Contact details for our referees are available upon request. Please send us a message via our contact page (link opens in a new window) if you would like phone or email details for any of the people who so kindly endorsed us after we looked after their valued homes, possessions and pets.
Apr 2018 – May 2018
What a joy it was to go on holiday stress free with not having to worry about pets and home. Vanessa and Ian made this possible.
Such kind and caring animal loving people to look after Bigdog and Dixie May, my precious dogs while I was away. Along with the dogs my two tortoises Albert and Victoria! A little difficult to give tortoises cuddles but I know that Bigdog and Dixie May got plenty.
The house, garden and pool were well taken care of too. Any problems were instantly addressed by email.
Along with being able to go away I have made two friends. Can’t thank them enough and hopefully they will pass my way to house pet sit all over again.
Vanessa and Ian looked after our dogs (and house!) for ten days in April. They were wonderful.
Our dogs, Zak and Rocko, were obviously very happy and had been well looked after, I have a suspicion they hadn’t missed us! The house was clean and tidy, lovely to come back to.
Vanessa kept in touch and sent us photos of the dogs giving us peace of mind. We thoroughly recommend Vanessa and Ian as trusted housesitters and hope they will be able to return.
Feb 2018 – Mar 2018
Dear Vanessa and Ian
I can’t thank you enough for looking after our animals and home. Even our fussy cat who is never happy with anyone was happy with you.
You are both very professional and know all about the animals.
The house was spotless and I feel like you are our loved family.
I would definitely recommend you. Please come back to Western Australia again. I wish you both all the very best.
Kind regards, Danuta
Vanessa and Ian are warm and friendly people who obviously take their housesitting duties seriously. They looked after our house and property very professionally but most importantly we had no qualms about leaving our pets in their care.
We recommend Vanessa and Ian for housesitting and would welcome them back any time.
It was great to have Ian and Vanessa back again. They’re great house sitters and lovely people with fascinating stories to tell!
Reliable, organised, confident and huge animal lovers.
We returned to happy pets and a spotless house.
Dec 2017 – Jan 2018
It was wonderful to have Ian and Vanessa house and pet sit for us while we were away. It was absolutely marvellous to not have to worry about anything during our trip, particularly as we were overseas. They were in touch regularly and kept us up to date about anything that was happening around the house and with the pets.
They got our dog to the vet for attention when it was necessary. Our garden was in order and all pot plants were in good condition. The house was cleaner when we returned than when we left. And our dog wanted to go with them when they left!
Thanks again Ian and Vanessa.
Carol & Marty
Bundy (dog), Millie (cat), 3 chickens, dozens of fish (tanks inside, pond outside)
Nov 2017 – Dec 2017
Couldn’t wish for better Housesitters!
Ian and Vanessa were such fantastic sitters – Marley loved them and we felt so reassured that we’d left him in safe hands. We had regular updates and pics while away.
House was left immaculate when we returned Would love to have Ian and Venessa back for another sit next year – superb experience.
Ian and Vanessa are very professional house sitters. They were fantastic with communication and extremely trustworthy.
They cared for my many animals, my large house and swimming pool with ease. They are such a pleasure and I feel very blessed to have had them at my home and would highly recommend them.
Far exceeded my expectations!!!
Ian and Vanessa recently looked after our home and our pets while we went away on holiday.
Several people have asked us how can you let a stranger look after your house? Ian & Vanessa made it so easy for us that we felt safe and comfortable leaving everything in their hands. We are so glad we chose them.
Beforehand they gave us any information we could possibly need and spent time with us before we left. They asked for all the information they could need, some of which we hadn’t thought to give.
When we came home they were here to hand over and we could tell that the dogs had been spoiled in our absence. The house looked amazing and I’m sure it was cleaner than I had left it. Ian and Vanessa are interesting, lovely people who make fantastic housesitters.
We highly recommend them!
Ian and Vanessa were very good at keeping in touch prior to taking up the house sit. It was evident from the questions they asked, that they had read my house guide.
They arrived the day prior to my going away which enabled them to meet Toby and to get to know him. They both had a very calming influence and Toby was more than happy to be with them. They also took the time to get to know Toby’s routine.
I felt very happy going away, as I knew that Toby would be very well looked after. In fact, when I returned it was very evident that he was missing them. He did for a couple of days.
My house was very tidy and well taken care of as well. They are very interesting people and easy to get along with.
I would have no hesitation in having them to house sit for me again. I know that Toby would be very happy to see them again as well. I wish them all the best in the future as great house sitters.
Ian and Vanessa are lovely people and great house-sitters. My cat was really well cared for and the house was immaculate on my return.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Ian and Vanessa and hopefully I will be lucky enough to have them back at some point.
Aug 2017 – Oct 2017
We cannot praise Ian and Vanessa highly enough.
They did an absolutely fantastic job of looking after our property/pool and beloved pet cat for 3 months whilst we were in the UK. Barbados is not an easy climate, with a mixture of very hot sun, high rainfall, high winds, lots of dust and high humidity. Cleaning and gardening are major tasks.
They had many issues to deal with during this hurricane season including dealing with spells of no electricity, a broken washing machine that was waiting for spare parts from the USA and our car that started with a/c problems just before we left.
They coped with it all in a calm and efficient manner and kept us updated regularly. We would have no hesitation in recommending them to look after your home and pets.
Apr 2017 – July 2017
Jolly well done Sir. It is a steep learning curve there. You did exactly as we would have done.
Mar 2017 – Apr 2017
Second repeat sit for Mary and Dave and their six cats (plus a couple of strays!) in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
See original review from July 2016 – Aug 2016
Vanessa and Ian spent a week house and pet sitting for us in January 2017. We could sense that they were completely capable of handling our home while we were gone, based on their many positive references and extensive experience, including housesits in several different countries (our home is in Mexico).
But added to this was the gentle love and attention they gave to our cherished pets, Gracie (our 10-yr-old blind labradoodle) and Lucy (our 18-yr-old cat). We could see upon our return home that both Gracie and Lucy were happy and content.
Vanessa and Ian have this lovely energy that just seems to put animals (and humans!) at ease. They’re intelligent, interesting & caring people whom we would love to have house sit again if the opportunity arises. We couldn’t recommend them more highly.
Dec 2016 – Jan 2017
Repeat sit for Mary and Dave and their six cats (plus a couple of strays!) in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
See original review from July 2016 – Aug 2016
Sept 2016 – Oct 2016
I feel writing this is one of the more pleasurable honors I could have. Way back in February of 2016 I did a Skype interview with Vanessa Anderson and Ian Usher. Felt very comfortable after the interview they were the right people for our house sit. Dates to be 25th of Sept to 21st of Oct 2016.
Because of prior experience this was a big leap for us. Understand, we were virtually going to be out of contact for two weeks. Yes really, no phone no internet.
At time of handover of our cats, dog and saltwater pool, I left with a smile on my face, happy we choose them.
When we returned our home looked just like we left it. Absolutely none of the animals lost any weight and they were all just as well behaved as we had left them, with no bad manners acquired!
Would we recommend them? Huge Yes.
Do we want them to house sit again? Absolute YES.
They are professional, charming, down-to-earth people.
Aug 2016 – Sept 2016
Thank you so much for looking after our dogs and our house for the month that we were away.
Living off-grid isn’t easy but we knew everything would be in safe hands with you here. The dogs are missing you I think.
I wouldn’t hesitate to give you 5 stars as a recommendation for future house sits.
July 2016 – Aug 2016
From the time Vanessa and Ian first responded to our post on THS, we felt comfortable with them. By the time they finished our sit, we felt like they were friends.
The house and cats were well cared for and they kept in touch with us, as needed, while we were gone.
Upon our return we were greeted with fresh flowers and a home cooked meal.
We are thrilled they will be returning two more times in the upcoming months.
Ian and Vanessa are a wonderful couple. Lively, friendly, obviously love dogs and are great fun to have around. They are extremely organized, happy to fit in with home and animal routines and were clearly loved by our pair of dogs.
We had a wonderful home cooked meal waiting for us on our return and the house was spotless. I would be more than happy to thoroughly recommend them and have them back with us again. We cannot praise them highly enough – 5 stars just does not do them justice.
We wish you many happy days of house sitting around the world and would love to have you back again.
May 2016 – June 2016
Ian and Vanessa came to look after our house, pool, garden, dog and small flock of 20 sheep for a week. Great communication in advance of the house sit. Thoroughly nice people, interesting, very experienced and obviously competent and practical – we had no concerns about leaving everything to them.
Nervy dog loved them, sheep haven’t registered any complaints, and Vanessa even very kindly emailed regular updates about the dog to our son who was missing him.
We would happily have them here again and would recommend them without hesitation.
Ian and Vanessa did a wonderful job when they were house sitting for us. Vanessa is very organised and professional and left me feeling confident everything would be OK. It was.
We returned to a spotless house and happy, well fed, clean and exercised animals. Vanessa also communicated with us while we were away and sent us photos of our dog having a lovely time.
Vanessa and Ian are great house sitters, they were very quick to reply to all my questions and put my mind at ease.
When they came to meet the pets we could tell that they are animal lovers.
They walked our dogs every day and made sure to keep our cats and dogs separate as requested. I was sent photo updates while I was away which was great to receive. Our house was clean and tidy and most importantly our pets healthy and happy when we returned!
Thank you both so much.
Very glad that we chose Ian and Vanessa to look after Xena our 2 year old German Shepherd. She was taken care of as good as if we were there and they really kept the house very clean.
I would highly recommend them to anyone who is needing their pets/houses looked after while away.
Our first time using a sitter and so happy that their experience and demeanour made our holiday enjoyable.
Leaving our home is never easy. We take great pride in having a lovely vacation home, including my husband’s pride and joy, the pool and spa. Unfortunately we felt it was in our best interest to escape an impending cyclone.
The fortunate part was that we had met Ian and Vanessa while they were house sitting just down the beach. We were comforted in knowing that Ian and Vanessa, a highly recommended, well experienced couple, would be looking after everything for us while we were away.
Due to the extreme weather conditions the pool filled with sand and debris and it turned an unnatural shade of green. Not to worry, Ian said. And true to his word he had it in crystal clear condition in no time, keeping us updated with pictures while we were away.
Thankful for Vanessa as well, she is extremely organized and they both helped put our luxury villa back in order, supervising staff, completing tasks themselves and making certain everything was in order.
We can’t thank Ian and Vanessa enough for all their efforts during what should have been a relaxing time for them. We all got on so well as they are such lovely people. We developed such a great rapport we really do hope they will come back again!
Feb 2016 – Mar 2016
It gives me great pleasure to provide my personal reference for Ian and Vanessa Usher, who have been house-sitting our resort for the past 6 weeks.
Serenity Point is a 5-star resort which closes for yearly maintenance in February and March each year, During this time, and with management absent, the resort and its skeleton staff must be supervised, with many daily activities and duties still occurring. Those activities include, but are not limited to, bill payment, supervision of staff shifts, calculation and payment of wages, building services management, and the care of pets.
Ian and Vanessa proved to be not only highly capable, but resilient and innovative, using their initiative frequently to address unexpected events which occurred during their tenure.
The most notable of these events was the impact of Cyclone Winston, a category five cyclone which swept through Fiji in March 2016. Ian and Vanessa prepared and implemented a disaster management program which assisted to protect our premises, and pets. They subsequently oversaw the clean-up and repair of the grounds to restore it to its pre–cyclone condition.
In addition to this, we have, for a long time, battled calcium scale build-up in our pool, and have been heretofore unable to resolve this. During Ian and Vanessa’s house-sit, Ian spent a considerable amount of time researching the issue and discussing it with neighbours. He was successful in finding a permanent resolution and our pool is now sparkling clear.
So impressed were we with the service delivery, often over and above the brief, provided by Ian and Vanessa that we have asked them to consider house-sitting our own home in Australia.
I would be most happy to confirm verbally this reference, and wish Ian and Vanessa well in the future.
Feb 2016 – Mar 2016
As resort owner/operators we’ve relied heavily throughout the years on house sitters to ensure our property, our staff, and our dogs are well looked after during the time our resort is closed for annual maintenance and we are away for vacation.
We’ve had talented individuals take care of our assets in this past but this year our house sitters, Ian and Vanessa rewrote the book when it comes to professionalism, dependability, and personalized service.
Ian and Vanessa’s years of property management and business experience really showed as they seamlessly oversaw the daily workings of Serenity Point. House sitting a 5-star resort demands a couple who can quickly master the numerous requirements of taking care of not only a property but also a functioning business. Ian and Vanessa developed trusted relationships with our staff, ensured payroll and bills were paid on time, and worked daily to keep all seasonal maintenance projects on task. Ian even went over and above by taking his own initiative to improve our pool maintenance systems. It was refreshing to see the property and the business being looked after with an owner’s mentality.
Another key variable for us is finding a couple who can care for our two English bulldog that stay behind while we are away. Ian and Vanessa made sure Bella and Angus we’re not only loved and well cared for but took it upon themselves to provide them with as much personalized attention as possible. Vanessa sent us numerous updates of fun stories and photos of the dog’s adventures which gave us the peace of mind that our family was enjoying vacation as much as we were.
Ian and Vanessa exude a commitment to quality and service in everything they do and this was never more apparent than when category 5 Cyclone Winston beared down on Fiji halfway through their stay. With their usual calm and collected approach they did everything necessary to properly prepare the resort for the impending storm and ensure both they and our dogs were safe and comfortable throughout the event.
Thanks to Ian and Vanessa there was never a moment where we had to worry about the property, the business, or our dogs which in turn provided us with the most relaxing vacation we’ve ever experienced. We will undoubtedly be seeking their house/resort sitting services in the years to come!
Dec 2015 – Jan 2016
On meeting Vanessa & Ian I immediately felt at ease as they are a very warm, gentle and responsible couple and I felt we had an instant rapport.
This was only our second experience with a house sitter and they certainly set the bar high. They are extremely professional and organised and they made us feel completely at ease leaving our beloved pets and home in their hands.
They provided regular emails/updates and included photos of the cats, which we thought was a lovely touch and very thoughtful as they knew I had my concerns.
I was concerned about how one of the cats would react to having strangers look after him as he can be somewhat anxious, however I need not have worried as about a week after leaving I received an update to say that Bear was starting to come round and was even coming to them for a brush.
They took great care of the house and on our return the house was immaculate. It being a large house with a pool, I expected at least a few minor issues as it can be difficult keeping on top of everything, however everything was perfect and you could immediately tell they had taken great care of everything. They had even left us freshly squeezed juice, planted a crop of tomatoes and ensured there was milk etc. left in the fridge.
I would absolutely have no hesitation in recommending them as house and or pet sitters. In fact, I asked them back, unfortunately they were unable to make the dates we needed. Hopefully we get to meet up with them again in the future as they are a wonderful and very interesting couple.
We are really pleased at how the house sit turned out, aside from you having to deal with the unfortunate issues with the heating. As you know I was very nervous going into it but now feel confident that we will do it again in future, so thank you for calming my nerves!
The cats seemed very pleased to see us but are back to their usual hijinx. We were touched by Ian’s kind comments on how lovely they are… We certainly think so but know that sometimes raving about cats can be perceived the wrong way (cat lady!!!!).
Trusting my home, my business studio, and my two beloved dogs to Vanessa and Ian is like leaving them in the hands of close family. They are both so caring, friendly and warm, with such a vibrant positive energy that I felt instantly at ease when I finally handed them my keys and waved them goodbye to go on a business trip to America.
They anticipated my questions and concerns, and talked me through their considerate approach to looking after my life while I was away. My main concern was managing any potential business calls into the office and looking after my ‘babies’.
Both Ian and Vanessa talked me through their professional backgrounds and their philosophy on life that instantly resonated with me, and made me feel confident in their personalities and morals.
Ian couldn’t wait to take care of the dogs, and make a fuss of them as if they were his own, knowing how to interact with them and taking notes about their behaviour, routines and diet.
Vanessa suggested an approach to managing my office that clearly showed her professionalism and experience in business. I’d gladly employ her, let alone have them both look after my home again.
I can’t recommend them highly enough. I was able to enjoy a productive, stress-free business trip and return to my home and garden probably tidier than I’d left it!
Ian and Vanessa are very professional, mature house sitters who looked after our waterside Caribbean home. They are friendly, reliable and looked after our dog, our cats and our chickens with love and care. They watered plants, kept the property clean and tidy.
We wouldn’t have any hesitation in asking them to house sit again or to recommend them to others. They are exactly the sort of people anyone would want to look after their home and pets.
Get in touch
Our blog also details our lifestyle, and includes some content from the online magazine we produce for the house sitting community:
House Sitting - The ultimate lifestyle magazine (this link opens in a new window or tab)
If you think we may be the right house sitters to look after your treasured pets, home and possessions, then send us a message: