Long Term House Sitting Adelaide, South Australia: Secrets to Success

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house sitting adelaide
Adelaide, the city of churches, is underrated as a house sitting destination. Photo by Kina/Unsplash

Looking for long-term house sitting Adelaide secrets? After 2 years of housesitting, I’ll share with you the tips and tricks to secure free accommodation (plus, unlimited pet cuddles) in the South Australian capital.

What Is House Sitting?

House sitting is a trust-based transaction between a homeowner and a housesitter, who cares for the home and pets while the owner is away, in exchange for free rent and utilities*.

*A minority are paid, but mostly for short periods, or when the house sit requires additional pet health care or property maintenance.

Homeowners save money on boarding for their pets, while increasing security in their homes by having someone there. You save money on accommodation while travelling or saving, all while receiving endless pet snuggles and sniffs. House sits can be short-term (a few days) or long-term (up to a year or more).

(c) Kate Zarb - Oh, Nomad! [ohnomad.com]
Do you want to the secrets to travelling and living for free with adorable animals? Image © Kate Zarb / ohnomad.com

Why House Sitting Adelaide?

Adelaide is a quieter and more affordable option to the major East Coast cities of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. You would need around $829 in Adelaide to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with $1,000 in Sydney. The city’s Mediterranean climate is an attractive alternative to the tropical north with easy access to beautiful wine regions, and nearby Flinders Ranges, Outback and Kangaroo Island.

On Aussie House Sitters, there were only 17 Adelaide house sits listed in the proceeding 7 days, compared to 90 in Sydney and 114 in Melbourne, so if you want to stay for free, you’ll need the ‘tricks of the trade’.

House Sitting Adelaide Secrets

South Australia (SA) and Adelaide Public Holidays

Many people plan their holidays around public holidays, adding any accrued leave from their jobs to the dates on which their workplace is closed. Or, they leave at this time to spend time with friends and family during ‘the holidays’ – especially Christmas and Easter.

If you want to secure a long term house sit in Adelaide, being available during these times means that you are much more likely to ‘lock something in’ and will have greater choice than at other times of the year. You may also have luck during Adelaide’s coldest months (May-September) when some residents travel to warmer climates.

Australia/SA Public HolidaysDate/s
New Year’s DayJanuary 1*
Australia DayJanuary 26
Adelaide Cup Day2nd Monday in March
Easter (Good Friday, Easter Saturday/Sunday/Monday)Early-Mid April
ANZAC DayApril 25
Labour Day1st Monday in May
King’s Birthday1st Monday in October
Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day)December 24-26#
*If New Year’s Day falls on a weekend, the public holiday may be on January 3.
#The Holidays Act 1983 provides for an extra public holiday to be added when Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day falls on a weekend.
Public holidays are prime house sitting opportunities. Photo by Kina/Unsplash

House Sitting Adelaide Locations

Suburbs like Prospect, Glenelg and Kensington are popular destinations, but your application for house sits in these locations may quickly fall to the bottom of the pile. If you want to increase your chances of longer house sitting opportunities, you might need to move further out of the city. Consider also looking for opportunities around the state in areas like the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and Port Augusta.

Meet With Homeowners

While Adelaide residents are generally a relaxed bunch – homeowners like to get to know the house sitters that will take care of their home – especially long term. For house sits over a month, as soon as I’ve spoken to the homeowner over the phone, I try and organise a ‘meet and greet’. If I’m in another city, I let them know the dates that I will be near them and schedule an approximate date to meet.

I believe that this shows commitment to the house sit and this gesture will make you stand out from other applicants. It’s a great opportunity to be introduced to the pets and to get a ‘feel’ for the house, location and what will be required from you during your stay. If you meet with difficult or disrespectful homeowners, I’d rather know this before I spend months in their homes!

Yet, you more often meet with people in person only to find that you quickly bond and agree to the house sit.

Finally, to maximise your chances of getting that long term house to sit in Adelaide, here are some tips:

  • Use the ‘Alert’ feature on Aussie House Sitters to be notified via email when house sits of 2-4 weeks/1 month or more are listed and apply as soon as you can. Go to ‘My Account” > ‘Useful Tools’ > ‘My Alerts’ > ‘New Alert’;
  • Apply for a QLD Police Certificate ($42AUD) to reassure homeowners of your suitability;
  • Provide a link to your social media accounts and/or full name in your application, so homeowners can ‘Google’ you;
  • Keep it all about them – ask questions about where they are going, how they like things done around the house and their preferences. Read their ad, listen carefully and take notes of these for later. Clarify anything unclear about their expectations.

In a trust-based exchange like house sitting, the more that you show yourself to be a considerate and trustworthy house sitter, the more success you’ll have. Once you have a few good references (in addition to being available on public holidays, meeting with owners quickly and being flexible in your choice of location), you’ll be long term house sitting Adelaide-wide before you know it.

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