By Darren Griffiths

House Sitting in Australia - how to get a house sitting job

28th July 2023

Last updated on November 2nd, 2023 at 03:01 am

Australia is a top bucket list destination and in this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about house sitting in Australia. Setting up as a legitimate house sitter is straightforward, but you do have to show willingness and reliability. This guide tells you exactly how to establish yourself and manifest this brilliant opportunity of a lifetime. 

What is House Sitting?

House sitting in Australia is much the same as in any other country. House sitting jobs are a unique arrangement where responsible individuals, known as house sitters, take care of someone else’s property and pets while the owners are away.

House Sitting in urban Australia can include lovely cottages
House Sitting in urban Australia can include lovely cottages

It will be up to you to show them that you can look after their precious assets and family properly. House sitting eliminates accommodation costs, and more often than not, you may find a host will subsidise or provide travel too.

What’s Involved in House Sitting

House sitters take care of household tasks like collecting mail, watering plants, and maintaining the property’s overall security. This means you have a base to explore, and you are gaining professional experience while you do it. 

Plants need watering when you're house sitting
Plants need watering when you’re house sitting

There’s a wide variety of tasks that will vary according to each home and its amenities – like a garden, pool, pets, and so on.

The duration of house sitting assignments can vary, ranging from a few days to several months, depending on the homeowner’s travel plans.

And as a house sitter in Australia, you get to experience the local Aussie lifestyle and culture firsthand, and temporarily become part of a community.

Most of all, house sitting jobs are a great way to travel on a budget, as accommodation expenses are significantly reduced or even completely taken care of.

Pet Sitting while House Sitting in Australia

The responsibilities of house sitters go beyond merely looking after properties. They become temporary Pet Sitters, ensuring the home owners can relax knowing their pets will be fed, exercised, and given the attention they need.

This cuts down on pet boarding fees for Aussie house sitters, so it’s often a non-negotiable part of the job.

Pet sitting is often an important part of house sitting
Pet sitting is often an important part of house sitting

It’s a win-win situation as homeowners can travel with peace of mind, knowing that their cherished possessions and beloved pets are in capable hands, while house sitters get to enjoy cost-free accommodation in desirable locations, creating a base for exploration.

Many people miss their pets when they travel, and so house sitting can be a rewarding experience for animal lovers, allowing you to visit and spend quality time with various pets and forging unforgettable connections with furry Aussie companions.

Show Passion and Experience

The biggest thing that hosts will look for in potential house sitters is someone who cares. When applying for house sitting opportunities, displaying genuine passion and care for the role can make all the difference.

House owners want to entrust their homes and beloved pets to someone who not only possesses the necessary skills but also genuinely enjoys the responsibility.

Demonstrating your love for animals and your excitement about taking care of homes can set you apart from other applicants.

During the application process, effective communication is essential. Be proactive in expressing your enthusiasm and dedication, making sure to highlight any relevant experience you have with house sitting or pet care.

Show Passion and Professionalism when attending a house sitting interview
Show Passion and Professionalism when attending a house sitting interview

Whether it’s taking care of your friend’s pet while they were away or volunteering at an animal shelter, every bit of experience counts.

There will naturally be a lot of communication between you, including an initial invitation to interview. This is where you have to show how passionate you can really be while maintaining professional decorum too.

The balance can be found with the right knowledge and preparation, and it is all about representing what you can do and why you want to do it. A well-prepared and thoughtful interview can leave a lasting impression on potential hosts.

Research the area you plan to house sit in, show interest in the homeowner’s expectations, and ask questions to clarify any uncertainties.

Striking this balance between being friendly and maintaining professionalism will help build a strong rapport with the homeowners.

Any experience with animals will support your application, and this is the moment to really get down to what you have to offer so don’t let it pass by without bringing your absolute best to the table. 

In fact, Pawshake is one of Australia’s largest house sitting sites used by home owners whose main concern is to find excellent pet sitting applicants.

Provide Great References

Before you can become an international house sitter, you will have to get some experience back home.

Building a reputable house sitting profile relies heavily on obtaining positive references from the previous house sitting experiences or relevant work engagements.

If you’re new to house or pet sitting, consider offering your services to friends, family, or other home owners like neighbors to gain initial references.

Alternatively, volunteering at local animal shelters or working in pet care can also provide relevant references, especially for the many house owners who are pet owners.

References can come from friends, neighbours or family members you help out pet or house sitting
References can come from friends, neighbors or family members you help out with pet or house sitting

This is the only reliable way to build up your reputation and secure some great references to bring forward when the time is right to reach out to Australian homeowners needing someone to care for their house and pets. 

When requesting references, approach the individuals professionally and politely. Keep in mind that homeowners may want to speak with previous clients to verify your reliability and trustworthiness.

This is why it’s so important to maintain good relationships with past clients, as they can serve as valuable references for future opportunities.

Online house sitting platforms often feature review systems where hosts leave feedback about their experience with house sitters.

Excelling in your duties and providing top-notch service will earn you glowing reviews, further enhancing your credibility and making you very appealing to Australians needing a trustworthy house sitter.

Sort out Your Documentation

Of course, you cannot get into the house-sitting gig arena without having the right documentation in your portfolio. What exactly do you need?

house sitters need a valid Australian visa if you're not a resident
House sitters need a valid Australian visa if they’re not a resident

The absolute bare minimum requirements are to have a fully legal and verified visa. The most crucial requirement is obtaining a valid visa that permits you to stay and work as a house sitter.

Research the specific visa regulations for house sitters in your destination country and ensure you meet all the necessary criteria. You can check out this site for more information.

The next non-negotiable accreditation for potential clients to take you seriously as a house sitter is to complete a criminal record check to prove you have a clean slate crime-wise and are, therefore, trustworthy with such a big responsibility. 

Homeowners naturally prioritize security, and providing a criminal record check demonstrates your trustworthiness and reliability.

Most house sitting platforms and homeowners will likely request this document before finalizing an arrangement.

Finally, consider preparing a written agreement outlining the terms and responsibilities of the house sitting arrangement.

This can help ensure clear communication between you and the homeowner, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings during the house sitting period.

Take a First Aid Course for Pets

An undeniable way to show that you really mean business and care about what you do is to prove to your potential client that you have all of the qualifications and experience to do the job right.

A pet First Aid certificate is a great idea
A pet First Aid certificate is a great idea

And as a responsible house sitter, your main concern should be the well-being of the animals under your care. Because Australia was locked down so much during the pandemic, the rate of animal ownership in Australia has skyrocketed.

This means a pet first aid certificate is a no-brainer.

Not only will you gain valuable insight into how to look after animals in case of an emergency, but it is an excellent way to show your commitment to the safety and health of the furry companions you’ll be looking after.

This course covers essential skills such as recognizing signs of distress, administering basic first aid, and handling emergency situations until professional help arrives.

Completing a pet first aid course not only enhances your qualifications as a house sitter but also instills confidence in homeowners, knowing that their pets are in capable hands.

Being prepared to handle unexpected situations can make all the difference in the world in ensuring the animals’ safety and well-being.

Protect Your Safety

While house sitting in Australia offers numerous advantages, personal safety should always be a top priority. The most important point is to protect yourself.

Use trustworthy online websites to find house sitting jobs
Use trustworthy online websites to find house sitting jobs

Avoid risky situations by using official channels or reputable house sitting platforms to find opportunities. Being cautious and conducting thorough research can protect you from potential dangers.

This means finding a house sitting job listing through official channels as opposed to replying to an advert on Facebook.

This, while an incredible opportunity, is also a risk, especially if you are travelling alone.

The last thing you need is to turn up and find the client is not who they say they are and end up in a dangerous situation that puts you at significant risk. 

Main House Sitting job sites in Australia

Here are a few house sitting jobs sites to get you started in preparing a resume and thinking about references. Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth are prime destinations for house sitting jobs.

It’s true this takes a little work, but for free accommodation in what is usually way nicer than an airbnb (and with your own dog or cat for company), this is a great way to save money and see Australia cheaply.

You might find yourself relaxing in a large garden, by a pool, overlooking a beach, near nice walking areas around Sydney Harbour, and all for free!

Aussie House Sitters website
Aussie House Sitters website

You might find it easier to get a house sitting job if you are willing to stay outside of the main centers of Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth and especially in a rural location.

Farm stays, where you may look after several dogs and maybe even some chickens, are a different kind of house sitting experience, but one that will teach you much about Australian life and culture.

The contact details for each of these established house sitting companies are on each house sitting site.

– Aussie House Sitters

– Happy House Sitters

– The House Sitters

– Mindahome

– Trusted House Sitters

– House Sitting Australia

– Oz House Sitters

– Mind My House

– Pawshake

– Mad Paws

– House Carers

– Nomador

– Melbourne House Sitters

Final Thoughts

Australia is a popular destination for a number of great reasons. House sitting in Australia is an exciting and cost-effective way to explore the country while gaining professional experience and some great references from pet and home owners.

By approaching an apartment or house sitting job with genuine passion, relevant experience, and proper documentation, you can open the door to unforgettable travel experiences and meaningful connections with homeowners and their beloved pets.

Find your niche, represent your qualifications and drive and put yourself forward for opportunities to explore this land while providing a vital service to residents too.