Publié le by NmNomador
House-sitting and COVID-19: What Should You Do?
The health crisis linked to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is creating an exceptional situation with government measures adapting every day. Whether you are a homeowner or a house-sitter, this situation may impact your travels within your own country and abroad.
To date, what is the impact of this crisis on the house-sitting sector?
One of the most affected sectors in the world is travel and tourism. For the time being, house-sitting is obviously strongly impacted: with fewer people traveling, there are fewer house-sitting opportunities being posted, cancellations of stays, etc.
This may put you both - owners and house-sitters - in difficult situations. Not only is it troubling to disappoint someone who was counting on an exchange, but you may miss out on a much-anticipated trip or have difficulty getting a refund for plane or train tickets. We hope that such hardships will be minimal for you, and we are offering some advice below on how to proceed.
Make an informed decision about your upcoming travel
Before you make the decision to continue your travels or not, consult reliable sources and update yourself regularly. Follow these websites for the most reliable, up-to-date information and travel restrictions:
World Health Organization
US State Department Advisory
Government of Canada Travel Advisory
Smartraveler - Australia Travel Advisory
How to proceed today if you need to cancel a house-sit
If you are obliged to cancel, or if you fear you may have to cancel, communication is key. Please inform the owner or the house-sitter immediately. Nobody can blame you; you are not responsible for this situation. A travel ban imposed by the authorities must be followed, just as a fear of contamination must be respected.
We strongly suggest keeping in touch for the future. You had already chosen each other, this may only be a postponement! Nomador will offer a new 1-month subscription to people who had a planned stay on our platform but it could not be fulfilled due to the health crisis.
If you had incurred travel expenses (accommodations, plane, train, etc.), these articles will help advise you of some reimbursement possibilities:
Here’s How to Cancel Travel Due to Coronavirus
Master List of Airline Coronavirus Policies
Your Travel Insurance Might Now Cover Coronavirus
If your scheduled house-sit is proceeding
For homeowners: most importantly, remember to leave contact names in case of emergency. Find a close person (family, friends...) ready to take over if your house-sitter(s) need to leave early. If you have to go abroad and have no one close by who can take over in case of a problem, it may be better, in these unpredictable circumstances, to find a solution other than house-sitting (especially if you have pets).
However, if the house-sit is proceeding, use the Nomador App to stay in touch. It will allow each of you to send regular news by text, photo, or even video chat.
In the coming months…
The uncertainty of this situation makes predicting the immediate future difficult. While we anticipate this slow-down to last for several weeks, we fully expect an upturn after that. Following the anxiety and confinement, families will want to be on the move again.
Do you think you might need to have your house looked after?
Don't hesitate to place a house-sitting opportunity and begin making contacts. Talk to your candidates about the current state of the pandemic, and make sure they are aware of any uncertainties you may specifically have. Consider finding potential house-sitters from your own country who can travel by car and for whom a cancellation would have less serious consequences.
Would you like to apply for housesits?
Make sure you are well informed about the current status of COVID-19 in the country or region concerned. Ask the homeowner what he or she would consider doing to help you in the event they - or you - need to cancel the trip. If you have to buy a plane ticket, find out about the conditions for cancelling tickets or take out travel insurance that covers cancellations due to COVID-19.
Take care of yourself and your community
These are unprecedented times. First and foremost, we encourage you to care for the well-being of your family and those around you. Please follow all of the appropriate advice and lessen your risk for infection and the continued spread of the virus.
And if you have any questions or need advice during this time, do not hesitate to write to us via the contact form. We may not have all of the answers in this volatile situation, but we will always do our very best to advise.