House-sitting is a gentle form of house arrest! Guardians are there to protect the Client’s property by their presence, to keep it in proper working order and to care for pets and plants in accordance with a very detailed brief (part written, part verbal), so that when the Client returns home, all is as it was before.
Here are the Rules which make sure it works out that way:
Refer to your documents.
- Carry out your responsibilities precisely in accordance with the “Briefing the Guardian” form. This represents the Client’s wishes and must not be over-ruled.
Stay inside the property.
- Do not leave the property unattended for any period longer than 3 hours during daylight or thirty minutes after lighting up time.
- Stay in residence until you are able to hand over to the Client or their representative or another employee of the Home Service Ltd. If the Client gives you permission to leave their property before their return, Head Office MUST be advised. If you are unable to undertake an assignment or cannot complete it through illness or for whatever other reason, telephone Head Office (or the 24-hour emergency number) at the first opportunity, where the problem will be fixed.
- At no time are you allowed to receive personal visitors at the Client’s property – not even close members of your family. Such meetings must take place off-premises.
- Never let anyone into the house on whatever pretext until you are completely satisfied they have a legitimate reason for being there.
Protect personal information.
- Keep all information about the Clients – their names, their movements, their property – strictly confidential. The ability to be discreet is an important part of the trust we aim to build with our Clients; it is destroyed by gossiping or name-dropping, especially around the Client’s neighbours or household staff.
Lock everything up.
- Lock up the property and switch on all alarm systems whenever you leave it unoccupied, for however short a time… (unless otherwise instructed).
Keep a key.
- Carry one house key with you at all times.
It is the Client’s house.
- You are not allowed to use the Client’s property for social or business purposes of any description.(Client’s telephone may be used to call Head Office).
- Irresponsible use of alcohol is strictly forbidden. The only alcoholic beverages you may consume are those which you brought with you, even if the Client has given you permission to help yourselves to any you find in the property.
- Smoking is never allowed in any part of the Client’s property.
- Return the property to its owners in a clean and tidy condition.
- Remember you are NOT there as cleaners or animal trainers; you are there to maintain the status quo, so do not change things around – the way you find it is the way the Client likes it.
Check in every day.
- Guardians working alone must contact head office every day before noon (including week-ends) to confirm that all is well.
Don’t take any risks.
- Never take any action which might endanger your own health or safety either in an emergency or in the routine execution of your duties.