Getting paid to sit in an empty house – How homesitters can protect against burglaries

New figures show theft is increasing in the UK, with Home Office data showing all theft crime is up 12% – with non-domestic burglary up 22% and domestic burglary up 6% in the first three quarters of 2022, compared with the same period in 2021[i].

One solution for people worried about leaving their property unattended when they go on holiday, or if a house is going through probate or renovation is to employ a homesitter.


Ben Irvine, Director of Operations at Homesitters Ltd said; “We provide homesitters to look after people’s homes and pets when the go away. As well as looking after pets, it helps keep the home safe and can put off opportunistic burglars. We also we offer a caretaker service which includes renovation and probate sits, as well as commercial sits.

“Properties are particularly vulnerable when awaiting probate, and unfortunately burglars are keen readers of obituaries and death notices. Empty or sparsely furnished properties can also be targeted so we provide live-in caretakers for homes in between tenants, awaiting sale or repossession, or undergoing refurbishment or conversions.”


Homesitters Ltd employs responsible homesitters like Joseph and Maureen Arnfield from Lancashire, both in their 80s who joined the firm in 2001 and have completed over 100 assignments over an incredible 2119 days.

When the Arnfields started homesitting, they spent nine months of the year on assignment and looked after pets too. Today, the couple prefer to look after empty commercial properties that need caretakers to ensure the property is safe and secure. They also do probate assignments and stay in a home while the legal arrangements are going through and have also done assignments where a house is being renovated and they stay there to provide security and let the builders and workmen in.


Maureen says, “We are passionate about travelling and enjoy exploring different places and homesitting really helps us financially as we are on a basic pension. We’ve stayed in lovely places in Dorset, Southport, and Cheshire. Recently we looked after a huge old property in Worcestershire. We had to keep the place secure, regularly check the rooms, turn on the heating and run the showers to prevent legionnaire’s disease, and to keep the place in good working order.”


The Artfield’s have also travelled to Scotland and Welshpool in Wales where they stayed in an old mansion which was like a stately home, and did an assignment in Clapham Common where they could spend free time sightseeing in London.


Maureen adds, “We are caretakers, so our role involves regular walks around the property to check everything is secure, including the alarm systems. Some properties are huge, and they are a big responsibility. However, we also have free time to explore so we can get out and about in the local area and visit attractions.”

“We don’t find homesitting hard work as we love to travel, and we’re delighted to be back on assignment after being stuck at home during Covid. I recommend it to anyone who loves travelling and do something different. You can also make savings on bills while on assignment and you get paid for doing it – for us, it’s a great way of life.”


To find out more about how employing homesitters like Maureen and Joseph could protect your home or commercial property this year visit: Or for anyone interested in becoming a homesitter click here.