Attendants of Oakville, ON, Canada, earns fourth-year accreditation from the NHWA!
Owner Nancy Hart, a Niagara-on-the-Lake resident, launched Attendants in late 2012 in response to the growing need of travelers and seasonal residents concerned about leaving their homes unattended.
“Although Home Watch companies are fairly common in destination areas such as Florida and Arizona, they are scarce locally,” says Nancy. “Typically, people in our area draw on friends, family or neighbors under informal arrangements. This can work well,” she added, “But unfortunately, your needs may translate to an unwanted responsibility for someone else, and it’s just not right for everyone.”
Nancy says, “Homeowners have mopped up water or seen the damage it can cause. Failed sump pumps, burst washer hoses, leaking or frozen pipes, and heating system breakdowns can all result in exponential damage when left unchecked. Flyers and mail piling up, debris on the property, or snow on the front path are all indications of an empty house that can be targeted by thieves. High winds can leave bare roofs exposed, and the list goes on. Considering the home is a major part of most people’s portfolio of assets, it is not in their best interests to take half measures or simply hope for the best.”
Nancy points out that not everyone takes the time to read the small print in their homeowner’s insurance policy; however, typical requirements in Canada are that unoccupied homes be checked every 48-72 hours, or the insurance company can reserve the right to deny a claim. This period varies by policy, and it’s always best to check.
Following a long career in banking, insurance and international trade, Nancy took an organized and more formal approach to the problem when launching Attendants. Based on her start-up research, she concluded that a bonded and insured service with backup support and a comprehensive checklist was the way to go. Nancy emphasizes that this is a service that homeowners need to be able to count on 100%. Attendants’ policy includes a pre-trip review and the assurance that no one enters a customer’s home without them knowing who and when.
A little about the National Home Watch Association: The NHWA was formed in 2009 in order to establish and maintain the highest industry standards for Home Watch and absentee homeowner services throughout the United States and Canada (www.nationalhomewatchassociation.org).