There are lots of companies that advertise that they will look after your home while you are away on vacation or business. But what services do you really need and what should you do to check these people out? This is the most common question that most people ask me about home sitting services. All you need to do is set up a web site and you are in business! Anyone can do that so you need to be careful.
We believe there is much more to it than that. We encourage customers to read though the rest of this blog to fully understand what is needed.
Home Sitting Services You May Need
The most import thing is to protect your investment and that is your home. You may have pets and plants and stuff. But the real investment that can make or break you is your home. Many people lock the door and away they go, not thinking about their home until they return from their vacation.
What they may not realize is that their insurance company has specific guidelines about what they require in order to maintain your property insurance. Some require that the home be checked every 48 hour. While others are ok with as long as a week if the water is turned off. If you do not make arrangements for this type of check, then your insurance may be become invalid. You could suffer a significant loss because they will not pay for your losses.
This point is the most important of all the points we will discuss in this blog. Call your insurance company. Verify what you need to do to maintain your insurance on your home. Then make the appropriate arrangements. Your home sitter should be able to provide a record of visits to substantiate your claims!
Your home sitter should check that there is no water leakage from any source inside the home, that the heat is on and set to the level indicated by the homeowner and that the security of the home has not been jeopardized in any way.
Other Services You May ask of Your Home Sitter
Depending on the time of year, consumers who are leaving their homes may need other services to be performed. These include removal of newspapers from outside, checking the mail, forwarding the mail, watering the plants, flushing toilets once per week, feeding pets, watering plants outdoors, cutting the lawn, clearing snow, over site of other services provided by outside contractors.
These are just a few of the services required by a home sitter which may or may not be included in the price quoted for checking on your home. Consumers can discuss their needs and the home sitting company can help them understand the costs and alternatives they may wish to consider.
We once had a situation where the homeowner really did not want us in the house and did not want to give us a key, but she still needed someone to confirm that the heat was on and then call her if there was a problem. Our solution was for her to place an indoor thermometer on a chair so that it could be seen through the window. This allowed us to confirm that the heat was on, check security and confirm that all was ok for her and her home while she was away
What to Look for from a Home Sitter
Your most cherished possession is your home and no one wants a stranger in the home while they are away. Yet our insurance company wants a check completed on a schedule to maintain your home insurance.
Our recommendation is to deal with professional companies who act in a professional manner. For example, every time you hire a home sitter, there should be a contract. Both parties should sign as an agreement.
There should also be a detailed list of what needs to be checked and not checked. Many times we get the response. “Oh I did not think of that”! Go through a detailed checklist and noting the specifics of what will be done by the home sitter. Both the customer and the home sitter will have an excellent understanding of what services are being provided.
Finally there should also be a report that states dates and times your home was entered and checked, along with the services provided. Many companies can also send an email every time that the home is entered and checked. This is really about peace of mind knowing that your home is in good hands.
Always have a Contract
In summary, always have a contract. It should contain a detailed list of when, were and what will be provided by the service provider. If you would like to learn more about our services in Ottawa, Ontario, feel free to click on the link Ottawa Home Sitters. You can also go to our home site were you can learn much more about Home security and steps you can take to protect your home while you are away on business or vacation. Home security systems, cameras, home sitting, neighborhood watch and much more. Visit our site today to learn about passive steps you can take to make your home less attractive to burglars. You can also learn how to protect your investment from the ravages of water damage.