My husband and I moved to Australia last year for his job. Initially, we were supposed to leave after 12 months but have been asked to stay for a further 12 months and now need someone to live in our house and care for our pets while we’re gone. So, we are now looking for someone to live in our three-bedroom house and care for our animals from the end of August move in dates could be sooner with notice).
We have two dogs and two cats. The cats are both neutered boys and have just turned 10 this month. We used to live in a flat so they were indoor cats for a while and, when we moved to a house, we were too close to a road to let them go out wandering all day. Because of this, they do stay inside but are allowed to go in the garden when someone is there. Mugen (black and white) likes to be outside but Taro is less bothered. They basically sleep all day but are quite cuddly so will want attention.
The dogs are both Bear Coat Shar Peis (you can find them on Instagram - bear_dogs). Sula, the girl, just turned 8 and Odin, the boy, will be 7 in October. They’re both pretty lazy; they go outside to the loo first thing in the morning and at night and a dog walker comes in around midday to walk them.
Sula does suffer from something called Shar Pei Fever, which means she gets a really high temperature and this can be dangerous. When it happens we simply give her an oral dose of Metacam and hope the temperature goes down. If it doesn’t, she just goes to the vet for a shot of antibiotics (but we’ll always be around to give advice and guidance on what to do, as will my Mother-in –Law, who’s UK based).
Odin has some liver issues and takes pills each day (usually hidden in food). He does need a vet check every so often but it’s just a case of taking him and letting us know so we can make payment. The same applies to medication; we can order and pay for it but it will need to be collected from the local vet in the High Street,
The house is located in Chislehurst (SE London), around 20 mins into London Bridge by train. It has three bedrooms; two doubles and one single (although this is currently housing some of our belongings). One of the bedrooms has a king-sized bed, a chest of drawers, wardrobes and a TV. The other currently contains the current tenant’s belongings so will be empty when he moves out. Therefore, the second room will also be available should two people (or couples) want to move in.
The kitchen has the usual appliances, including a dishwasher, and we have left all the plates, glasses, cutlery, pans etc so that will all be there to use. There’s a lounge with a huge 3D TV and also a dining room with a large table and benches. We have a nice-sized garden that is just beautiful throughout the year, though we kept it quite wild and low maintenance. There’s also parking spaces for 2-3 cars at the front on the house.
There is a bus stop outside the house, which goes to Elmstead Woods station (0.5 miles away). Trains from here are quite frequent either into London Bridge, Waterloo or Cannon Street in around 20 minutes.
We will cover the mortgage, council tax, any vet bills and medication for the dogs (and cats) but we do ask that utilities are covered (gas, electricity and water – around £300 per month). You will be responsible for ensuring that the dogs are cared for during the day, whether that be by yourself or arranging a dog walker. You will also need to cover pet food costs. Our regular monthly outgoings are £3,265 so this would be a huge saving for anyone who decides to take up this opportunity.
Our main expectation in this situation is that the animals are loved and well cared for. It is important that appropriate arrangements are made if the tenant is away for a period of time (holidays etc) so that either another pet sitter is employed (we have one that we have used in the past) or a trusted person is available to stay at the house. We do not use kennels or catteries as we prefer the animals to remain in their own home.
We expect the person to care for the animals as if they were their own. Vet visits will need to happen and the person needs to confidently be able to handle dogs. We’d appreciate weekly check-ins via whatsapp or but, because of the time difference, calls can be tricky. We don’t want to smother the person, just let them know that we are available to assist with any queries (providing we’re awake of course).
Once the right person has been secured, we will make arrangements to draw up a formal contract. We ask that, in the event that the tenant needs to leave prior to the end of August 2020, we are given appropriate notice to make other arrangements. We will obviously reciprocate should there be a reason that we need to return to the UK early.
All in all, we just want to find someone responsible who we can trust to look after the animals. Their welfare is our priority and this is obviously a very sensitive situation as we are trying to sort things from the other side of the world. If you are interested in the proposition, the next step is to send us any additional questions you may have then we can arrange a call. Should both parties be happy, we can make introductions to my mother-in-law (uk-based), who would be a main point of contact, and also make arrangements for you to go to the house to meet the animals. The current tenant, Dan, will be able to meet you and run through the requirements and give you a bit more info about the situation. You would then be able to arrange a handover with him if you wanted to proceed.