Housesitting FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Tender Laura Care has compiled the following list of the most frequently asked questions for her pet sitting and dog walking services. If your questions are not answered here, please feel to contact me.

Put together a hotel-style binder

You know how hotels usually provide a binder filled with local information and phone numbers for the convenience of guests? Why not create something similar for me, so that all essential information is in your home and easy to find?

And you can use it over and over again. Here are some suggestions.

Your contact information

Most importantly, leave me a phone number and/or email address where I can contact you, or leave you a message.

Ground Rules

These may be rules imposed by your own landlord or body corporate that the sitter should know about. Or they may be rules that you yourself want me to observe (like keeping the noise down to stay friendly with the neighbors, not having overnight guests, not using a particular room, not using your best china, the liquor cabinet etc.)

Rubbish collection

Let me know which night to put out your garbage and recycling bins.

Mail

If you’re going to be away for some time, a mail redirection is probably in order. Otherwise, let me know if you wish for me to collect and organize your mail and newspapers (if applicable).

Emergency numbers

Under the principle “it’s best to have them and not need them,” you might like to include the phone numbers for Fire, Police, Ambulance services, Plumbers, and even Electricians. Also leave your local Vet and Doctor’s addresses and phone numbers.

Advise others that you’ll be away

It’s a good idea to tell people who are close to you that you have a house sitter coming in during the period you’ll be away. This avoids unnecessary concerns and embarrassments.

Service people

If you have a mower man, cleaner, gardener etc, either suspend the service, or advise them that you’ll have a sitter in for the period of your absence. If you have newspapers delivered, either cancel them, or let me know not to leave them outside.

Insurance

Your insurance shouldn’t be affected, as long as your house remains occupied. I have my own insurance.

Within the home

Clean up

Clean and tidy your house and yard, especially if you want me to leave the premises in the condition in which I found them or better.

Perishables

Either clean out your fridge and cupboards of anything that might spoil while you’re away, or give me permission to use them or chuck them.

No-go areas

Please let me know if there are certain rooms out of bounds if they’re not essential to the sitter’s needs.

Subscriptions

You may want to cancel your newspaper, magazine, cable TV, DVD rental and similar subscriptions for the period of your absence. The same applies to deliveries of organic vegetables and dairy products.

Phone and Internet

Please provide the user name and password for me at each visit. I will not always remember them.

TV set

If you’ve got a large-screen television set with three or four remotes, it might be a good idea to show me how they all work, or at least leave instructions.

Your mode of transportation:

Use of your vehicle/s

Decide if you’re going to allow me to use any of your vehicles. If so, explain any quirks, special requirements or restrictions. Make sure I know how to turn off and reset any alarms, plus where you keep and how to operate any remote controls.

Motor vehicle insurance

If I will be using your car, check your insurance, and if necessary add my name to the policy. Confirm in writing that I am responsible for any repairs and damages caused by me, and any insurance excess.

Maintenance

If you want your car started once per week, or to have leaves, dust and bird droppings removed, either includes this in your house sitting agreement, or notifies me by a written.

Your sitter’s needs:

Spare keys

It cannot hurt for back up keys.

Linen

Please leave out clean bed linen and towels for me. And provide new sheets for me to replace if possible.

Basic supplies

Provide basics like soap, toilet paper, and towels for my arrival.

Parking

If you live where parking is restricted, advise your sitter of the best place to park. If necessary (and possible), organize a visitor’s parking permit for them.

Utilities:

Gas and electricity

Show me where the meters, fuse boxes and cutoff switches are, and how to operate them.

Heating and air conditioning

Explain how to operate these systems, or leave their instruction books in your folder.

Washing machine and dryer

Leave written instruction of their usage.

House cleaning:

Vacuum cleaner, duster, cleaning products

Explain and show where you keep your cleaning supplies and equipment.

Indoor plants

Leave instructions for the care, watering and feeding of your indoor plants.

Yard maintenance:

Garden

If I am expected to water the plants or garden, make sure the relevant tools are accessible.

Security systems

Give me clear instructions on how to operate your alarm system.

Tools

If I need to change a light bulb or mend a fence, please point out your toolbox.

My home

I NEVER take in pets into my home. The reason is if an animal urinate onto my property, other animals will be tempted to urinate over my property to mark “their” territory. I wish to avoid that.