If you want to make the leap into House Sitting, we recommend that you consider putting together your own House Sitting Agreement. There are many examples listed in the various House Sitting sites listed on the web. The key in our agreement is (simply) it is an agreement and not meant to be a legal binding agreement as no money is involved. The agreement should be mutual.
Some tips and tricks for putting together your own House Sitting Agreement.
- View each House Sitting website’s service agreement. You will note that some have only a short agreement and others quite detailed. Print these out and highlight what you think is important for you.
- Be prepared to change your House Sitting agreement as you become more experienced. We are up to issue #5. Each House Sitting assignment will be different, domestic will be different from an overseas assignment.
- We have a formal section where we outline what the Home Owner is responsible for e.g. dates of the house sit, what dates you as the House Sitter are expected to arrive and depart, payment of any utilities (especially for longer-term House Sits), cleanliness of the home, who is responsible for damages e.g. water leaks, electrical issues etc and when payment is made if you are out of pocket, the pets that you are to care for, what duties around the home, garden and pool maintenance etc. In this formal section, we list any persons other than yourselves (mutually agreed by the homeowner) who are able to visit you on the property, that you will hand the property back to the owner in the condition it was handed over to you, that the assignment is a mutual agreement between the Home Owner and House Sitter.
- The formal section of the mutual agreement is then signed and dated and signatures witnessed once both parties are clear on their responsibilities.
- The mutual agreement is not a legal binding agreement as no money is paid to the House Sitter for the services provided. If money is paid to the House Sitter for the services provided then this will considerably change the legal status between the parties.
Attached to the formal party of the agreement is a Schedule A. This will vary depending on the type of house sit you are on, some examples of what we include in this section are:
- Contact details
- Pets/animals to care for e.g. type of animal/pet, breed, age, feeding routine, medication
- Local Vet’s Name, Address and Emergency Contact details
- Garden maintenance
- Swimming pool maintenance
- Plumber contact details
- Electrician contact details
- Local emergency number, hospital, police etc
- Staff telephone numbers and their duties
- Location of the electrical box, water meter etc
- Wifi details such as provider, password and router location, wifi package
- Emergency contact of a friend or relative in the case of a catastrophic event happening to the homeowner and who would be able to take over from you at the end of the house sit
- and more….. depending on the individual requirements of the house sit
When do you discuss the agreement with the home owner
We mention that we have a House Sitting agreement at the first meeting whether it is a face to face meeting or via Skype. We ask them whether they have one that they have used in the past or whether they would like a copy of ours. In our experience, we send to the House Owner our agreement changed according to their requirements and we ask them to complete it and return it back to us prior to the sit commencing. If there are areas that we are not sure of most often we have time to work this through with the House Owners prior to the House Sitting assignment. It is important to ensure that after they sign the House Sitting agreement that you also sign the agreement and send it back to them duly signed.
If the House Owners are present at the handover we normally run through the agreement with them one more time or if they are not present a Skype call to ensure that we both know what responsibilities both parties have.
Should you wish to see a copy of our House Sitting agreement, click on the link below.