Coffs Harbour homeowner gives rap for retired housesitters WeCare

"I recently used your service for the first time to find house sitters for my home and animals.

The response I had to my add was amazing.So many genuine people applied it was difficult to choose.The couple I chose,Barney and Sandy (House Sitters username Wecare) were an absolute delight and I would thoroughly reccommend them to anyone.

The animals had a ball and my home and car were sparkling when I returned.A big thank you to House Carers for a fantastic service and to Barney and Sandy for a great job.
Kind Regards Jenny (username Kalmiah)

Housesit Details: Coffs Harbour NSW, Australia
16 days From Sept 7 2009

I need a caring person/persons to look after my 2 dogs and cat.

Sprat is a small terrier cross and Tiffy a look alike Disney shaggy dog(clipped at the moment) Tootsie is a geriatric Birman cat who sleeps most of the time.

I live in a nearly new 3 bedroom townhouse 2 minutes from the CBD of Coffs Harbour. With beautiful mountain views from the front and back of the house I am only 5 minutes from main beach and Jetty areas. There is an enclosed dog park 2 minutes away and I walk the dogs there every morning.I would like you to be able to continue to do this. Other than that your time is free to enjoy this beautiful area.

Housesitter found to experience Irish rural life 90 minutes drive south of Dublin in the rolling countryside of County Wicklow Ireland

"I just want to say how impressed we are with the efficiency and scope of your service.

We received an excellent response to our search for housesitters and have made arrangements with one of the partys to cover for us while we're away for 10 weeks. We'll report further in completion of the assignment.

Maenwhile, many thanks for allowing us to avail of your fantastic concept!

Richard & Grania, (Wicklowway)

We have replied to all unsuccessful enquirers.

Housesit details: 10 weeks from 2009-11-22

County Wicklow 90 mins south of Dublin Ireland

We're seeking a practical couple to house-sit our property, pets (2 dogs, cat, hens, 2 horses and 2 donkeys) and 5 acre smallholding located about 90 minutes drive south of Dublin in the rolling countryside of County Wicklow, while we're absent from 26 November 09 until 31 January 2010.

Although December and January are not Ireland's best month's weather-wise -too little sun too much rain- the "cold spells" temperature seldom drops more that a couple of degrees below freezing.

This is an ideal opportunity for a mature and practical couple who want to experience Irish rural life, be within easy access of a capital city and spend Christmas away from it all in the company of a few special friends who could join them for the festive season. If interested in finding out more, please get in touch via Housecarers . We look forward to hearing from you

Housesitters CaringDuo land housesit for gorgeous home in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming

"I wanted you to know that we are presently house sitting a gorgeous home in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming. We found the house sit through your site, all the pieces fell into place, and we plan to be here for perhaps 3 years.

The couple who own the house are delightful and happy to have us here. They are in Houston working on a goverment contract and have told us that they have piece of mind knowing that we are caring for their property.

You have a great service and I wish you much success. As you can tell from our renewal, we still what to keep ourselves briefed on what is available - we could leave here for a short house sit (vacation) in the region."

View profile for house sitters CaringDuo

Exessive charges being asked by some Canadian homeowners

There appears to be a practice in Canada where homeowners are asking up to 800 a month for utiliites. This is not in the spirit of housesitting, particularily when considering the benefits a house sitter brings - and the alternate high cost of leaving a vacant home eg costs of winterizing a home. Stata or Condo fees should not be included in the utilities as - condo owner has to pay monthly regardless of  occupancy.

I am including below a comment from a Canadian house sitter:

The posters are definitely calling their charges utilities, not rent. However, if the posters couldn't find a housesitter, they would have to pay someone to remove snow from their sidewalk, rake leaves or water plants; or put some effort into what's called "winterizing" your home if you want to shut it down for the winter.

And finding a short term renter through traditional means is difficult, so they use your site to do it. In some ways a housesitter is doing them a favour: they want their house occupied while they're away, yet they want to charge for it. I live on the southwest coast, so can't say what heating costs are in colder areas, but $800 for all utilities is absurd, particularly in this Alberta case where they're called "strata fees" — a fee a Canadian condo owner has to pay monthly regardless of occupancy.

This is what we say in our guidelines:

"Other recurring bills such as phone rental, rates, condo association fees, body corporate fees, strata fees, local council rates, water, sewer, cable TV rental, ISP rental, or property taxes usually remain the responsibility of the owner. If your arrangement will be 12 months or more in duration, you might consider allocating all or a portion of the recurring bills to the house sitter

We urge you to incorporate your utility/tax payment conditions in your written contract."