Every homeowner has his or her own way of doing things. Nonetheless, there are some general guidelines that should keep everything running smoothly. Here are a few of those lines you certainly don't want to cross.
Do Not Arrive Late or Leave Early. Life happens and it may delay you sometimes. Don't let getting to the house for the first time be one of those times. Plan your time so that you can arrive early. Also give your calendar enough of a buffer before and after the house sitting to be able to avoid any scheduling issues.
Do Not Throw a Party. Brand new digs and no one in sight. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a party, right? Wrong. If anything goes wrong at the house during your watch it’s all on you.
Do Not Invite Guests. (unless you have a written agreement from the homeowner approving who the guests are and how long they can stay). Get it in writing if you're going to have a friend over.
Do Not Bring Your Own Pets/Kids. (without written permission): You have no clue what kind of allergies the homeowner may have, so don’t bring your pets. This also goes for bringing children, unless you already spoke with the owners of the place about your dependents and the owner of the house approved.
No Strangers. Do not let strange gardeners/maids/utility repairmen into the yard, much less the house. Regardless of how charming one of these people may be, do not let them in (unless you got that direction directly from the home owner).
Do Not Leave a Dirty House or Extra Items. There's a story floating around the internet about some dude who left his house in the hands of a house sitter and came back to find piles and piles dirty laundry just sitting in his living room, along with a random potted palm tree, waiting for him. Don't let this be your story too.
Do Not Upset the Neighbors. Yes, you may love loud music during the week, at 2 am, but chances are that the neighbors won't. Ideally you should have been introduced to them, so they don't call 911 when a strange person is seen walking around in the house.
Do Not Waste Electricity or Water. The gas, the light and the water should not be left on or running unless you're directly using it. Don't go overboard and blow up the house phone either. Unless there's an emergency you shouldn't be using that at all.
Do Not Be Nosey. Don't be snooping through the top right drawer of anything. This should include rooms, night tables, jewelry boxes, attics, the backs of closets, dusty shoe boxes and dresser drawers.
Do Not Get Locked Out. Spare keys are not a thing you want to be making any of, ever. Ever. If there are self locking doors, try to not use that access point.
Do Not Offer to Undertake Jobs You Can't Manage. If you feel overwhelmed by an electrical situation, get a professional to repair it. Afterward you can show the owner for the house the receipt and explain what had happened. The fire department doesn't give receipts. The hospital will though.
Do Not Rearrange the House. If you suffer from OCD handle it. Imagine returning home after a long trip away for work and not being able to find anything.
We hope these tips help you on your next house sitting or pet sitting assignment. They're applicable to anytime you will be spending an extended period of time in someone's home. Let us know if you have any more tips you would add to the list!