BEFORE YOU GO
CHECKLIST FOR HOMEOWNERS
Home owners – here’s a handy checklist to make sure you are ready to hand over the care of your home and your pets to your house sitter on the day you leave. If you do have pets, please take a few minutes to fill out the Checklist For Pet Owners as well.
1. Create an Information Packet
We highly recommend putting together a packet of information that contains all of the information your sitters need so they can provide top quality care for your home, garden and pets.
Your signed and completed house sitting agreement should provide the cornerstone of your information packet. Place all documents and essential information in a binder or folder and leave it on your kitchen counter for house sitter reference. The more detailed information you provide, the better your house sitter will be equipped to keep things running smoothly while you are away. Which means peace of mind for everyone.
Your sitter needs to know how to keep in contact with you for regular updates and any emergency situations that might arise. Also let them know what time zone you are in.
Local Emergency Contact
Assign a family member or neighbor to be a point of contact for the house sitter in your absence. Leave their contact information. Make sure your contact has the house sitters name, contact information and dates of arrival/departure.
Rules and Regulations
If your home is a condominium or rental property you might want to leave a copy of the by-laws or lease for reference. Also advise of any facility or parking restrictions.
Home areas and contents that are off limits
If there are areas in your home that are “off-limits” or certain items that you don’t want a house sitter to use, please make sure this is addressed up-front in your house sitting agreement. You should add this information to your information packet as a friendly reminder.
Make sure you leave written instructions for using the TV and all its features, accessing wifi and the internet, (including passwords) setting A/C and heat, watering the garden, setting alarms etc. and any additional information that would be helpful to get your sitter up and running efficiently.
2. Telling Others You Will Be Gone
Friends and Neighbors
It’s crucial that other people know about your absence and your arrangements with your house sitter to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings. Let friends and neighbors know the dates the house sitter will be occupying your home. If your house sitter arrives a day early, introductions to the neighbor will be very helpful.
You might want to contact your insurance company to let them know you will have a house sitter moving into your home. Your home and contents premium should not be affected by this information. This is particularly important in long-term house sitting arrangements. Many house sitters have their own insurance as well.
I your house sitter will be interfacing with your regular service providers (gardeners, house cleaners, etc.) it’s important to let these folks know about your house sitting arrangement.
3. Preparing Your Home
Clean your home and yard
Please leave your house and grounds in a clean and tidy condition for your house sitter. Clean linens, towels etc. readily available. No dirty dishes or old trash. This type of consideration will go a very long way to enhance your house sitting arrangement. And remember, per the house sitting agreement, your house sitter has agreed to leave your home and garden in the condition that they first encountered them.
Store your breakables
Put your treasured possessions and anything that is breakable or off-limits in a secure locked location while you are away.
You might want to clear your refrigerator of perishable foods or leave a note to your house sitter to finish them up for you if they like.
Leave Operating Instructions and Manuals
These should be contained in your information packet as well. Detailed instructions on using the TV remote, how to access wifi and the internet, setting the furnace or A/C. And be sure to include any quirks that a house sitter should know about.
If your house sitting agreement includes the use of your vehicle you will want to make sure you have added (temporarily) their name on your auto insurance policy. Make sure you have the house sitter confirm in writing that they will be liable for any costs incurred for damages while using your vehicle. Make sure the appropriate documents are in the glove box and the car is in reliable working order. Provide any local driving regulation information that might be helpful. Make sure the keys and garage door opener are left in a visible location.
Trash Pick-Up and Recycling Make a note of which day your trash is collected. Provide plenty of trash bags where they can be easily found. Make a note of the day recycling is collected. Let your house sitter know what can and can’t be recycled curbside.
Leave instructions for the safe use of your electricity and gas services. Make sure the house sitter knows where to find the fuse boxes, cut-off switches and relevant meters. Leave detailed information on usage of A/C and furnace. Location of water heater and operating instructions for the washer/dryer are also important information.
5. Your House Sitter’s needs
Leave a set of spare keys with your nominated contact person.
Tourist/Local Area Information
It helps your house sitter quickly get the lay of the land and enjoy your area if you leave local maps, transit information, location of closest markets, libraries, good restaurants, events and must see attractions.
Let your house sitter know exactly what can and cannot be used in your kitchen. Leave any special instructions for using the oven, dishwasher, cookware etc.,
6. Grounds Maintenance
Lawn and Garden
If yard care is part of your house sitting arrangement, make sure your sitter knows exactly what your needs are and provide the information and tools needed to do the job. This should include: watering schedule and locations, working lawnmower if mowing is expected, fuel for the lawnmower, location of rakes, broom, etc.
Leave enough wild bird seed to keep your bird feeders topped up while you are away.
Leave clear written instructions for cleaning and adding any chemicals. Make sure pool equipment and chemicals are readily available.
If you have an alarm system, you can 1) provide the house sitter with the code and access information or 2) contact your security company to let them know you will be gone and a house sitter will be occupying your home over (specific dates) and ask them for a temporary code and password specifically for your house sitter to use.
Now you can leave your home knowing that your house sitter is well-prepared to take on their duties and responsibilities and you will return to find happy, healthy pets, and a clean, tidy and well maintained home.
Now relax, we’ve got you covered!
Les and Nancy
The Global House Sit Pros