Are you looking for a way to live rent-free or explore Canada in an affordable way? If that’s the case then house sitting might be the perfect solution for you! House sitting in Canada is becoming an increasingly popular way to manage households.
House sitting involves watching someone’s house while they’re on vacation or taking care of their pets.
If you work from home, you can blend the best of both worlds. You can save more money by lowering your household expenses while earning in your pajamas.
Continue reading to find out the basics of house sitting in Canada and all the information you need to get started!
What is house sitting and what are the benefits?
House sitting is when you live and look after someone’s home while they’re away on vacation or a business trip.
House sitters usually take care of the pets and plants while the homeowners are away, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
The benefits of house sitting are that you get free accommodation and often free utilities, as well as the chance to live in a different city or country.
This can be an affordable and fun way to travel and see new places.
Another benefit is being able to spend a lot of time with pets if that’s what you love doing.
How to find house sitting opportunities in Canada?
There are some wondrful house sitting opportunities in Canada. Here are a few tips for you to get started:
- Word of Mouth
One of the best ways to find house sitting opportunities is through word-of-mouth. Ask your friends and family if they know anyone who is looking for a house sitter, or put up a flyer in your local community center or supermarket. You never know who might have a lead for you.
- Contact a professional house sitting agency
Another great way to find house sitting opportunities is to contact a professional house sitting agency. These agencies will have a database of homeowners who are looking for house sitters, and they will match you with an appropriate homeowner.
Often, agencies will also provide additional services such as insurance and 24-hour support.
- Check out House Sitting Websites
House sitting websites can be a great source of leads, as they often list available house sitting opportunities all in one place.
You can filter your search for house sitting by location and dates.
There are often reviews of both homeowners and house sitters. This can be helpful in making your decision on where to house sit.
You can browse the house sitting opportunities for free.
The only downside is that most of these websites require an annual membership fee if you want to have access to the other features.
The fee is usually the equivalent of what you would pay for a one-night stay at a hotel so if you can live rent-free somewhere for more than a night, then you’ll get a good return on your investment.
The sites are free for house owners to post their ads.
List of House Sitting websites
- HouseSittersCanada ($59 per year)
This site offers house sitting opportunities in Canada. It includes a search tool that allows you to browse house sitting assignments by city. The site is free for house owners, however, as a house sitter, you’ll need to pay a yearly membership fee of $59.
- Nomador (free discovery option or $99 per year)
Nomador is an international house sitting site that is gaining increasing popularity because of its free discovery membership plan. As a house sitter, this will allow you to contact house owners and apply for house sitting jobs for free.
In order to have your profile appear on the front pages of search results, you’ll need to upgrade your membership to ‘the confidence option; which costs $99 per year.
Nomador has also come up with the idea of stopovers. This is usually a free short stay for a night or two. It’s a great way to connect with locals on your travels or fill the gap between your house sits if you’re a full-time house sitter.
The site also comes with an app.
- MindMyHouse ($20 per year)
MindMyHouse is a well-established website that connects house sitters with homeowners who need someone to care for their homes while they’re away. There are a variety of house sitting opportunities available, from short-term stays to long-term commitments.
To get started, simply create a profile for an annual fee of $20 and start searching for house sits in your area.
Most of the listings are available in Europe and USA but you’ll find also a decent amount of listings in Canada.
- TrustedHousesitters ($129 per year for the basic plan)
This membership fee is on the higher end, however the site is very user-friendly and has available listings globally including in Canada.
There is also a forum and blog with extensive information about house sitting and pet care.
The site comes with an app that makes it easier to access all the listings and keep an eye on your inbox.
- HouseCarers ($50 per year)
HouseCarers is a worldwide housesitting membership site that was launched in 2000. It was the first house sitting website on the market.
There are many house sits available in Australia, New Zeland, Europe and North America including a few listings for house sitting in Canada.
As a house sitter, you can upload your ID, background check, references and even include an introductory Youtube video to increase your credibility.
- LuxuryHouseSitting ($25 per year)
International house sitting site with most of the listings available in Europe and the US. The membership fee for house sitters is very reasonable, however, the number of listings for Canada is not very big and the site is a bit outdated.
- Rover ($35 registration fee)
Apart from pet sitting, on Rover you can also offer other pet care services such as dog walking. All you need to do is create a profile for $35 and start earning. Just something to be aware of, Rover takes a 20% commission from each booking that you get on a site.
What do you need to know to get started?
If you’re thinking of house sitting in Canada, there are a few things you should know to get started.
Sign up for a house sitting website and create an eye-catching profile
There is only one chance to make a great first impression. That’s why creating an eye-catching profile plays a big role in your success as a house sitter.
If you love pets show your enthusiasm and make sure to sound friendly and reliable. Are you tidy, organized or self-sufficient? Highlight any qualities that are relevant and that will make your profile stand out.
Nice photos also make a big difference. Needless to say, a picture of you with pets and smiling can help you to catch homeowners’ attention.
In your profile, include:
- personal info: name, age, hometown, job
- the reason you want to house sit
- whether you’re a solo sitter or a couple
- your hobbies and interests
- any relevant house sitting or pet care experience
A lot of house sitting websites will also require you to complete the verification of your identity.
Be prompt to apply for house sitting opportunities
There are plenty of other house sitters who are registered on the sites so it helps to be prompt in applying for house sitting jobs.
When you apply you can include an introductory message.
Personalize your message to homeowner specific needs and include any relevant information.
For example, if the owner requires you to take care of their cat then you might mention how cute the cat is and how much you love animals.
It can be nerve-wracking to leave a house in the hands of strangers.
That’s why having good ratings from your previous house sits will increase your chances to get selected.
The more positive references, the better because it will boost your credibility.
It’s a simple but effective way to earn the trust of the owners and make them feel more at ease when letting you take care of their place.
If you haven’t done any house sitting before, don’t worry. You can include external references from your former landlords in your profile. If the site doesn’t allow external references, you can mention in an application message to the owner that you would be happy to provide any references.
Consider some short-term house sitting gigs in your area in exchange for a good reference.
This will help you to land more lucrative house sitting jobs in the future.
Get ready for the interview
Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into before the house sitting job starts.
For this reason, it’s a common practice for homeowners to have a virtual meeting with potential house sitters via Zoom or Skype prior to agreeing to anything.
This is an excellent opportunity to ask about all the details and get to know each other. In other words, the interview helps to tackle all the nitty gritty stuff.
What types of housesitting assignments can you expect?
House sitting assignments vary, but they all include taking care of the home in some way. This can involve tasks such as watering plants, collecting mail, and keeping the house clean and tidy.
Some house sitting assignments also require the house sitter to take care of pets. This would include feeding them, walking them, and providing them with companionship.
You may also be responsible for maintaining the property while the homeowners are away, doing tasks such as mowing the lawn or shoveling snow.
Generally, the house sitting ads will have all the requirements listed.
The length of time that each house sitting assignment lasts also varies. Most house sitting jobs last between a week and 4 months. But you might also find more long term house sitting options. Although, those are less common.
With a little bit of planning and research, you can easily find house sitting assignments that fit your schedule and needs.
Do you get paid for house sitting?
While house sitting is a great way to save money on accommodation, it’s important to remember that you usually don’t get paid. In most cases, house sitters can expect free accommodation in exchange for their services.
However, there are some situations where house sitters may receive payment on top of free accommodation.
For example, if the homeowners require additional services such as pet care or property maintenance, they may be willing to pay something extra.
It really depends on the specific assignment and the needs of the homeowners.
House sitters sometimes may also receive other benefits, such as access to a car.
As with anything, it’s always best to ask the homeowners what they are willing to provide before you agree to take a house sitting gig.
This will help ensure that both parties are on the same page and that there are no surprises down the road.
Tips for successful house sitting
Get all the info
Although the idea of house sitting in a new place can be exciting there are also some more mundane things to consider.
Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the house sitting arrangement before you agree to a gig.
Here are some things to consider:
Who will be responsible for paying utility bills, and dealing with any repairs or maintenance issues should they arise?
In most cases, the homeowner covers the utility bills but it’s better to clarify that in advance.
Other important questions to ask are:
What are the assignments?
What is the location and is it easy to get around?
Are there any public transport options available?
If the car is provided by the house owner, is there any additional insurance cost or coverage that you need to get?
Is there a wifi connection? This is especially important to know if you work from home.
Is there any contact in case of emergency?
Some homeowners require you to sign a short house sitting contract. This helps to prevent any miscommunications regarding house sitting arrangement. The contract lays out all terms to protect both parties.
Make your research
Before you make a house sitting commitment, make a bit of research about the area where you would like to go house sitting.
The last thing you want is to be stuck in some place that you don’t enjoy.
If available you can also read reviews from previous house sitters to find the perfect fit for you.
Ask questions about the pet
If part of the house sitting arrangement is looking after pet, you will want to find out some important details about your new companion.
You can ask questions such as:
What is the pet’s daily routine?
What does the pet like and how often should you feed it?
Does the pet have any allergies you should be aware of?
What is the pet’s temperament?
Can the pet be left alone and if so for how long?
Have fun but be professional at the same time
House sitting can be a great opportunity to experience a new place as a local in an affordable way but at the same time, it needs to be taken seriously.
You’ll need to be comfortable with being in someone else’s house. This means respecting their belongings and keeping the house clean and tidy while they’re away. It’s important to stick to any house rules provided by the owner.
You should also get ready to deal with any messes or accidents that may occur such as chasing the off leash dog or cleaning up after the pet pooed on the floor.
Although some house sitting moments may be a bit challenging, I’m sure the positive experiences far outweigh them.
Have you ever tried house sitting in Canada? Share your experience in the comments below!