What does a Property Caretaker do?

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  • Written By: Cassie L. Damewood
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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A property caretaker takes care of a residential or commercial building or parcel of land for a monetary wage or in exchange for room, board or other services. Property caretakers who look after residential homes are often referred to as estate managers or house sitters. Common commercial caretaking jobs include those at resorts, inns and public campgrounds. These jobs may be short or long-term positions.

A property caretaker is frequently preferred over a property manager to care for buildings and homes based on cost and convenience. Property managers frequently charge more for their services than property caretakers do, as caretakers often work for money along with room and board or other benefits. Property managers also often require long-term contracts, while most property caretakers do not.

A house sitter is a residential property caretaker who watches over people’s homes when they travel for business or pleasure. The job normally entails plant care, mail collection and light housekeeping. A person with this job may be hired on a long or short-term basis.

People with second homes for seasonal use often hire property caretakers to live in the houses when they are not there. The presence of a human in these homes is usually considered a deterrent to burglars and prowlers as well. Caretakers in these scenarios are ordinarily expected to maintain the property and communicate any problems to the owner.


A commercial property caretaker frequently resides off-site near the property he tends. Schools, working farms, and historic landmark buildings are commonly maintained by a caretaker who visits the properties on a regular basis. He normally keeps the places clean and performs minor repairs to keep them in good working order.

Seasonal businesses also regularly hire a property caretaker to maintain property during off-seasons. Summer campgrounds and ski lodges usually hire a caretaker to provide a physical presence to deter intruders when the buildings are empty during certain months of the year. These positions typically require the caretaker to protect the property from weather-related harm caused by storms or snow as well.

Less common property caretaker jobs include those in forests and cemeteries. During fire seasons, some public parks hire people to live in remote areas and periodically climb to the tops of fire lookout towers to check for smoke or fires. Cemeteries located in isolated regions frequently hire a property caretaker to live on the property discourage trespassers and vandals.

There are no educational requirements to be a property caretaker. Being handy at light home repairs and adept at housekeeping are generally considered assets for the position. A list of references from satisfied clients is highly desirable for aspiring property caretakers.


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Thanks for writing about property caretaking.

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