Because of the incredible growth of the Home Watch industry over the past decade, more and more companies are “hanging up their shingles” all over North America. These companies have access to tens of thousands—or more— of vacation and seasonal homeowners’ homes. Home Watch companies perform an incredibly valuable service for the homeowners who hire them—and most do have their clients’ best interests at heart. The problem is those that do not. The Home Watch profession is an unclassified, unregulated industry. As of today, no federal, provincial, state or municipal governments recognize Home Watch, and therefore our industry “flies under the radar.” There are no requirements at all: no insurance or bonding; no reporting standards; no best practices—in short, there is no accountability…to anyone.
In 2009, the idea for an organization to bring together this very disjointed group of businesses—businesses that are known by many other names—to set standards, best practices, procedures and ethics so those providing this service protected their clients while they were in their homes. Without these things, especially correct insurance and bonding, the homeowner is completely exposed to damage to their property, injuries to people on their property, and any lawsuits that arise from them. It took many years of hard work and diligence by our members and advisors, but today, the National Home Watch Association is the authority in the Home Watch profession.
The Members that you see listed on this website have all passed a strict vetting process that includes:
- Criminal background checks on all company principals
- Proper insurance coverage—both general and professional liability
- Proper bonding
- Consumer complaint checks
- Truthful website and advertising content
- Adherence to the NHWA’s Code of Ethics
- Commitment to the NHWA’s Mission Statement
Another purpose and goal of the NHWA is to educate the public as to what a Home Watch service does. When Home Watch is mentioned to the average consumer, the general conclusion is that Home Watch is a security service or a house-sitting service. Home Watch is not a security service. It does, however, add a level of security to the property because there is a person in the home on a regular basis. Home Watch is not a house-sitting service. House-sitting is when a person physically lives in the home during the homeowner’s absence.
Home Watch is a service that performs visual inspections of a home or property, looking for obvious issues. Home Watch companies will make the homeowner aware of these issues and follow the client’s instructions regarding a resolution and cure for them.
This website was created to provide information to the public about the NHWA, our Members and our Advisory Board, to outline the Benefits of Membership for new and existing Home Watch companies, and to provide general information about the Home Watch Community through our Blog.
We also want to provide homeowners with a way to Search for NHWA Accredited Home Watch Providers in their State or Province, and to learn why they should trust only National Home Watch Association Accredited Members to watch their homes. These Accredited Members represent the Gold Standard in the Home Watch profession in the U.S. and Canada and are proudly endorsed by the National Home Watch Association.