June 4, 2023

House keeping job

Older brotherMegan Gay and Sean Wood have been spared the effects of the economic crisis, significantly cutting the cost of living by working as a housekeeper.

About seven months ago, Gay and Wood, both 27 years old, decided to leave London, live in a stranger’s house, and start pursuing a career as a housekeeper.

Unlike the jobs that pay, the landlord only needs to provide free accommodation, heating, and food for the caretaker. In return, the housekeeper is responsible for taking care of the property and pets when the owner is away.

Sean Wood and Megan Gay at a property they are tending to in Taunton, Somerset (England). Image: Roy Riley/The Guardian

The form of staying at a stranger’s house, saving money is not new in the UK, but suddenly exploded after the pandemic, especially in the context of an unstable housing market, inflation at a 40-year high, spending The cost of energy and necessities skyrocketed, causing more and more people to pursue.

Nick Fuad, manager of House Sitters UK, which connects house sitters with owners, said: “More and more people are having a hard time finding an affordable place to live. So the job of looking after a house is in the water. home is definitely a desirable alternative.”

According to statistics, the number of house sitters on the House Sitters website has doubled compared to the time before the pandemic. TrustedHousesitters, another platform also reported 275% growth since 2021 in the UK. The reason for this increase comes from the desire to travel after the pandemic and the increased demand for house and pet care.

Not having to pay rent or electricity and water bills, Gay – a senior manager of the advertising and marketing industry, and his boyfriend save a considerable amount of income. Every month, they only have to pay for petrol, food and membership costs of £ 200 (nearly VND 6 million) per year on the TrustedHousesitters platform.

Of course, this is nothing compared to what the couple used to have to pay for living expenses, including £2,000 in rent for a flat in south London, more than £200 a month for electricity, water, gas and electricity. £2,500 per year for a parking space.

“While friends are constantly complaining when rent increases, many people have to move back home to live with their parents, find a cheaper place to live or urgently ask the boss for a raise, we still live well,” Gay said. .

Angela Laws is helping a stranger look after her home on Bainbridge Island, Washington.  Photo: Angela Laws

Angela Laws is helping a stranger look after her home on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Image: Angela Laws

The average time of house keeping lasts 1-2 weeks, but is showing signs of increasing to 3-5 weeks, especially for the group of people who want to turn housekeeping into a full-time job.

Angela Laws, 75, and her husband were among the first to sign up for housekeepers 12 years ago. They have looked after countless homes around the world, from Scotland, France, Australia, the United States to Italy, Canada and the Caribbean. “Work allows us to travel and do more than we ever thought possible with limited income,” she said.

Working as a community manager for TrustedHousesitters for the past four years, Ms Laws says many people have saved more than £30,000 a year by looking after rented homes. This amount could be enough as a deposit to buy a house in the UK.

But this lifestyle still has certain limitations. Many people have a hard time finding temporary accommodation between housekeeping appointments. They have to sleep on the sofas of friends and relatives for a few days or even weeks. This makes it difficult for people without a social safety net to pursue a stay-at-home career. Not to mention, a small number of homeowners or housekeepers have ever encountered risks in the process of working.

Corinne Harrison and her partner Jack, both 30 years old, started housekeepers earlier this year. In the past 6 months, they visited 11 houses ranging from affordable to high-end. At first, the couple received a short-term contract, lasting about a week. But then they quickly realized the challenge because sometimes it is difficult to arrange the care schedule between houses in a seamless way. Currently, the couple just wants to find someone who wants to look after the house for a long time.

“But in return, house keeping helps us escape the cycle of renting, working and shopping. Worry about money has existed since before the cost of living crisis hit. The only way for us. living together, saving money is being homeless and living in someone else’s house,” Corinne said.

Minh Phuong (According to Guardian)


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