How to prepare for a house sitter after coronavirus
Is it safe to use a house sitter now?
If you have a house sitter booked, it’s a really good idea to have a plan before you hand over the keys. While the risks are getting lower and lower for New Zealand, coronavirus is still out there and it's important to be prepared when arranging a house sitter.
Why should I book a house sitter?
You might be heading away on a road trip or camping adventure for the school holidays soon. If so, consider a house sitter to look at your home and pets.
House sitting is a fantastic, flexible service for pets who like to stay in the comfort of their familiar space. Your sitter stays in your home like a guest, and keeps your pet happy and fed throughout your absence.
A house sitter can also keep an eye on your home security and perform other services such as watering your plants, taking out the bins and collecting the mail.
How can I safely prepare for a house sitter?
The key to preparing for a house sitter is to think ahead and communicate extremely openly. Ask questions and plan together to make sure both you and the house sitter are both on the same page.
Isolate beforehand - If you're feeling unwell or are in an area where there are suspected coronavirus cases, it’s a good idea to stay home as much as possible before your house sitter begins their work. In doing so, this will minimise the chance that you get sick and pass something on to your sitter. Isolating isn’t always possible, so be sure to socially distance if you need to head out to work or the supermarket.
Sanitise your home - Follow these steps to make sure your home is safe and sparkling for your house sitter:
- After your usual surface clean, wipe all floors and surfaces with antibacterial disinfectant, especially doorknobs, switches, utensils and remote controls.
- Leave a supply of gloves, liquid soap, masks and hand sanitizer at the entrance of your home for your sitter to use.
- Be sure to wear protective gear while you clean
- Always wash your hands immediately after cleaning and don’t touch your face.
- Wash all bedding on the highest heat setting, or request that your sitter brings their own sheets and towels.
- Whilst cleaning, keep your home well ventilated, with pets well out of the way.
Meet first via video call - Arrange an initial contactless meet and greet over the phone or via Zoom or Skype to discuss initial arrangements and show them your pets.
If you still have cases in your state - always stay 1.5 metres away and wear gloves and a mask when you introduce your pet during your in-person meet and greet. Here is a guide to socially distancing during meet and greets.
Leave extra food and supplies for your pets - Do this in case you get held up returning home.
Communicate - Don’t skip this step for granted! Stay in touch with your sitter every day with regular updates. Watch the news and keep an eye on the Ministry of Health for updates on what is happening with coronavirus in New Zealand.
Have a Plan B - You should always have a Plan B just in case plans change. Be sure to discuss this with your house sitter and arrange an emergency contact who can step in and help just in case.
What if I need to cancel my house sitter?
This can happen from time to time, and is completely understandable. Be sure to let your house sitter know as soon as possible before cancelling the booking. Here is how to cancel a booking yourself.
House sitters either offer a flexible or moderate cancellation policy. Here is some further information about our cancellation policies.
If the sitter initiates the cancellation, they will need to contact us.