Rule one: DON’T snoop. There’s always a chance that you could be caught on camera. If that happens, the chances of you being asked to house sit again are zero -with your credibility washed down the drain.
When the owners come back you can be proud knowing that you did all you could to efficiently take care of their home. After all, you’re still a guest in their home, even if it may start feeling like yours after three weeks of living there.
Know what is expected of you
There’s no need for you to spring clean the property, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean up after yourself at all. Dusting off, sweeping out and doing dishes are common etiquette rules that shouldn’t be disposed of when house sitting. Follow all the guidelines the owner gives you, even if you feel it’s unnecessary. What’s more, be sure to have the following questions answered before the owner leaves:
- Contact details of neighbours – they’re usually the people that will be first on the scene in the event of an emergency.
- Contact details of family members.
- The owner’s destination contact details.
- A clear list of what they expect of you.
- Whether or not you are allowed to have what’s in their pantry.
Do house checks
Walk through the property with the owner to do a proper house check, as well as reading the meter and electricity usage. Enquire what the typical usage is at that time of the year. This way you can keep an eye on your consumption and keep it at the appropriate level. You’re not going through any personal papers for home loans, there is no need to feel like you can’t ask the owner for this information. It will only show that you are considerate and responsible.
Before you leave
Ensure that everything is the way you found it. Don’t rearrange their lounge suites or store items in a different location from where you found it. If the faucet happens to leak during the time you have been living there you can tighten it and you can change a fused light bulb. But don’t tamper with any major jobs such as seeing to the plumbing or electrical wiring.
As a nice gesture, put out fresh flowers for when the owners come back. They will appreciate the warm welcome.