This has been taken from our Christian House Sitters website (www.Christian-housesitters.com ) and slightly adapted for this blog posting
Housesitting is a wonderful way to enjoy your holiday without having the expense of renting accommodation. However it is important to prepare correctly, as that will mean that you have the very best holiday and your home owners benefit from having you there as well.
Before you agree to the house sit it is important that you have conversation is with the owners during which you find out exactly what they are expecting from you and what they are offering. That way, the are no nasty surprises either party. Hopefully the owners will have listed all their requirements and the details of the property accurately when they joined but it is still worth confirming everything.
If you are going to be looking after animals please find out from the owners what they expect you to do. For example it may be important to not leave the animals alone for more than a set number of hours. You do not want to find this out after you have arrived. It is far better to know before you agree to the house sit.
We strongly recommend that you ask the owners to write down exactly what is expected of you. This may include things such as looking after animals, watering pot plants, taking in the mail or taking telephone messages, etc.
No doubt you will have followed the advice given on our website to have a written agreement with the home owners and these details should be included in that agreement. If not please look at the Suggested Agreement page on website.
Please make a point of arranging your arrival and departure time with the owners before the house sit. Plan your journey carefully as it is obviously important for the owners to be able to leave for their holiday on time and it is very inconvenient if you arrive late.
Remember the owners have been kind enough to allow you the use of their property while they are away so treat it with respect. When they come back, they will expect to find the house is clean and well looked after.
Sadly, accidents do happen, and occasionally there may be a breakage. When that happens, it is your responsibility. And we would expect you to inform the owners as soon as possible and to arrange to either repair or replace the damaged item.
It is always thoughtful and appreciated when a house sitter prepares a meal for the returning family. Remember they have no doubt had a long journey and the last thing they feel like doing on arriving home is preparing a meal.
Discuss with the owners how they feel about you using any supplies that they have left in the house. Do not simply assume that they have been there for your benefit. The owners may will be expecting to use those products when they return. If you do use anything it is good manners to replace it. In the same way you are expected to cover the cost of telephone calls which you make during their absence.
If you do have any questions please clarify them with the owners before you agree to the house sit and if in doubt feel free to contact us.