Whether you’re a pet owner or a house sitter looking to care for homes and animals you may want to use a house sitting agreement.
House sitting is a mutual agreement where the property owner allows the sitter to live in their property for the allotted time. In exchange, the sitter is responsible for the agreed tasks.
This includes taking care of the owner’s pets and plants and performing general maintenance tasks.
Let’s find out why you could use them as well as templates to create them.
What is a House Sitter Agreement?
A house sitter agreement form is a standard contract that outlines the formal framework between both parties.
The agreement may contain the payment terms, dates, and the responsibilities the house sitter is expected to complete.
This article won’t give legal advice but it will give resources on how to create an agreement as well as some templates from reputable sources.
The Benefits of Using a House Sitting Agreement
Having an agreement is beneficial to both parties, as outlined below:
- Both parties sign an agreement. This can help highlight the exact expectations from both parties.
- The agreement contract ensures the pet sitter agrees on complete payment terms, meaning they’ll get paid for their work.
- Set clear expectations of the house sitting duties that the job entails
- A pet care agreement can also outline who is responsible for various incidences. For example, who is responsible if the pet bites someone or gets sick? Or what happens if the pet is lost or accidentally passes away? Having an agreement contract helps ensure the pet owner is well-protected in cases where the pet is harmed or lost.
Still looking for a sitter?
If you want to know how to find a house sitter, we have a whole guide on finding a reliable and trustworthy sitter.
House Sitting Agreement Templates
Here are two templates you can use to create an agreement
The first one is from Trusted House Sitters and it is stated to be not an official legal document but could be used by a lawyer as a basis to draw one up. Find the template for the house sitting agreement here
The second template is from Mindmyhome and is also stated to not be a legal document but a basis for one. Find the template here
Should You Use a House Sitter Agreement Form?
Some homeowners use a house sitter agreement form, while others simply go on mutual trust. It’s important to note that using an agreement for pet sitting isn’t mandatory.
Many property owners will verbally explain the agreed-on services. The answer depends on your level of trust in the pet owner.
Can you also include how much you will be being paying the house sitter. If your a house sitter you can include how much you will charge per night.
Contract Vs Agreement
Lending your home to a stranger can be daunting. Fortunately, the house sitter agreement form can protect you.
The difference between a house-sitting contract and an agreement is that the contract is written, and the agreement is verbal.
An unwritten pet care agreement isn’t enforceable because neither party can disagree.
With a written contract, both parties can refer back to the wording of the contract. Therefore, disputes can easily be cleared up. However, the disputes often turn into a game of “he said-she said” types of arguments without an agreement.
Do You Need an Attorney for the Agreement?
An attorney can help you write up the legal contract in the right language that helps to protect you.
A lawyer can also protect you from adversarial terms that could lead to legal consequences from bad contracts.
Always have them review the entire document before sending it off to the sitter or homeowner.
When Do You Need a House Sitter Agreement?
If you feel more comfortable using a house sitting agreement then go ahead.
How to Write a House Sitting Agreement
The housesitting agreement should include all of the little details about the needs of your pet and home.
For example, perhaps, your cat won’t use the litter boxes when they aren’t cleaned regularly. Or your dog doesn’t get along with your neighbor’s pets.
A pet sitter can even help administer medicine to your pet if they have certain health conditions.
When writing the agreement, ensure all terms and conditions are included that the chosen house sitter must follow.
Include all responsibilities and instructions that the house sitter must perform, such as:
- Provide instructions for pet care such as exercise schedules, feeding times, and medications. Make sure a pet bio detailing your pet’s health conditions and behavior history.
- Include guidelines for lawn and garden care include fertilizer, watering schedules, and more.
- Add instructions for additional services like collecting mail and taking the garbage out.
- Detail proper guidance for entering and exiting the alarm systems and keys. Also include guidelines for visitors, emergencies, and reporting damages.
- Share the location of the owner’s home and the dates of the service. The agreement should clearly state the start and end date so the sitter knows when to arrive and vacate the property.
- Include scenarios where the house sitter will be reimbursed. For example, trips to the pet store, reasonable medical expenses, and medication purchases may be reimbursed.
- Leave an emergency contact with the sitter. Write your client contact information and get the contact details of the sitter as well. Also, include how both parties will communicate, such as phone messages.
- Include any home rules that the house sitter must abide by. For example, perhaps there are off-limit areas such as the garage or kid’s bedroom. Make sure to share instructions on how to change the temperature on the thermostat or access the WiFi password. If you are giving them access to your kitchen, laundry room, or entertainment appliances such as the TV, provide instructions on using them.
- Ensure that the price and payment details are clearly stated. When will the sitter be paid, and how will they be paid? Also, will you pay half upfront, or will the entire amount be paid in full after the service is completed?
This is by no means an all-inclusive list but provides a general outline of the information you may need on the contract.
Feel free to include additional terms or other documents such as:
- Client invoice
- A check list of all the daily responsibilities
- Pet medication log
A reliable house sitter can allow you to freely travel or step away from your house, with the peace of mind that your house and pets are in good hands.
You never know when disagreements may arise, so always keep yourself protected whether or a home owner or house sitter.
Brittnay is one of the Travelling House Sitters. She has cared for 25 dogs, 35 cats 1 turtle, and 1 rabbit over 40+ houses in 15 countries over 5 years.
She is ready to teach you exactly how to become a house sitter! She wants everyone to enjoy this incredible lifestyle as well!
You can read more about Brittnay and Jay on their about page.
Or connect with Brittnay on Facebook or in their house sitting community on Facebook