How to Hire a House Sitter

It’s that time of year and you can’t wait to get away on holiday, but the thought of leaving your house unprotected, or your animals with someone you don’t know, puts a damper on your spirits. You ask around, your friends, family, friends of friends. Maybe you luck out – this is option 1 to ensure your holiday is carefree.

If you don’t find someone, then the next step is choosing whether you want to use a private house sitter (usually a student), or go through a house sitting agency.

Pros of Private House Sitters

  • Cheaper as there are no agency fees involved
  • You could be helping out a friend of a friend

Cons of Private House Sitters

  • Admin as you have to advertise the position (which could cost money); screen all the applicants
  • Less security as you have no comeback if something goes wrong

Pros of House Sitting Companies

  • Security as there are contracts in place (if there are no contracts/ procedures, we wouldn’t consider it a professional company)
  • No admin for you or screening of applicants
  • Once you have found a company you like, it makes future holidays planning as simple as a phone call/ email

Cons of House Sitting Companies

  • Cost is higher as companies need to add a fee so they can run the business

With this is mind, if you do decide to go through a house sitting agency, what sort of things does that process involve?


There should be house sitting contracts between you and the company, as well as contracts between the house sitter and the company. Read through the terms and conditions and ensure you are aware of all the costs involved.

Who Are The House Sitters?

You should ask about the house sitters, who they are and how they are screened. Some other tips:

  • Ask if you can meet the person first before confirming
  • Give clear instructions and boundaries.
    • If you want to rather lock your main bedroom and have the house sitter stay somewhere else, say so!
    • If you would rather not have the house sitter eat any food etc, say so!

Information to Leave:

  • Your household’s safety procedures and emergency contacts
  • Where the power boxes and trip switches are (and maybe where there are candles/ torch in case of power outages)
  • Feeding instructions for Pets (including where to buy food in case they run out/ ensure you leave enough food)
  • Cleaning instructions if there is a domestic worker/ gardener
  • Watering schedule if you maintain a garden/ veggie patch

Contact us if you would like to hire one of our house sitters.

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2 comments on “How to Hire a House Sitter
  1. richard cunning says:

    I’ve been a private house sitter for many years, primarily for friends and family.

    For two years I looked after a small farm in Magaliesburg.

    As a private person it’s near impossible to get new clients despite advertising.

    What do you suggest?

    • admin says:

      Thanks for your comment! We agree that as a private house sitter, it is difficult to attract new clients. When one works out your rate, you should take into account marketing costs and time involved, so that you can invest in some online advertising. Alternatively, a company such as ours enables you to be a sort of freelancer, but you don’t have to worry about the advertising.

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