TrustedHousesitters Terms of Service
Last updated: 15th December 2020
Welcome to TrustedHousesitters. We place our members at the heart of everything we do and are committed to ensuring you have the best possible experience when using our Services (as defined below).
When we talk about TrustedHousesitters "we", "our" or "us" in these Terms of Service, we are referring to TrustedHousesitters Ltd., a company incorporated and registered in England and Wales with company number 07227301, whose registered office is at 20-22 Wenlock Road, London N1 7GU.
Please read these Terms of Service carefully as they contain important information about your legal rights, remedies and obligations. By registering to become a Member (as defined below), you agree to comply with and be bound by these Terms of Service.
Please use the Glossary to understand the meaning of some of the terms used in these Terms of Service.
If you have any questions about anything in these Terms of Service, please get in touch with our Membership Services Team via our Helpdesk.
OVERVIEW OF HOW THE SERVICES WORK
In consideration of Members paying a membership fee and
complying with the requirements of these Terms of Service, we will
provide the following:
- the ability for Owners to make their property available to Sitters; and/or
- the ability for Sitters to provide the services of caring for an Owner's property and/or pet(s); and
- the right to use our other services as set out in section 2; and
- the right to have full access to the content on the Platform.
- Owners and Sitters are together referred to as "Members" or individually as "you".
- We will provide the Services to you for the period specified in your membership plan (usually 3 or 12 months).
- The Services can be accessed via our website and/or mobile application at www.trustedhousesitters.com ("Platform").
- In consideration of Members paying a membership fee and complying with the requirements of these Terms of Service, we will provide the following:
SEPARATE AGREEMENT BETWEEN MEMBERS
- When you arrange a Sit via our Platform, you are entering into an agreement between yourself and an Owner or Sitter (as applicable). It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that the requirements of the Owner Listing/Sitter Profile are in line with your expectations and experience. We do provide guidance on how best to arrange a Sit, but any arrangements you come to form part of the separate agreement between you and the Owner and Sitter (as applicable). For avoidance of doubt, we are not party to any agreement, contractual or otherwise, between an Owner and a Sitter.
- You should use your best judgement before arranging a Sit/Sitter, or otherwise interacting with other Members via the Platform. You are solely responsible for making decisions that are in your best interests, including in relation to properties and pet(s).
THE SERVICES WE PROVIDE FOR MEMBERS
The services we provide for Owners are:
- the ability to create an Owner Listing including creating a comprehensive Welcome Guide;
- the ability to search for Sitters via the Platform;
- the ability to communicate with a Sitter via the messaging service on the Platform;
- the ability to choose and confirm a Sitter via the Platform;
- the ability to leave a Review for a Sitter who has completed a Sit;
- Membership Service Support;
- a Vet Advice Helpline which is available 24/7
- an Insurance Backed Guarantee which offers property damage, theft and public liability protection, subject to these terms and conditions .
- a Sit Cancellation Insurance for premium tier owner members, which offers protection for short notice sitter cancellations, subject to these terms and conditions.
The services we provide for Sitters are:
- the ability to create a Sitter Profile including listing your availability to Sit;
- the ability to search for Sits by looking at available Owner Listings;
- the ability to obtain a Trust and Verification Badge as a result of verifying your email address, telephone number and providing a reference from an external third party (collectively "Basic Verification Check")
- the ability to obtain a Trust and Verification Badge as a result of third party agency (Evident ID, Inc.) performing, amongst other things, an online identity document check ("Sitter Background Checks");
- the ability to communicate with Owners via the Platform's messaging service;
- the ability to leave Feedback for an Owner after you have completed a Sit for them;
- Membership Services Support; and
- the Vet Advice Helpline which is available 24/7.
- The services we provide for Owners are:
THE SERVICES WE DO NOT PROVIDE TO MEMBERS
We do not provide guarantees for any of the following:
- the safety of an Owners home and/or pet(s);
- confirmation of arrangements including dates of Sit;
- whether the Sit will go ahead as arranged;
- your Owner Listing or Sitter Profile will be approved by us; and
- a match with another Member to commence a Sit.
We do not actively provide any of the following:
- house sitting and/or pet care services, the Platform is available for Members to search, connect and communicate with each other;
- full Sitter Background Checks on all Sitters
- validation of information in the Sitter Background Checks;
- employment of any Sitters;
- checking the validity of Sitter References;
- endorsement of the quality or performance of Sitters;
- endorsement of the Owner's Listing details;
- endorsement of any Reviews or Feedback provided by Members;
- We do not provide guarantees for any of the following:
REQUIREMENTS OF OWNERS AND SITTERS
The following applies to all Members. You will:
- be an individual who is at least 21 years old;
- pay the membership fees on time;
- comply at all times in full with these Terms of Service;
- comply with the Member Code of Conduct ;
- comply with the Acceptable Use Policy ;
- keep your login details confidential and prevent any unauthorised access to, or use of, the Services via your Account;
- promptly notify us of any unauthorised use of your Account;
- not create a fake identity or impersonate anyone else;
- not create an Account in breach of any of our policies or procedures;
- only upload images of a certain format, size and resolution in accordance with our specifications (that will be notified to you at the time);
- only use the Services for domestic and private use, and will not use the Services in connection with any business or other organisation or for any commercial purpose whatsoever;
- respond to communications from other Members in a timely manner, but in any event, within 72 hours;
- complete a pre sit Handover and a post sit Handover;
- only cancel a Sit (or complete a Sit early) if there are extraordinary circumstances and you will immediately notify the Owner or Sitter (as applicable) of this;
- not access all or any part of the Platform or Services in order to build a product or service which competes with the Services (including the Platform); or use other services to provide the Services (or any services similar to the Services) to third parties;
- not attempt to copy (in any way possible), modify, transmit or distribute all or any portion of the Platform (including any software) in any form or media or by any means; and
- provide us with Safety Contact Information so that you can be contacted about your TrustedHousesitters Account in the event of an emergency.
The following applies only to Owners. You will:
- be responsible for vaccinating your own pet(s) and notify your Sitter should your pet(s) have any illnesses or ailments;
- ensure you have adequate provisions in place for veterinary care of your pet (such as pet insurance); and you hereby authorise the Sitter to obtain veterinary care for your pet(s) during a Sit if you cannot be reached;
- remain responsible at all times for any veterinary treatment that your pet(s) may require, including all costs and expenses incurred by the Sitter in relation to the same; and you will reimburse the Sitter for any such costs within 14 days of completion of a Sit;
- ensure that no pets to be left under the care of a Sitter have ever caused a person or animal any physical harm (no matter how minor the injury);
- notify a Sitter of any special requirements or behaviours relating to your pet(s) in your Owner Listing and when you communicate with any Sitter and during the Handover;
- evaluate the suitability of Sitters for yourself via direct communication with the Sitter where appropriate;
- you will ensure that the details of your Owner Listing are accurate and up to date;
- you will ensure that the details in your Welcome Guide are accurate and up to date in advance of the start of the Sit;
- only provide Member Content that accurately reflects the quality and condition of your home and or pet(s);
- ensure that you have adequate home insurance and that this insurance also covers you for the occupancy of a Sitter in your home (you may need to check this with your insurance provider);
- not have any inherently dangerous pets (such as venomous snakes or constrictors, primates, wolves or wolf hybrids, non-domesticated cats, alligators), or any animal with a history of attacks on pets or people;
- not have any pets which aren't explicitly listed in the details of the Owner Listing;
- ensure your home is vacated for a Sitter throughout the duration of the Sit, and that no third parties will interfere with the Sitter's enjoyment of your property;
- ensure that all Sits will be completed within your current membership term (unless we have given you written permission otherwise, however please be aware that this could involve additional costs); and
- notify the Sitter of the use and location of any CCTV or monitoring equipment prior to commencement of a Sit.
The following applies only to Sitters. You will:
- not charge for your pet sitting services;
- abide by all of the Owner's requests or instructions that are stipulated in their Owner Listing, Welcome Guide and Handover;
- contact the Owner if the pet(s) requires veterinary care;
- get approval to take the pet(s) to the vet for treatment and get the Owner's agreement to pay for any costs incurred. If you can't reach the Owner and the pet's health is at risk, you will contact the vet specified in the Welcome Guide and or use the Vet Advice Helpline provided and seek treatment ASAP;
- pay any veterinary expenses up front and request the Owner to reimburse you for all costs incurred;
- immediately contact the Owner in the event of any damage to property and get their approval for repair. In the event of an emergency, and you are unable to contact the Owner, you will pay for the repair of any damage caused, and request the Owner reimburse you for all costs incurred (provided you have not caused the damage yourself);
- not leave any Sit early under any circumstances, especially where this results in any pet(s) being left unattended, without first informing the Owner and giving them reasonable time to arrange alternative pet care. If you do, you will instantly receive a lifetime ban from the Platform;
- before arranging a Sit, have suitable insurance in place that will cover you for any travel and medical expenses;
- only upload Member Content that accurately reflects your house and pet sitting experience;
- not allow any other person(s) to participate in the sit unless they have been approved in writing by the Owner;
- ensure that all Sits will be completed within your current membership term (unless we have given you written permission otherwise, however please be aware that this could involve additional costs); and
- ensure that pets will remain at the Owner’s property overnight, and will not be taken away from the house without prior approval from the Owner.
- The following applies to all Members. You will:
CONSEQUENCES OF NOT COMPLYING WITH REQUIREMENTS FOR MEMBERS
In the event that a Member does not comply with the Requirements of
Owners and Sitters the following shall apply. We may:
- issue you with a warning;
- suspend your Account so you will not be able to access the Services during the suspension term;
- permanently block your access to the Services;
- immediately terminate these Terms of Service and delete your Owner Listing and/or remove your Sitter Profile;
- report any offences committed to the appropriate authority;
- The application of these sanctions is entirely at our discretion and we can choose whether to apply any one or all of them at any time.
- In the event that a Member does not comply with the Requirements of Owners and Sitters the following shall apply. We may:
- You will pay the Sitter Membership Fee and/or the Owner Membership Fee in order to access the Services.
- You will pay the initial Sitter Membership Fee and/or the Owner Membership Fee in the secure payment section of the Platform. Your membership will be automatically activated on that date ("Activation Date").
- If you have a ‘Owner Annual’ or a ‘Sitter Annual’ membership then you may choose to upgrade your membership plan at anytime during the term of your membership. By selecting an optional upgrade you will obtain access to the opposing side of either your existing Sitter/Owner Membership ("Combined Member"). The option to upgrade to a Combined Member is applicable to annual membership types only.
- All amounts and fees stated or referred to in these Terms of Service shall be payable in the currency available and selected by the Member.
- At the end of your current membership term we will automatically take the payment of the Sitter Membership Fee and/or the Owner Membership Fee unless you notify us that you want to cancel ("Auto-Renewal").
- It is up to you to keep your details registered with us (e.g. billing information, payment card details and email address) accurate and up to date in order for us to take a payment for Auto-Renewal.
- We may increase the price of any of our Services at any time and where we do so, we will email you. We will aim to give you at least 30 days notice of any such price increase.
CANCELLATION OF YOUR AUTO-RENEWAL
- To cancel your subscription prior to Auto-Renewal you must cancel via the ‘Membership’ section of your settings in your Account. Alternatively you may cancel your Auto-Renewal by notifying us by email email@example.com. Action must be taken at least 7 days before the date of your Auto-Renewal payment. You are solely responsible for timely cancellation.
- We will send you an email at least 30 days prior to your Auto-Renewal.
COOLING OFF PERIOD
- We will refund the Sitter Membership Fee and/or the Owner Membership Fee during the 14 day period following the Activation Date unless you have either applied for a Sit or have live dates published on your Owner Listing.
- We will refund the Sitter Membership Fee and/or the Owner Membership Fee during the 14 day period following the Auto-Renewal date unless you have either applied for a sit, have live dates published on your Owner Listing, or have had a Sit that exceeds your current membership confirmed by us.
TERM AND TERMINATION
The following applies to Owners only:
- If you choose the ‘Owner Annual’ membership option your membership is for a fixed period of 12 months and will automatically renew for further fixed periods of 12 months until you cancel it in accordance with 8.1.
- If you choose the ‘Owner 3 months’ membership option your membership is for a fixed period of 3 months and will automatically renew for further fixed periods of 3 months until you cancel it in accordance with 8.1.
The following applies to Sitters only:
- If you choose the ‘Sitter Annual’ membership option your membership is for a fixed period of 12 months and will automatically renew for further fixed periods of 12 months until you cancel it in accordance with 8.1.
The following applies to Combined Members only:
- If you choose the ‘Combined Annual’ membership option your membership is for a fixed period of 12 months and will automatically renew for further fixed periods of 12 months until you cancel it in accordance with 8.1.
The following applies to all members:
- If we terminate these Terms of Service in accordance with clause 6, you will not be entitled to a refund of any kind.
- We reserve the right to suspend or terminate your access to the Platform and/or Services at our sole discretion. If your access to the Platform and/or Services is suspended then you will remain listed in the Member database but will not be listed on the Platform until we notify you in writing that your suspension has ended.
- Whether or not we choose to terminate these Terms of Service will not have an affect on any other rights or remedies which we may have.
- The following applies to Owners only:
CONTENT AND PLATFORM OWNERSHIP
- In consideration of the payment of the Sitter Membership Fee and/or the Owner Membership Fee, you hereby assign to us with full rights guarantee to all intellectual property rights in all FRR Content and you hereby waive any claims you may have in the FRR Content. This means we own the FRR Content and will enable us to edit or delete any FRR Content.
- You hereby grant us an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, sub-licensable, royalty-free worldwide licence to use, copy, perform, publicly display, reproduce, adapt, modify, transmit, broadcast, prepare derivative works of, and/or distribute Member Content in connection with providing and/or promoting the Platform and the Services.
- You hereby confirm that you have created the Member Content that belongs to you and you are the author of the FRR Content that belongs to us and that our use of both will not infringe the rights of any third party.
- You hereby confirm that any content you upload to the Platform will not violate the Code of Conduct, our Acceptable Use Policy or these Terms of Service.
- You hereby acknowledge and agree that we own all intellectual property rights in the Platform and/or Services. This includes the (i) technology and software used to provide the Platform and/or Services; (ii) the content on the Platform (save in respect of any Member Content); and (iii) any trademarks and logos. You hereby acknowledge and agree that you do not have any intellectual property rights to, or in, the Platform or Services.
DISPUTES BETWEEN MEMBERS
- We will help Members resolve disputes only in accordance with the Member Dispute Process.
- Any outcome of the Member Dispute Process is entirely at our discretion and is a final binding decision.
As a consumer, you have legal rights in relation to the Platform and/or Services. Advice about your legal rights is available from the Citizens' Advice Bureau or Trading Standards office.
OTHER IMPORTANT TERMS
- Only you and us have the rights in these Terms of Service.
- You hereby agree that you are not our employee, partner, agent or legal representative of any kind. You will not make any statements, representations or commitments of any kind, or to take any action that could legally bind us.
- If we do not take any action against you this does not mean that we forgo any rights we may have under these Terms of Service.
- If any part of these Terms of Service are found to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal, ("the Offending Part") the Offending Part will be severed but the remaining provisions will remain in full force and effect. If the Offending Part belongs to a provision that is enforceable or legal, then the whole clause shall be modified so as to give effect to the intention of the parties.
- You will not assign or transfer any of your rights or obligations under these Terms of Service to any other person.
- We may at any time assign, transfer, charge, sub-contract or deal in any other manner with all or any of our rights or obligations under these Terms of Service, provided that your rights and obligations are not affected.
- We may amend these Terms of Service from time to time, however, we will aim to give you advance notice of any major changes.
- On termination of these Terms of Service, the clauses of these Terms of Service that reasonably should survive termination will remain in effect.
- Any notice we give you will be sent by email to the email address linked to your Account.
- If we cannot perform the Services for you because of events beyond our reasonable control (e.g. strikes, lock-outs or other industrial disputes whether involving our workforce or any other party, failure of a utility service or transport or telecommunications network, act of God, war, riot, civil commotion, malicious damage, compliance with any law or governmental order, rule, regulation or direction, accident, breakdown of plant or machinery, fire, flood or storm) we will suspend the Services for the duration of said event. If these events cannot be resolved in a reasonable period of time, we may terminate these Terms of Service.
LAW AND WHERE TO BRING PROCEEDINGS
- These Terms of Service are governed by English law and you can bring legal proceedings in respect of the Services in the English Courts.
- If you live in Scotland you can bring legal proceedings in respect of the Services in either the Scottish courts or the English courts.
- If you live in Northern Ireland you can bring legal proceedings in respect of the Services in either the Northern Irish courts or the English courts.
If the member is a consumer resident in another European Union member
state, nothing in these Terms of Service will affect the member's
ability to rely on mandatory provisions of the law of their member state
For more information please visit http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
- Please read these following clauses carefully as they clearly set out everything (i) we do not accept responsibility for; (ii) do not take liability for; and (iii) you assume responsibility for.
We do not accept any liability for:
- any additional sums incurred by the Member as a result of the processing of their Sitter Membership Fee and/or the Owner Membership Fee (such as bank charges);
- any loss of profits, loss of business, depletion of goodwill and/or similar losses;
- the retention, deletion or loss of your Member Content. It is your sole responsibility to maintain backup copies of your Member Content; or
- the acts or omissions of our agents and subcontractors (e.g. Vet Advice Helpline) to the Member arising under or in connection with these Terms of Service and the Services.
You assume full responsibility for the choices you make before, during
and after your participation in a Sit. You hereby agree
that as part of a Sit you will enter into a
contract between yourself and an Owner or
Sitter (as set out in clause 1.3 above) and you hereby
voluntarily assume all of the associated risks, such as:
- health risks such as illness, bodily injury, disability, or death;
- property risks such as theft, damage, loss or destruction of your goods and chattels;
- the Sitter Background Checks as these are carried out by Sitters themselves;
- the care and supervision of any minors;
- the care and supervision of any pets;
- any travel and subsistence costs; or
- invasion of privacy (e.g. by use of CCTV or monitoring equipment).
- To the maximum extent permitted by law (e.g. we are not negligent and do not owe you a duty of care) you agree that we are not liable for any injury, death, loss or harm that occurs to that occurs to anyone during a Sit or in any way related to a Sit.
- In no event shall we (including our employees, agents and subcontractors) be liable for any losses arising out of your breach of these Terms of Service or if you fail to follow any reasonable instructions we may give you.
We are responsible for:
- death or personal injury caused by our negligence;
- fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation carried out by our employees;
- intentional, wilful or wanton misconduct of our employees;
- performing the services with reasonable skill and care; or
- any other liability that cannot be excluded by law (including the Consumer Rights Act 2015).
- We are responsible for any loss or damage caused by us that is foreseeable as a result of us breaching these Terms of Service or failing to use reasonable skill and care, but we are not responsible for any loss or damage that is not foreseeable. Loss or damage is foreseeable if it was an obvious consequence of our breach or if it was contemplated by you and us at the time these Terms of Service were entered into.
- Our maximum liability to you under these Terms of Service is limited to the Sitter Membership Fee and/or the Owner Membership Fee you paid for the relevant 3 or 12 month membership period.
- You will reimburse us for all losses and expenses that we suffer as a result of a third party bringing a claim against us due to your breach of these Terms of Service.
Account means the area on the Platform accessed with secure login details including email address and password
Basic Verification Check means confirming the email address, telephone number and collecting an external reference(s) for a Sitter
Combined Member means the combination of both an Owner membership and a Sitter membership, accessed by paying an upgrade fee once already a Member
Essential Information means the personal data required to create an Account via the Platform (including first name, last name, email address and password)
Feedback means the comment and rating (out of five) left by a Sitter about a sit they have completed for an Owner
FRR Content means any Feedback, Reviews, References
Handover means communicating the essential details of an arranged Sit face-to-face and handing over the keys to start/finish the Sit, clearly setting out your expectations
Insurance Backed Guarantee means the guarantee providing protection against property damage, theft and public liability up to £1m, subject to these Guarantee Terms
Member Content means any content (including text, photographs, images, videos and any other materials) that relates to your Owner Listing and/or Sitter Profile
Member Code of Conduct means the guidelines for Members' behaviour when using the Platform and interacting with other Members, the current version is available here (as amended from time to time)
Member Dispute Process means the policy described in clause 12
Membership Service Support means the customer service/support team of TrustedHousesitters who will deal with all enquiries regarding a membership, use of the Platform and/or Services. This is available 24/7
Owner means the member who makes their property available to Sitters and who engages a Sitter in respect of such property
Owner Listing means the facility on our Platform where you can set out the responsibilities for the provision of house sitting including pet care that you want Sitters to comply with
Platform means the online platform accessed via the website www.trustedhousesitters.com or mobile application
Reference(s) mean an external comment and rating (out of five) left by a third party person for a Sitter’s profile
Review(s) means the comment and rating (out of five) left by an Owner about a Sitter who has sat for them
Safety Contact Information means the emergency contact details provided in your Account settings so that we can contact you urgently if necessary
Services means the ability for individuals to make their property available to sitters; and provide the services of caring for an Owner's property and/or pet(s); the right to use our other services and the right to have full access to the content on the Platform as set out in clause 1.1
Sit means the arrangement and completion of the house and pet sitting services carried out directly between the Owner and the Sitter
Sitter means the member who provides the services of caring for the property and/or pet(s) of the Owner
Sitter Background Checks means the record checking service provided by a third party agency (Evident ID, Inc.), that includes criminal records checks, sex offender registry checks, motor vehicle records checks and online identification document checks
Sit Cancellation Insurance means the policy protecting premium tier owner members against short notice sitter cancellations up to £1500, subject to these terms and conditions
Sitter Membership Fee and/or the Owner Membership Fee means the fee payable at Activation Date or Auto-Renewal allowing you access to the Services
Sitter Profile means the facility on our Platform where you can set out the information you provide about yourself such as your hobbies and interests, why you're looking to house sit, and any house/pet sitting experience you have
Trust and Verification Badges means the icons added to a Sitter's Profile Listing as a result of completion of Sitter's Background Checks, more information can be found here: www.trustedhousesitters.com/trust-and-safety
Vet Advice Helpline means the 24/7 veterinary helpline service provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.
Welcome Guide means the facility on our Platform where you can set out any specific requirements for your house or pet, such as emergency contact information, security details and/or wifi codes