If you’re looking for a way to live in the city without paying sky-high rent, you could try housesitting. Unless you’re allergic to cats or dogs, looking after someone’s pet while they’re on holidays can allow you to live there rent free. And if you market yourself properly, you can get paid to do it!
There are a few sites online that can help you put yourself out there as a housesitter; some are designed to launch you on a “professional” career, while others will help you start more casually.
Launched in January, YourHomeMyHome is for housesitters who want a full-time gig. There are three membership levels: monthly $8.95, quarterly $19.95 and annual $79. The website is one of the more professional sites designed to put you in direct contact with home owners. It claims to have given users more than 10,000 nights of free accommodation in the past year and that one user earned almost $70,000 a year from housesitting.
If that doesn’t suit, you can look for housesitting jobs on AirTasker. The app has no membership fees but if you log a successful job it will take a 15% cut of your earnings.
As with any job in the share economy, there are tax consequences. Legal liability for damages is also an issue. YourHomeMyHome says some home owners request a refundable bond.