Our Blog


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Thank you for the exceptional service looking after our home while we were away. We appreciated meeting the sitter prior to leaving and were very pleased to see the notes that were left detailing the visits. Will definitely call Houseguard again! 

Thank you,


March 20, 2017


Gives us peace of mind and allows us to better enjoy our time away. Thank you for the great service.


February 27, 2017


Houseguard looked after my home and two cats for 4 days.  I  was so impressed with the care and attention to detail.  I felt like I, my home and my pets mattered and were important. Thank you!


March 21, 2017


Going on Vacation? Do You Know What You’ve Agreed To Do With Your Insurer?

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Going on Vacation? Do You Know What You’ve Agreed To Do With Your Insurer?

Going away? Here are some insurance tips


Your arrangements are finalized, your bags are packed, and you’ve arranged with someone to pick up the mail and clear the snow from the front walk.  You’re all set to leave, or perhaps as I’ve done many times, you’ve headed up north for a couple nights and it quickly turns into four or five. Such are the realities of living through a Canadian winter.  Everyone looks for a break from the bitter cold and dampness.


What most people don’t know, and many people in the insurance industry don’t tell you, is that you’ve made a promise to your insurer that you’ll do certain things in the event you leave home for four or more days.  It’s important to note that unlike automobile policies, there is no uniformity amongst property insurance policies.  That being said, I have yet to see a property policy without a warranty along the lines of the following:


“… We cover damage caused by water (they then go on to define what water damage is), but we do not insure loss or damage caused by freezing during the usual heating season, of any part of a plumbing, heating, or air conditioning system or “domestic water container” within a heated portion of your “dwelling” if you have been away for more than four (4) consecutive days…”


It will go on to say, “… However you would still be insured if you:


have arranged for a competent person to enter your “dwelling” each day you were away to ensure the heating was being maintained; or

– shut off the water supply and had drained all the pipes and “domestic water containers”; or

if your heating system is connected by a monitored heating alarm to a station providing twenty-four (24) hour service…”


In essence, if you’ll be away for more than four days, you need to take some steps to ensure your insurance policy remains in force.  Ideally, you need to have someone come in and check the heating of the home on a daily basis, or, alternatively, you need to drain all of your “domestic water containers” which include your hot water tank and toilets.  You would also have to drain all of your pipes.  If we’re being honest about it, I personally don’t take the second option. I just am not comfortable messing around with the plumbing system in my home.  The third option above is the one that I see used the least.  A monitored heating alarm is an additional expense and isn’t practical for most home applications.  It is more common in a commercial setting when the business operation is a temperature sensitive one (food processing facilities comes to mind).


The easiest and most practical option the insurer gives you is the first one.  Arrange for someone to check the property to ensure the heating is operating properly.  The key is you need to plan it, and be able to show you’ve taken the necessary steps if required to.  


The insurer puts this clause into the contract to protect themselves from a property being unwatched for days on end.  The longer water flows the more it will cost them in the end.  If a situation is discovered and promptly dealt with, it works out better for everyone involved.  I would suggest you get your insurance policy out, review the water damage section and the statutory conditions section to verify what your exact situation is.  If you’re unsure, contact your insurance advisor and verify exactly what your obligations are, and follow up in writing. A conversation and some planning ahead of time can be your best defense against a very stressful situation later.


Information Required When Booking a House Sitter

Friday, April 08, 2016
Information for House Sitters - Houseguard Housesitters - Winnipeg House SitterWhen you place your trust with Houseguard Housesitters, we want to ensure that your experience is both pleasant and positive. Since 1992, we have prided ourselves on our professionalism and are proud of the testimonies we have received from the many satisfied customers that we have serviced. In our ongoing commitment to provide reliable and responsible housesitting services, we have compiled a list of information to allow you to familiarize yourself with our services and customer requirements. 

Inquiries are handled both by telephone and email.  If you are forwarding a booking request by email, please include the following information:
- Complete names, including spouses.

- Complete contact information (including telephone #s: home, work, cell).

- Complete physical address and complete mailing address (if different).

- Type of service required (daily visit - for pet care; 48-hour visit; house insurance check, etc.)

- Dates service is required (THIS IS IMPORTANT: We need the departure date and time along with the return date and timing. We are very flexible as we do have customers changing their planned departure date several times due to various circumstances, such as sudden personal or professional developments or changes in weather conditions).

- If pets are involved, we require details on any possible medical condition or other specific concerns, which may include pills or other medications, insulin shots, special feeding instructions, etc.

- Plant information, including watering schedule (daily, weekly, etc.), misting, and quantity of water required for specific plants, etc.

- If yard maintenance is required, inform us whether you already have a service company. If not, we can provide snow clearing, lawn mowing and other outdoor cleaning and service.

- We must be notified of alarm company details (if applicable) and discuss the need for a keypad code and a password for the sitter. We also provide first alarm response if required by the customer. (This would need to be discussed in detail with a customer).

- If a last-minute booking, we would request a minimum of emergency contact information and when they would be available to meet with the sitter, among other important details.

Our terms are a 20% deposit on booking with the balance plus GST to be remitted on the last day of service.
- Preferred payment details: Cash, cheque, Interact E-transfer, Visa, MasterCharge, Amex, along with all necessary information (card holder name, expiry date, CVV (Card Security Number).

- We require an email address (if available) to forward the service agreement and invoice and to be able to contact the customer in case of emergency. 

While the services we provide are general in nature, we also look after many specific requirements customers might have, which may include feeding outdoor birds or other yard-pets, etc.