issues I should know about?

While there is no way that you can prepare for every eventuality, asking the above questions should help you to make sure that the “house sitting and traveling” job is for you, and help you avoid some of the most common problems and issues for house sitters.

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