There appears to be a practice in Canada where homeowners are asking up to 800 a month for utiliites. This is not in the spirit of housesitting, particularily when considering the benefits a house sitter brings - and the alternate high cost of leaving a vacant home eg costs of winterizing a home. Stata or Condo fees should not be included in the utilities as - condo owner has to pay monthly regardless of occupancy.
I am including below a comment from a Canadian house sitter:
“The posters are definitely calling their charges utilities, not rent. However, if the posters couldn't find a housesitter, they would have to pay someone to remove snow from their sidewalk, rake leaves or water plants; or put some effort into what's called "winterizing" your home if you want to shut it down for the winter.
And finding a short term renter through traditional means is difficult, so they use your site to do it. In some ways a housesitter is doing them a favour: they want their house occupied while they're away, yet they want to charge for it. I live on the southwest coast, so can't say what heating costs are in colder areas, but $800 for all utilities is absurd, particularly in this Alberta case where they're called "strata fees" — a fee a Canadian condo owner has to pay monthly regardless of occupancy.
This is what we say in our guidelines:
"Other recurring bills such as phone rental, rates, condo association fees, body corporate fees, strata fees, local council rates, water, sewer, cable TV rental, ISP rental, or property taxes usually remain the responsibility of the owner. If your arrangement will be 12 months or more in duration, you might consider allocating all or a portion of the recurring bills to the house sitter
We urge you to incorporate your utility/tax payment conditions in your written contract."