How much should I charge for house sitting?

Written by derek dowell | 13/05/2017

Often, housesitting arrangements occur on an informal basis between friends or acquaintances. In such cases, it can be hard for the person preparing to do the sitting to arrive at a reasonable fee for the service. While there are no hard and fast rules, it's helpful to at least be in the ballpark of what other house sitters expect to earn. Fees can vary greatly depending upon how much labour will be performed, such as mowing the lawn or taking care of pets.

Acquaintances

If you know the person, it might be easy to simply establish a flat rate per day, perhaps in the £13 to £16 range as suggested by HouseCarers.com. This makes sense if the sitter is not expected to undertake major homeowner activities such as planting and harvesting a full garden while the owners are away.

For the simple act of spending the night at someone else's house to give it a "lived in" look unappealing to burglars, £16 is not an unrealistic expectation. The house sitter usually can expect benefits like free food from the kitchen. Minor tasks like collecting mail or feeding and playing with pets would be included.

For long-term house sitting, you may prefer to charge a lower rate for successive nights after the first one. You might prefer to quote a flat rate of say £195 for a month. Unless your only goal is to do the house sitting as a favour, remember you are giving the homeowner something of value--peace of mind.

Professionals

In the event homeowners expect to be away from their home for weeks or months at a time, they might prefer to hire a bonded, insured professional rather than impose such a long-term obligation on a friend or family member. Professionals have a more detailed fee schedule that depends upon how much time they are required to be at the house and what sorts of tasks they are expected to perform.

Professional house sitters generally charge a higher nightly rate, maybe even as high as £22, especially if there are pets involved. The higher rates can generally be substantiated by a verifiable track record of happy customers, increased professionalism and a familiarity with how the process should work. Rates also vary by geographical location. A dense urban area like New York City might pay rates up to £32 daily, while the market in a laid-back small town in rural Missouri could find it hard to sustain a £19 daily rate.

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