House sitters provide homeowners with the security of knowing their house and pets will be cared for while they are away. House sitters essentially move into the house while the owners are on vacation or extended leave. For short stays, house sitters are often paid a fee by the homeowner. For stays that last weeks or months, the house sitter gets free room and board, while the homeowner can rest assured that her house is occupied and cared for.
Occupy the House
Making the house look occupied is the primary duty of any house sitter. To accomplish this, the house sitter needs to do more than just reside within the house. She will also turn lights on and off at night, leave a car in the driveway and be seen outside the house periodically clearly showing that someone is home. These actions greatly deter any potential break ins or vandalism that can occur when homes are thought to be empty.
Unless a separate pet sitter has been hired, any pets within the home are also the responsibility of the house sitter. This includes providing food, water, walks, poop scooping and litter box and cage cleaning while the owners are away. Pet-related duties include taking pets to the veterinarian as needed.
House sitters care for both the indoor and outdoor plants. Depending on the length of service, this may be limited to simple regular watering or can include lawn mowing and pruning.
While the job of house sitting does not typically including cleaning up, house sitters can be expected to maintain the house and leave it in the condition in which they found it. This means the house sitter cleans up all of her own messes.
House sitters bring in the mail and newspaper on a daily basis. Checking and forwarding phone messages may also be requested of the homeowner. Pool cleaning and maintenance falls within the responsibility of a house sitter as well. Additionally, the house sitter is responsible for getting any necessary home repairs (such as damage from a storm) completed at the homeowner's expense. Whether the house sitter does the repairs or hires a contractor is a decision to be made by the homeowner.