Case Study - Why homesitters can be invaluable in a probate situation

Posted on 10 May, 2016

Rest in Peace

In 2015, a brother and sister from Bolton in Lancashire used Homesitters, the national home and pet sitting company, to look after the home of their late Mother and ensure it was safe and secure whilst unoccupied. The brother who was Homesitters' main contact lived in Bolton, while the sister lived in London.

The brother said, “When my mother died, my sister and I had to decide either to empty the house and sell it or keep it going and maybe extend and develop it before we sold it. We didn’t want to rush our decision. We also wanted to give the family time to come and visit and decide what furniture they wanted. However, we were very concerned the house would be unoccupied, fall into disrepair and be a real target for burglars.”

He approached his insurance company for advice and they recommended Homesitters as a company that could provide reliable people to look after the home for this period.

It proved to be a great option. Homesitters was even able to find someone to come on the day of funeral to keep my sister’s house secure when she was away.

In the two years before their mother’s death they had employed live-in carers to look after their Mother and one of their rooms became a bedroom for the homesitters.

The brother said, “Homesitters is a very professional company. They selected really nice people to come and stay. We were given information about them and were invited to meet with them first to ensure we were comfortable and confident they were the right people to look after the home.”

A succession of homesitters - both couples and single people - were then employed over the next year.

Typically, they would stay for three to four weeks and then rotate with another homesitter or go home when the sister visited – a process the brother describes as ‘seamless’.

One of the homesitters Bernie Durkin, from Manchester said, “We particularly enjoy probate home sits because you really get to know the family and they get to know you. It’s really important they trust you as they are leaving the property in your hands.”

Another homesitter Sue Carlisle from Derbyshire said, “Usually our assignments are focused on looking after pets, but with this one the security of the house was the most important thing.

When we were staying at the house, there was the dreadful flooding in Lancashire and thankfully, we kept it water free. The rain was torrential so we unblocked the gutters to stop the house flooding and checked the windows weren’t leaking.

Also while we were there the gas board was digging up the road outside and needed to check inside the property that gas hadn’t backtracked up the pipes so we were able to let them in to measure the gas levels.”

The brother concluded, “Employing homesitters wasn’t the cheapest option – we paid a daily allowance for food as well as travel expenses, but it was worth it as it gave us peace of mind and the fact we didn’t have to rush into making any decisions about the house.

The homesitters went out of their way to look after the home and keep it clean – even though we have a cleaning lady that came too. It was a very good arrangement and I would recommend it to anyone in our circumstances.”

“Having a homesitter meant that all bases were covered, not only was the house secure from the threat of burglars or squatters, but also from the risk of damage from flooding, storms or power cuts.”

If you need someone to maintain the security of the home of a loved one, or that of your own while you attend the funeral, please click here to fill in a reservation form.


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