British tourists trust their neighbours more than their own family or friends for house-sitting duties while they're on holiday, new research has revealed.
The study by online travel agent sunshine.co.uk revealed that 11 per cent of Britons don't ask anyone to check up on their home when on holiday.
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Of those who do ask someone to check on their home, 37 per cent enlist their neighbour, 22 per cent ask a friend and 14 per cent approach their parents.
The holidaymakers were asked why they chose the people that they did to house-sit while they were on holiday over the other options they might have had. The majority of those who selected neighbours said that they trusted them more than relatives and friends to not snoop through their belongings, while only 30 per cent said it was a matter of convenience (i.e. being easier than getting relatives or friends to go out of their way to go round).
Eleven per cent said that they picked neighbours because they were 'close by to watch out for anything suspicious'.
When asked what task(s) they'd asked their house-sitters to look after when they were on holiday, if any, the top answers were general security (72 per cent), watering plants (21 per cent) and feeding/caring for a pet (17 per cent).
Chris Clarkson, Managing Director of sunshine.co.uk, said: "People often get nervous about leaving their property vacant when they go away on holiday, so it's reassuring to know that a friend, relative or neighbour is going to be checking in on things for you. Neighbours are the obvious choice, given that they don't really have to go out of their way to pop in and water the plants, but we were really surprised to see that many people choose neighbours because they trust them more not to snoop around!
"Perhaps the in-laws would have a good old nosey through your belongings and younger friends or relatives might take the opportunity to use your property for entertaining without your permission. At the end of the day, if you don't trust someone fully to look after your house when you go away, don't ask them!"