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6 things you need to know before hiring a house or pet sitter these holidays

December 5, 2018 Lifestyle No Comments Email Email

Aussie home owners invite house sitters to enjoy all the comforts of home in exchange for making sure everything on the home front runs smoothly in their absence – it’s a win-win in anyone’s language.

However, recent research has uncovered that majority of house and pet sitters aren’t covered by your home insurance if something were to go terribly wrong.

  • If you engage a “house or pet sitter” and they “steal anything” or “clean out” your home while you’re gone or damage anything it’s not covered by your insurance and you can’t call it a criminal act, because you invited them into your home!
  • If your house sitter injures themselves in or around your home, you’re liable for their injury and most likely your insurance won’t cover the claim
  • To be covered by public liability insurance you have to be a registered business, which nearly every house and pet sitter would not be as no money is exchanged and they are not operating as a business

Natasha Morgan, Founder of My Home Watch and Home Security Expert, states:

“If a house or pet sitter, family member, friend or neighbour you choose doesn’t live up to their billing, it can ruin the entire holiday experience for everyone. We hear stories about this daily from our customers.
Accidental loss and damage are covered as standard, but all insurers will have exclusions for deliberate damage and theft caused by people lawfully on the property, including house sitters and their guests, so be aware who you are getting to house sit.

If a house sitter was going to be staying at a property for two weeks or more, an insurer may treat them as a tenant and amend a policy as a result.”
6 things to look out for when looking for a great carer for your property and pets

  • Use a trusted service that’s insured.
  • Love for Pets. Look for a person with a genuine love for pets. Caring for a pet involves extra responsibilities and it is important that the carer is up to the challenge. Apart from providing food and water, the responsibilities involve general pet care. If the pet is elderly, sick or injured, medication may need to be administered on a schedule.
  • First Impressions Count. Homeowners prefer property and pet carers that are well groomed and caring people. Experience, skills, and qualifications should be considered. This will enable the homeowner to make an informed choice. An individual with experience and good skills will be able to look after the home better. They will also be equipped to handle challenges and find solutions to problems. Even the best-maintained homes can throw surprises and they should be trained to handle them.
  • Reviews or References. References or reviews reassure homeowners. Always look for companies with good reviews.
  • Flexible with Dates. Homeowners prefer carers who are flexible with dates and locations. They should be able to cater to your schedule. You should not have to change your travel plans according to their availability.
  • Great Communication Skills. Choose someone with good communication skills. Homeowners want to be reassured that they have left their homes and pets in good hands. You don’t want to come back to a badly maintained home because you misunderstood each other. Lack of communication can ruin the entire experience.

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