Frequently asked questions about Homesitters
What will the homesitter do while he/she is here?
Our homesitter will live in your home to safeguard the security of the property. He/she will keep the areas of the home that they use clean and tidy; will water houseplants; take telephone messages; deal with callers; provide grass-cutting and light garden maintenance, and care for all pets and livestock according to your instructions.
If you want the homesitter to take on additional tasks it is essential that these are discussed with us at the outset to ensure that we make the most appropriate selection. There may be an additional charge for such tasks. Homesitters Limited cannot accept any responsibility for activities outside those stated on our Terms and Conditions and detailed on our confirmation of booking.
Legislation dictates that, generally, if homesitters are required to stay on your property all the time, they have to be paid for that time. Our employees will be inclined to stay in your home voluntarily; we find they are very content to occupy their free time with their own interests such as writing, sketching and embroidery.
What happens if the homesitter has a problem?
Our homesitters are selected to react sensibly to emergencies and if advice or extra help is needed they have only to phone Head Office. 24 hour telephone support is in operation even on Christmas Day, and we have a back-up system of troubleshooters who are available at very short notice.
What about food and living expenses?
The homesitter will expect a normal standard of comfort and warmth, but with a careful eye on the household budget. We ask you to leave a food allowance for one person (£8.00 per day in 2015. £8.20 per day from April 2017). If the homesitter brings his/her partner (only with your permission, of course) you will not be expected to pay for food for the second person. If the homesitters are providing 24 hour cover, we would discuss different arrangements.
How can I be sure that my pet will be happy with the homesitter?
Most of our employees choose to become homesitters because they miss the company of pets and welcome the opportunity to care for animals. When you book, we take a very full brief on your pet’s requirements and normal routine. We then select the appropriate pet sitter whose abilities, experience and attitudes match your requirements. Usually there will be an opportunity for a preliminary meeting long before the assignment, and you will see how your pet reacts to the homesitter. Later, you can go away confident that your pet will be safe and happy on familiar territory.
What happens if I think a homesitter is unsuitable?
Our selection procedures make this very unlikely, but for your peace of mind we like you to meet the homesitter as soon as possible; then if there is any problem you can telephone us and we will re-select.
What if someone else is going to be present during the home sit?
Normally it is not our policy to accept responsibility for a property where other people are resident during our assignment – the security of the property and its contents is lessened if more than one person has responsibility for opening windows and unlocking doors. However, we are happy to discuss special arrangements if we are given full details at time of booking. We can, for example, usually provide companionship – and discreet supervision – for fit older people in self-contained accommodation. We do not offer nursing care, nor can we provide anything which could be construed as ‘caring’.
Should you anticipate workmen being present during our assignment, it is essential that you brief us at the time of booking. With full details of any extra duties and the likely disruption to the household, we can usually provide a suitable homesitter.
What about insurance?
All our employees have been subject to detailed enquiries regarding county court and high court judgments, criminal convictions and bankruptcy. In addition, the company’s main insurances include Employer’s Liability, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity cover. The policies complement the client’s own insurances and are written to look after the client and the homesitter. Insurers welcome Homesitters and many give premium reductions to policyholders who use our services.
Will the homesitter need to use my car?
Homesitters are sometimes permitted by the client to drive the client’s car; usually this is for a specific purpose where the homesitter’s car might be unsuitable. Because of the varying circumstances, Homesitters Limited can accept no responsibility for any incident involving a client’s car; any homesitter driving a client’s car would not be covered by Homesitters Limited insurers. Any arrangements for a homesitter to drive a client’s car should only result from a specific agreement between the driver and the client.
What happens if my return is delayed?
The rules state that the homesitter should not vacate your home until you return (except by express arrangement with you and with Head Office). We advise our homesitters to leave a margin at the end of an assignment to allow for any delay.
Should the delay be so unusually lengthy that our homesitter is unable to remain in residence, he/she would alert Head Office, and we would arrange a suitable replacement to take over.