Who pays for what, with Covid considerations

I was recently asked by a home and pet owner, what expenses he should expect to cover for a house sitter. Typically the answer to this question is pretty simple. For house sitters that don’t charge a fee home owners should ensure they have ample supplies for the pets, garden and home cleaning and take care of the utilities, wifi, stock firewood plus car registration and insurance if vehicle access is included. For a paid sitter the arrangement it is usually similar, but a nightly or weekly fee and possibly travel mileage is negotiated.

Like the subject of traveling again, with Covid considerations, now that countries are opening their borders the home owner and house sitter may have some extra things to think about. This article is the second, in a series of blog posts I am going to write about a broad range of topics highlighting additional considerations concerning home owners and house sitters since Covid-19.

House sitters, like myself that offer their services in exchange for accommodation and an expense free stay usually take care of the travel arrangements and costs between sits. I don’t anticipate this will change, however now traveling in many cases will mean additional costs may be incurred. This is new territory and there isn’t any protocol around this yet, but before agreeing to a house sit the sitter and home owner should come to an understanding on who is going to bear the cost of these (if they apply):

  1. Imposed quarantine or isolation in a hotel or medical facility, or if self isolating at the property ensuring sufficient grocery and food items for the period.
  2. Covid testing.
  3. Mandated travel insurance policies with Covid clauses.
  4. Unexpected travel expenses due to flight cancellations or schedule changes.
  5. Hotel stay or lodging if the house sitter gets stuck in transit or needs to be at an airport early or the night before to meet curfew obligations.

The list above is intended to first of all get you, the reader thinking. Maybe you are starting to think about sitting, or getting a sitter in 2021 or there might be a point or two there that you had not even considered. Regardless, ensure you have an open and honest conversation with the home owner or house sitter to decide what’s appropriate for your situation.

House sitting has always been intended to be a mutually beneficial exchange, regardless if it’s a paid sit or a no fee arrangement. While things are now more complex to plan, discussing these points will ensure no one involved will feel unsupported or have any expenses they did not anticipate may arise.

If you are a home owner with plans to travel this year and interested in having me come and house sit for you please get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you and happy and safe travels if you have a trip or two planned.

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