Social Question

LadyMarissa's avatar

Do you hire a housesitter when you're going on vacation?

Asked by LadyMarissa (15827points) January 9th, 2019

This family went on a vacation over the Holidays. They come home to find the locks changed & an unknown man living in their house & threatening them with harm if they don’t go away. Fortunately for them, the law took their side & they will be getting their home back although it comes with a lot of headache!!! I have one family who goes away for Christmas every year & I house & dog sit for them yearly. I remember reading last year of a family who the courts ruled that the squatters had rented their house in good faith & allowed the squatters to remain in the house a year later. Do you take extra precautions to protect your property when you’re going out of town???

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27 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

Well, actually it’s very rare that my family all goes out for an extended period of time. There is at least one person in the house, so I’m not really worried about security unless there is some armed criminals coming to ransack the house ~ But there was one occasion when we all went out of town. My dad locked the house with every single lock he could find, and it took us 15 minutes to get back inside when we were back.

But I used to read a story about a guy who found out that there was a woman living inside his house for a long time and she only came out to steal food when he was asleep. I got paranoid about some unknown person in my house sometimes. There are some places in my house I can think of that are… rather convenient. And I wonder if that was true, what that unknown person would do when the entire house were asleep or went out..

LadyMarissa's avatar

^ Yes, I’ve read about similar stories here in the US. One lady had a man living under her bed & she had NO clue. He reached out & grabbed her by the ankle one night. When I replaced my bed last year, I purchased one with a night light under it so I can turn on the light to see any shadow under my bed. With my disability, I can’t get on the floor to look & then get myself back up off the floor; so I have the light & can see from my bedroom door IF something unusual is under my bed.

I also heard of a lady who had a man living in her attic & he’d come down while she was sleeping to steal food, used a damp bath cloth to wipe down, & stretch his legs. She was in her 90’s & she thought she had eaten thnigs & forgot she ate it & it never dawned on her that the wet bath cloth wasn’t the one she had used the day before. She eventually heard him & told her family what she had heard. They had somebody check the house thoroughly & he was discovered huddling in a corner of the attic. I live in an old house that doesn’t have stairs leading to the attic. You have to have a ladder to get into it. Since I can’t climb a ladder, I don’t keep one near the opening. I also keep nothing in my attic because I can’t get to it when needed!!!

I’m so paranoid that I even check my closets before going to bed. I seldom travel for more than a few hours at a time. I have 2 cars & one is always home & I always leave at least 1 light on so its not so obvious when I’m not home. Yes, it could happen; but, I plan to make them WORK for it!!!

KNOWITALL's avatar

No, it’s always a family member. My dogs aren’t good with strangers.

chyna's avatar

Yes I have a dog/house sitter. He’s very dependable and loves my dog.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. We almost always took the dogs with us, but if we could’t I’d have one of the kids check in on them once or twice a day. If the weather was nice we left the sliding back door open for them.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Nope. My neighbors watch the house and make sure nothing happens. If the power goes out they make sure the generator and sump pump are working. I do the same for them. We also clear the snow out of each others’ driveways.

The house is rarely locked even when there is no one is home.

YARNLADY's avatar

We have enough family members nearby that we don’t have to worry.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I stay at a friend’s house, purportedly dog sitting, a couple of times a year. But I think my friend’s big fear is teenagers discovering an empty house and declaring “open crib!”. It’s happened in the area a few times, and the results are not good.

I could not do it once last year. A neighbor’s drug-addled kid broke into our building twice, and I didn’t want to leave my place unattended.

Things calmed down. I did some dog sitting over the holidays. The dog park was a muddy mess, bath time was required.

chyna's avatar

^Sweet puppy!

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

He’s a very good boy.

Demosthenes's avatar

My parents used to have a neighbor come over to feed the cats and water the garden (sometimes for pay), but they didn’t actually stay in the house.

LadyMarissa's avatar

When I was growing up, watching the neighbor’s house & pet was a simple common courtesy. Today, people pay $100/day or $500/week for people to live in their home while out of town. At least they do here.

cookieman's avatar

We used to have my aunt check on the house every few days when we travelled years ago.

Now, I just stop mail delivery for the week and rely on my cameras and security system.

chyna's avatar

@ladymarissa I feel so lucky to live where I do now. I only pay my sitter 10.00 a day and he doesn’t even want that. He’s in his early 20’s and lives with his parents so I think he enjoys getting out of their house for a while.

LadyMarissa's avatar

He probably does!!! LoL

I find the rates here to be insane to say the least. I’ve thought about doing it myself; but, people are so nuts about their pets & their home, I just don’t want the hassle. A friend of mine frequently sits with both the family dog & the children. The children are allowed to stay up as late as they want (even on a school night) & they are allowed to eat anything they please. The dog, on the other hand, is on a special diet & he MUST be in bed by 9:00pm & my friend is required to send a pic of the dog sleeping to the owners via text no later than 9:05. That’s crazy to me!!!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@LadyMarissa Doggie bedtime….that’s funny. And a little strange.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Reminds me of when I had the first grandchild. My Mom and sister came up from the Northwest and stayed at our house. My sister went out with some of her old friends. She got home at about Midnight. She walked in. I was nursing Corrie, who was all of 5 days old. My sister said, in disbelief, “Is that kid still up??!!” My sister is kind of a nut case.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@KNOWITALL I find it stranger than strange!!! I couldn’t work for someone with that mindset so I’ve chosen to forego dog sitting no matter how much it pays.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@LadyMarissa My dogs run the place, they give ME a bedtime haha. Except when the birds fly, then the birds run the place. haha!

LadyMarissa's avatar

^ You I could work for. Having to prove that the dog was asleep by 9:05 is ridiculous in my book!!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s insane, for sure.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@LadyMarissa haha, agreed, that’s pretty kooky. What are they, playing beer pong at 11pm in the backyard with the neighbors? haha, now I’m just making up scenario’s I’d have to stage and send to them, because I’m a sarcastic person and I amuse myself!!

Maybe some beers in the bathtub?
Siphoning gas in the drive way?
Ball caps on backwards, rap blaring at a dance party in jerseys?
A bottle of aspirin or something next to them sleeping somewhere, maybe by the toilet.

hahaha, this is fun. :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^I’ll have whatever she’s drinking….

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I love the ridiculous and I love to razz on people like that.

I was just telling my girlfriend about this thread and she said she puts her dog down for naps because he gets cranky. I was like, what really? She said yes, I’ll send you a pic. He goes to bed, I tuck him in, and he takes a nap. haha, my dogs are always napping but it’s certainly not at MY will….haha

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh that’s too much! My dogs sleep a whole lot too!

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longgone's avatar

@KNOWITALL As a dog trainer, it’s surprising how often (canine) behavioral problems are due to lack of sleep. Many owners do not realise that a healthy amount of sleep for dogs means 16 hours or more. While most dogs regulate their sleeping patterns with no input from their people, this can be impossibly difficult for young or excitable dogs. It’s also tricky when there is little quiet time in the home.

Once, I was dealing with a bulldog who would bite her owner several times a day. Hard. She wasn’t drawing blood, but causing severe bruising and pain. I found out the dog was not getting the sleep she needed, so I prescribed three days of rest and more quiet time in the future – within those three days, the issue disappeared.

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