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Have you ever had other people show up to a house where you were sitting? What do you do?

asked 2016-04-30 02:02:09 -0500

The first time this happened I just figured it was a freak occurrence - a client's boyfriend just keyed into her house while she was away and I was hanging with her dog. Admittedly, it made me feel less safe knowing this man had a key and could come over whenever.

But that's nothing compared to today. For context, this is a different client. Someone has definitely been keying into the home - while I'm out I assume. I've found things in the house moved, food removed from the fridge, toilet paper and trash on the lawn - there was even an iPhone that appeared in the kitchen while I was out walking other dogs and then it disappeared tonight. I took photos and messaged the owners on Rover, asking if anyone else had a key to their home. I still haven't received a reply.

I don't even know how to explain how incredibly terrified I am. I want to believe that this was just a relative or friend with a key who came by But everything seemed a little off - and even if this is just a relative of the owners, I still don't feel particularly safe if strangers are going to be keying into the home where I'm staying. When the owners were expecting workmen the other day, they notified me, so I'd have expected them to tell me if anyone else was going to come to the home.

Needless to say, this will likely be my last house sit. It's almost 3AM and I'm terrified to sleep. Has anyone had something similar happen? I feel like there must be a reasonable explanation but even so, am I wrong to think it's a little inappropriate for owners to allow other people to key into their homes while I'm staying there, without providing me any warning? Is there a way to impart the importance of sitter safety and respect to owners?

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That's super disturbing. I'd leave especially since you were there earlier. I always think of house sitting as making it look like someone is there. Since you were there earlier, if you leave late at night no one would really be able to tell. (Cuz its lights out anyways)

Serina R.'s profile imageSerina R. ( 2016-08-13 06:46:04 -0500 )edit

3 Answers

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answered 2016-04-30 11:18:23 -0500

I don't blame you for being terrified and the owners have shown a very cavalier attitude toward your well-being. Under those circumstances, here are few things you can do. Message them that you do not feel safe in their home with other people that you haven't met having free access. You can no longer stay at their home but will do two drop-in visits per day, which is the same as your housesitting rate. Also tell them that, if you notice anything unusual again when you enter their home, you will be calling the police to check it out since you were not informed that anybody else should be at the home during the owners' absence. I would think those two actions should get a response from these people.

In the future, if you decide to continue housesitting services, you are going to need to ask specifically whether other people have keys/access to the home and whether their codes can be disabled during your stay. Also inform them that if any strangers enter a home while you are in residence you will first call the police and will immediately leave after the house has been secured by the authorities, only doing drop-ins thereafter for their pet's sake.

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answered 2016-04-30 11:11:52 -0500

I don't blame you for being scared, I would be too! Having unknown people with access to the house come and go would be very unnerving, especially since the owners didn't tell you about them. Are you sure they have a key? I would have been on the phone to the cops after the first time, just for peace of mind. This is something to definitely discuss at the M&G - I will be adding it to my list of interview questions.

If it were me, I would not spend the night in the house, and I would message the owners to tell them that and give your reasons. Your safety is more important than anything else.

In cases like this, call Rover Support in addition to contacting the owners. They may offer assistance or advice, and they definitely need to know about this owner's lack of concern for the housesitter.

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answered 2016-04-30 14:24:44 -0500

One of my long term clients that I've done mostly walks and occasional house sitting for frequently would have people stop by without mentioning it to me prior. Most often, it was the housekeeper who would move things around - the most unnerving part of that was she'd remove the dog gates & one of the dogs was known to have accidents inside the house, and then I would get confronted about not having the gates up. On some occasions, family members (siblings & adult children) and sometimes neighbors would stop by whenever they could fit into their schedule or were around/ with no notice. I'd see something out of place, added, or missing (i.e dog gates, empty bottles of wine in the trash were most alarming). I just informed the owners w/ text messages of every occurrence, by sending photos when I entered of the gates removed or photos of empty wine bottles in case it was part of their reserve collection. For contractors that showed up unannounced, I'd repeatedly text until confirmed to allow the person access. Over time, I realized that they didn't seem to know when these family members (eventually I met all of them) would show up and perhaps based on a past experience with someone else, there was a reason for unannounced visits. So, if I was staying over, I'd ask if anyone was expected. It was awkward, but I still felt safe. Maybe because I had my small vocal dog and my cell phone by my side.

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