House sitting


We didn’t want to leave our flat in London empty for 6 months during our absence so we’ve enlisted a house sitter in the form of a young colleague of mine, George.

George lives with his parents but is a very independent and capable individual. We’ve composed a house-sitting agreement in which he vows not to sublet the place or turn it into a crack den. Of course we trust him but some sort of document seems prudent, even if we’re unsure how much weight it would hold legally.

We’ve also gone completely overboard by writing a house-sitting manual that will no doubt be completely ignored by him but gives us peace of mind that we’ve covered every possible eventuality.

This sucker runs to 13 pages including a table of contents, although we didn’t add an alphabetised index (admirable restraint, I think you’ll agree). It includes photographs as well as text, such as the invaluable picture above of Bernd emptying the water reservoir and lint filter for the clothes dryer.

Our golden advice includes:

  • Although we live in a very nice area, burglary is rife. Please close and lock the windows when you leave the flat, even for a short time and even though it is a complete pain in the ass.
  • Opening the bathroom windows and turning on the exhaust fan when showering is the best way to prevent buildup of mould.
  • The covers for the hob (all of the black parts) can be put in the dishwasher every now and then. To clean the rest please use a soft kitchen cloth as it scratches easily.
  • Behind the hatch between the upstairs bedroom and the study you can find a fan for very hot days.

To be fair it does also include useful information like the wi-fi password and when to put out the rubbish. Re-reading the above, however, I’m prepared to admit that our obsessive personalities should’ve been reined in a little.

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