House Sitter FAQs – Your Guide to Securing Your Dream House Sitting Stay

Ashwin Kumar

House Sitting has become a prominent feature on my nomadic itinerary.

It has allowed me to better immerse myself in the locations I visit, whilst giving my bank balance a little respite from financing the cost of accommodation as I travel.

I’ve looked after properties in eight different countries over the last two years, and have learnt a great deal not only about the locations I’ve visited, but also about the many benefits of house sitting. Each sit has presented challenges which have allowed me to learn a range of new skills and although some, such as alpaca herding, may not appear on my employment CV, all have contributed to my list of life experiences.

Having spent so much time living like a local and walking a mile in the shoes of people all over the world, I thought perhaps I might have a few pearls of wisdom that I could share with anyone contemplating applying for their first house sitting stay.

As a house sitter there are certain factors which you need to consider, questions that you may have regarding the application process, or perhaps a break down of exactly what house sitting entails.

I hope my handy house sitter FAQs will offer you some answers.

I pay annual membership to TrustedHousesitters and have used their platform to secure sits in amazing destinations like New York, Las Vegas, Sydney, Barbados, and St Kitts & Nevis. If you choose to purchase membership through a link in this article a percentage of your payment will go to me. Thank you in advance for your support in helping to keep my blog online!


The simple answer is anyone.

There are no prerequisites and no regulations defining who is eligible to become a house sitter. The only requirements are those laid out by the homeowners to whom you are applying.

With that in mind, ensure you apply for opportunities you believe best suit your skills set and interests.


Again this is determined by the homeowners to whom you are applying.

For the most part a sitter is simply asked to maintain a presence at a property, they may also be required to care for animals, fulfil certain household chores and property maintenance; just as the owner would while living on site. In some cases they may even be asked to take on some gardening and DIY, however this is to be agreed upon at the time you accept the sit.

Each opportunity is unique and you should treat it as such. Take the time to talk to the owners and understand exactly what they require from their sitter.


Almost anywhere.

I have found that TrustedHousesitters offers the largest portfolio of international sits, meaning that it is likely you will be able to apply for an opportunity in the country of your choice.

Having said that most popular locations are the UK, France, Australia, and New Zealand so keep this in mind when applying for sits in those regions.

If you are considering applying for foreign sits read my handy guide to house sitting abroad and ensure you are aware of the additional considerations involved.



There are a number of benefits associated with house sitting.


  • Whether you are looking to subsidise the cost of self-catered accommodation during your forthcoming holiday, or reduce the cost of your monthly expenditure on rent, the advantages are the same. Predominantly house sitters incur few or no costs during their stay.


  • House sitting offers the opportunity to build new relationships with individuals across the globe. The house sitting community is bursting with homeowners from all walks of life and all four corners of the globe, so you never know who you might meet.


  • What better opportunity is there to experience life in the locations you visit than to walk a mile in the shoes of a resident? Try them on for size and spend time exploring their world. Never be a ‘tourist’ again. We are often introduced to friends and neighbours who welcome us into the community and share their local knowledge.


Over the last five years I have been registered with a number of house sitting platforms however I have had the most success with TrustedHousesitters. The world’s largest house and pet sitting community they offer members access to world-leading trust and safety features as well as, in my opinion, the most easily navigable website and application process.

I pay annual membership to TrustedHousesitters and have used their platform to secure sits in amazing destinations like New York, Las Vegas, Sydney, Barbados, and St Kitts & Nevis. If you choose to purchase membership through a link in this article a percentage of your payment will go to me. Thank you in advance for your support in helping to keep my blog online!


Experience is great but not vital, everyone has to start somewhere.

Take the time to construct an informative profile and detail your motivations for becoming a sitter. Source character references from your current landlord or employer.

The key to securing an assignment is to demonstrate to the homeowner that you are the perfect match for their advertised requirements. Decide what ‘type’ of assignment you feel you would be most suited to, and tailor your profile accordingly.


Your house sitter profile is effectively an employment CV so treat it as such.

Maintain a professional tone but allow your character to shine through. Focus on attributes you feel best highlight you as a suitable candidate but be transparent about any circumstances that may inhibit your ability to accept some opportunities.

For example, if you are terrified of reptiles or allergic to cats, it might be advisable to draw attention to that fact. In the end, it will save both you and any homeowners considering your application a lot of time in wasted correspondence.

For more information read our guide to creating a successful house sitter profile .


This is really down to your itinerary and personal preferences.

If you are totally flexible then apply for every opportunity which you believe you can competently and confidently commit to. If you have some set dates and preferred locations, then search using those criteria and don’t get distracted by assignments you are unable to take on.

Don’t forget to keep track of which homeowners you enter into discussions with. As soon as you commit to an opportunity, inform any other homeowners you had applied to and update your availability on your profile.


The short answer is no.

No one is ever guaranteed to secure every opportunity they apply for. Much like when applying for a job you will be competing against others who have similar qualifications.

The best course of action you can take is to construct a comprehensive house sitter profile, read the advert, and understand the homeowner’s needs. Following this take the time to craft a tailored application letter detailing exactly why you are the perfect candidate.


When completing your house sitter profile this is something you will be asked to stipulate.

Remember that if you do choose to charge a fee for house sitting and you accept an assignment in a foreign country, you will need to apply for the relevant working visa.


As with all other aspects of house sitting this is unique to each opportunity.

Expenses that an owner may ask you to cover;

  • Utilities such as gas, electricity, water and internet
  • Maintenance of the property ie plumbing, repairs, pool maintenance etc

I have found that most owners only ask their sitter to pay utility costs if they are in the property for longer than a month. However some choose not to ask their house sitters to contribute anything. You must ensure you discuss this with the homeowners before accepting an assignment.

Always ask the question ‘What financial responsibilities will I have during the assignment’.


This is at the discretion of the homeowner and will most likely be determined by whether they have their own pets and allow animals in the house.

Should you wish to travel with your pet, be sure to discuss this with the homeowner and make your intentions clear in your application.


Some homeowners find it beneficial to sign a short agreement detailing the responsibilities passed over to the sitter and any agreements made prior to their departure.

If presented with a contract / agreement read it thoroughly and don’t be afraid to voice any concerns or suggest amendments before you sign on the dotted line.


Very often homeowners are inundated with applications so do not be disheartened if you do not receive a response.

Should you wish, send them a short ‘did you receive my application’ message to prompt a reply, however, don’t forget to focus your energy on applying for further opportunities in the meantime.

I have signed up for daily email alerts and make a point of applying for opportunities as soon as I see the listing. In my experience, it is those I apply for promptly with which I have the most success.


It is a fact of life that plans change and life’s little surprises sometimes land on our doorstep. If you find yourself unable to honour a commitment alert the homeowner immediately to allow them to source a suitable replacement.

If you find yourself unable to attend at very short notice, do try and work with the owners to find a replacement. It may be that a member of your family or one of your friends can cover you, but present this option to the homeowners so they can approve your representative. Don’t just send them in blind.

You may find that it is the homeowner cancelling last minute. If you have booked and paid for flights or transport with their knowledge, talk to them about the possibility that they could assist you with the financial burden.

If you are contemplating becoming a house sitter and your question or concern has not been covered in this guide, then please feel free to contact us. We would be more than happy to share our thoughts and experience with you and would be thrilled to add additional information to this guide.

I pay annual membership to TrustedHousesitters and have used their platform to secure sits in amazing destinations like New York, Las Vegas, Sydney, Barbados, and St Kitts & Nevis. If you choose to purchase membership through a link in this article a percentage of your payment will go to me. Thank you in advance for your support in helping to keep my blog online!


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What are your thoughts on becoming a house sitter? Share your comments with us below.

Travel Blogger & Photographer
    1. Hey Dag, Thanks for your question! There are two things you should consider if you’re looking to get a job while you house sit.

      The first is to discuss your intentions with the homeowner and ensure they are comfortable with you being away from the property each day. Many assignments are advertised because the owner would like a presence at their home for the majority of the day.

      The second is to find out what visa requirements are put in place regarding employment for visitors to the country. It is likely you will have to apply for an employment visa if you are not a native.

      Hope that helps!

      1. Were English and thinking of signing up. how would you fund your travel if not working while house sitting? thanks 🙂 great site

  1. Great article Charlie, house sitting’s the ONLY way we travel. Five years, five continents, too many homes and four legged furry kiddies to count and amazing new found friendships all when we’d retired and thought life would become TOO normal …. not a chance we have more requests than we can manage, cloning’s the answer, have they perfected it yet?

  2. Thanks Charli for those tips, we just signed up to an house-sitting website and hopefully we’ll start soon. I’ve done in the past so I already have some experience if that will count, let’s wait and see! 🙂

    1. Wishing you guys the best of luck! Focus on making your profile as appealing – while still being fact based – as you can and you’ll be well on your way to securing an assignment!

  3. Hi

    Great site. We started Pet sitting full time 8 months ago. 10 fantastic pet sits later and we have never looked back. We love it.

    1. Wow that’s some going! 10 sits in 8 months, good job! We’ve been house sitting full time for the last 3 years and have no plans to stop! It’s such an incredible way to see the world!

  4. Hi Charli, good to see other people spreading the word about house sitting! We did Our first house sit in Thailand in July, and loved it. We can’t think of a better way to save some money and have a break from hostels. We aspire to have a house sitting profile like yours, if we can get as many as you two in the next few years we’ll be happy people! Jenna

    1. Asia is somewhere we’d love to house sit. To date we’ve been so fortunate in our application successes, we’ve met some great folks and now have good friends all over the world! I’m pleased to hear you’re enjoying your house sitting adventures!

  5. Hi Charli 🙂
    You are inspirational! I love your blog already 🙂
    I had never thought of house sitting as a feasible long term answer, but you really make it seem like the way to go. My question is, do you go from one assignment to another? Or what do you do in between? My partner and I are beginning our travel plans (HOW?!?!?! Lol) and trying to kind of figure out the logistics. Do you live off savings in between and for getting to the next place?
    Thanks heaps for all your great info – I look forward to reading a lot more!

    1. Hey Jessie, thanks for your comment! Ben and I try to incorporate house sitting assignments with periods of travel. We find a balance of the two works really well for us and we love arriving at a sit after a month or so on the road just as much as we do when we leave a sit to travel again. Sometimes we do schedule assignments back to back, it depends on the location, cost of travel in-between etc. We do have some savings and investments which keep us going day to day but we also pick up freelance work to top up our fund. Wishing you guys the best of luck with your plans and travels. Just shout if you want to chat in more detail.

      Cheers, Charli

  6. I’m Adventurer Stacey from twitter, you sent me a link to your blog posts about house sitting. Thank you so much for that! I have been reading through your advice and find it really helpful so far. 🙂

  7. This post just gave us HOPE! We’re two avid travel YouTubers…and we’ve never really known where to start with house sitting! Good thing I’ve been scouring this site for the past hour; thanks Charli, I’m now reading THE ULTIMATE HOUSE SITTING GUIDE. Wait, maybe I should have read that first? lol

    1. That’s awesome to hear! House sitting has allowed us to live rent free for almost 4 years now. We’ve looked after 25 properties in 8 different countries and met some really incredible people and pets. Having said that, it’s really important to understand that house sitting comes with responsibilities that you wouldn’t otherwise have when staying in hotels and hostels, or even couchsurfing. If you’re happy to take on a little house work and pet care during your trip then house sitting is a great way to travel!

  8. Hi Charli–Thanks for all your incredibly informative posts. I’m a freelance writer and am interested in trying out housesitting. I can do my work from any location, but it’s very important that I have reliable, decently fast Internet available for research and sending files. Have you learned anything in your travels about areas that tend to have poor Internet service so I know to stay away from them? (Or maybe there’s a site that lists this kind of info–I’ll check that out too.)

  9. Charli, thanks for the great post. My husband and I have talked about doing this sometime or maybe doing a house trade or whatever they call it. This info is SO helpful. I hope to be able to do this someday and walk in their shoes as you say. The last few times we went to Europe (mostly Paris) we rented a flat for a couple of weeks. It was great and we got to know the grocers, etc. I loved feeling like part of the community. Thanks again for a great post.

  10. If you go for a vacation then it is important to take care of your property. You want to see the condition of your home in the same state as before you left that home and for this you need the service of a house sitter. The role of a house sitter is to take care of your home property and also your pet animal. But to hire a pet sitter is not a easy task, so before hire a house sitter some important points are there that you should keep in your mind. The house sitter must be experienced one; he should not drink alcohols, non-smoker and also a pet lover.

  11. What an informative article! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience!

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