A few good things to know
House sitting is when someone comes to live in your home whilst you are away. Their role is to look after your pets, home and property in the way you specify. House sitters stay overnight in your home, which has great security benefits in addition to the one-on-one care your pets receive.
Our company was established in 1998. A major difference between THC and other websites is that our organisation is run by staff (not just computers) and we vet our sitters before letting them house sit for you.
Other sites can’t offer our level of service because their customers are the sitters, not the homeowners. They don’t have staff responsible for your house sit and they don’t know anything about their sitters, as they are 100% run by a computer. The most common issue we hear about with other websites is sitters cancelling last minute and the homeowner not having anyone to call.
We are there to deal with any situations that arise before, during or after your house sit. For many, this peace of mind is the main reason they choose The Housesitting Company.
An important aspect of what we do at THC is to filter through the hundreds of applications we receive from people wanting to be house sitters. Before we accept anybody into The Housesitting Company team they must pass through our 4-step vetting process, which includes:
Once a sitter is registered with us, we work with them to make sure they are providing an excellent service to you as well as achieving their own house sitting goals. After every house sit we gather feedback from the homeowners so you can view their performance history.
Your house sitters role is to care for your pets and home. Your sitter is not there to give your house a spring clean, run your home business or look after your homestay student living in the granny flat.
You can expect your house sitter to follow your instructions and to treat your pets and property with respect. Your sitter will provide their own food and toiletries. The sitter will not consume anything of yours even if offered.
We have a No Guests/No Pets policy for sleepovers, even with permission from the homeowner, as guests and pets are not covered under our Public Liability policy.
Some house sitters have regular jobs themselves and therefore won’t be home all of the time. If your pets are needing a daytime sitter, we advise you mentioning this in your listing and asking for a retiree or someone who works from home. We also suggest that you mention your preference for sitters who can stay at your home for the majority of the time on your listing.
Most house sits cost between $16 - $25 per day depending on your pets and the duration of the sit. The easiest way to figure out the exact price for your house sit is to Get A Quote.
House Sitting Rates
|Base rate (add on pets):||$15 per day (with no pets)|
|Dogs:||$6 flat rate, includes walking|
|Cats:||$4 flat rate|
|Fish Tank:||$3 flat rate|
|Birds:||$4 flat rate, includes cage cleaning|
|Poultry:||$4 flat rate, includes cage cleaning|
|Horses:||$4 flat rate|
|Livestock:||$7 for 5 and below total, and $10 above that|
|Reptiles:||$5 flat rate, includes cage cleaning|
|Small Pets (i.e. Rabbits):||$5 flat rate, includes cage cleaning|
Minimum charge rate for house sits is $149
Maximum charge rate up to 42 days is $699 and each additional days $10
Holiday surcharge of 15% applies to sits that fall between Holidays
Holiday minimum charge for housesits is $249
We will credit the final fee if the cancellation is outside of the client’s control and we retain the deposit for the work already carried out.
If a sitter cancels a booking, we will refund the entire booking fee.
There is no minimum or maximum length of time, just minimum and maximum rates. If your trip away is less than 1 week. See How much are your services?
If the client has other people living on site, they must provide the housesitter with their own living space and bathroom.
We have sitters all over New Zealand, with Auckland being our busiest region. To see who we have available in your area, start by listing your house sit and we will send your requirements out to sitters near you and see who is available.
We cater for all domestic pets and farm animals. We may even consider a snake, although it will be more difficult to find willing sitters. Our sitters are all pet lovers and come from a variety of backgrounds. In the past we have cared for donkeys, horses, cows, pigs, sheep, chinchillas, lizards, peacocks, rabbits, aviaries, frogs, rats, guinea pigs, worm farms, hens, magpies, fish, chickens, ducks, geese and 1000s of cats and dogs.
Depending on your pet's needs, you could either leave the sitter with enough pet food for the duration of the house sit or you can leave them cash in case they need to buy more food for your pets. The sitter will give you the receipts for any purchases made with your money.
You do not pay any of your sitters living expenses. They will bring their own food and toiletries. You are not expected to tip your house sitters or pay anything extra.
Sitters do not pay rent. That is one of the main reasons they house sit. So the utility bills would be your cost, but should not exceed what you usually pay for these services. For longer housesits (5 weeks or more) your house sitter may be willing to contribute towards the utilities that they use, but this would be negotiated between you and the sitter prior to them accepting your house sit. You must let The Housesitting Company know if you are expecting paid contribution so we don’t send you sitters who aren’t happy with this arrangement.
For security reasons we do not disclose the homeowner's personal contacts or full address, just the street name and the dates show on the listing. Later when the client makes contact with the sitter, they can provide more information.
To our knowledge, The Housesitting Company has the lowest cancellation rate by sitters in our industry. This is because our sitters take commitments seriously and our booking system doesn’t let sitters apply for overlapping sits once they have been booked for you…even if longer or more appealing sits come up. We are very strict about this and our sitters understand that letting a homeowner down would be the end of them house sitting with us.
We get a surprising amount of new customers calling us for help after their ‘friend-of-a-friend’ cancelled on them one week before their sit was about to start. Our sitters won’t do that to you.
In the exceptionally rare case that a sitter can’t complete your sit (i.e. for sickness, family emergencies, etc) we would contact you to explain the situation and suggest solutions. We would do our very best to provide you with another sitter or offer to refund your money proportionally based on the days remaining until you return.
We believe that the safest thing you can do for your home is to have a Housesitting Company sitter living there while you are away. Most insurance companies specify that your insurance policy is void if your home is unoccupied for a certain length of time.
The Housesitting Company carries Public Liability Insurance to cover for ‘accidental loss or damage to property caused by the sitters’. In addition to our insurance, we do recommend that you tell your own insurance company that you’ll be having a house sitter, as they would be covering any claim not caused directly by the sitter.
Obviously, we don’t expect there to be any issues during your house sit, but it’s good to be prudent when it comes to insurance.
Our sitters are not employees or contractors. They are individual volunteers who agree to our Terms and Conditions and complete our Vetting Process before being accepted into The Housesitting Company.
We have considered paying our sitters but have opted not to. This is because we want to keep our charges to homeowners down and stick to our motto of being 'more affordable than kennels and catteries'. We know that the top priority for our sitters is to get more house sits so we have chosen to stick with our current business model rather than increase prices to compensate sitters.
They do it for the lifestyle! Travelling around beautiful New Zealand, living in different locations and experiencing other people’s lifestyles. House sitting is an adventure.
They love pets! Most of our sitters have grown up with animals but due to their current living arrangements, sometimes they aren’t able to have any. House sitting provides them the opportunity of enjoying your pets whilst you are away!
Many homeowners don't realise that the small print in many standard insurance policies excludes damage caused by people brought in to house sit for them. And for those whose insurance does cover such damage, there is inevitably an excess payable.
We want to avoid any possible dispute by relieving the homeowner of the risk. It is also a comfort to sitters, who are generally undertaking the house sit for free.
It is worth noting that NO homeowner or Third Party Liability policy covers intentional damage by sitters, or damage caused as a result of methamphetamine or other drug use. That is why it is so important to have sitters professionally vetted.