Travelers have taken to the internet to criticize a common Airbnb Host practice. Namely, charging cleaning fees while still asking guests to clean and complete chores before their departure. Staying in an Airbnb comes with different expectations than staying in a hotel. While hotel guests expect to be able to leave their room in whatever state they wish, Airbnb guests know that isn’t the case.
Often, Airbnb hosts will have a list of chores or tasks to complete before leaving the properties. Tasks range from putting the used towels in the washer to taking out the trash. If the host isn’t asking too much, most guests are happy to accept this as a price you pay for booking an Airbnb.
However, imagine booking an Airbnb with a $375 cleaning fee only to find you have to complete a hefty chore list before leaving. That probably wouldn’t feel like a fair exchange of money and service, and it is precisely what happened to Necole Kane during a vacation in Sedona, AZ. After spending so much time trying to complete her chore list, she was late for a tour she had planned for the day.
How Much Is Too Much?
According to iGMS, the average Airbnb cleaning fee as of June 30th was $143. Most travelers would likely consider that to be too much, and for most travelers, it is. However, depending on the size of the group, the property, and the length of the stay, this may not be a crazy amount to have to pay for a cleaning fee. After all, professional cleaners often disinfect surfaces, vacuum, change linens, wash dishes, and perform various other cleaning services. In a 5-bedroom house with 10 guests for a week-long stay, $143 might make sense. But what about when the host asks you to wash the dishes, take out the trash, and wash the linens, all while charging a cleaning fee?
@aaroncrawfordmusic For real though @airbnb If all that’s left is to sweep, vacuum and wipe some counters… #airbnb #vrbo #money #fees #morefees #givememymoney ♬ Got Your Money (feat. Kelis) – Ol’ Dirty Bastard
Guests who pay these fees are often bewildered when met with the number of chores they are expected to do before leaving the property. Asking guests to place their dirty linens in the laundry room isn’t much to ask, and guests would likely be OK paying a fee while completing this task. Conversely, guests who pay this fee and have a giant checklist at the end of their stay often leave frustrated. To make matters worse, some guests report that hosts sometimes leave their cleaning requirements offline. This makes for an annoying surprise upon arrival.
lot to unpack on my Airbnb checkout list pic.twitter.com/vfU2BKazCo— Loree Stark (@loreestark) May 14, 2021
What Does Airbnb Think?
In Airbnb’s resource center for hosts, the company touches on what they consider good cleaning fee practices. “It’s important to manage expectations about what your cleaning fees include and what (if anything) you ask guests to do,” the document states. Airbnb says that if hosts would like guests to clean dishes or take care of the linens before leaving, the hosts should consider charging a minimal fee or not charging one at all.
@jessweslie Airbnb cleaning fees are steep #LENOVOJUSTBEYOU #FindYourEdge #wellthatsyou #airbnb #airbnbcleaning #airbnbexperience #fyp ♬ original sound – Jessica Weslie Arena
They also point out that if guests are required to pay a higher fee (which the average fee seems to be trending towards), guests might expect to be able to leave without doing anything like they would in a hotel room. Indeed, in the above TikTok that became quite popular, Jessica Weslie shares this sentiment.
What Do Hosts Think?
Many hosts hire professional cleaners to come in after a booking and refresh the property so that it feels brand new for the next guests. The average cost in the U.S. for house cleaning is between $45 and $50 per hour. For larger properties, cleaning and sanitizing everything can take several hours. Now that $143 average cleaning fee starts to make more sense, as @deetakesovercleaning shows below. However, if guests must complete a long list of chores before the cleaner ever shows up, should they still have to pay a fee?
@deetakesovercleaning Let’s talk about Airbnb Cleaning fees 💰#airbnbhost #airbnbtips #airbnbexperience #airbnbcleaning #airbnbcleaninglady #airbnbcleaner #airbnbcleanertips #cleaningtiktok #cleaninglady ♬ Say So (Instrumental Version) [Originally Performed by Doja Cat] – Elliot Van Coup
John-Michael Thomas, an Airbnb host, feels that guests should not have to clean at all while on vacation. In a TikTok, he explains his straightforward checkout instructions that he keeps posted on the back of the front door.
@jamikeymike Reply to @tricia.anna.banana #airbnb #airbnbhosts #realestateinvesting ♬ original sound – John-Michael Thomas
“Close the door” is about as simple as it gets!
Jokingly, Mr. Thomas states that he loves other hosts who charge fees and expect guests to complete chores. His reasoning? Because he expects they will go out of business, leaving less competition. Indeed, some travelers are switching back to hotels, so they don’t have to deal with the hassle of an Airbnb. Perhaps properties like Mr. Thomas’s will begin to thrive on the platform as guests start to shun properties that charge high fees that come with high expectations.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com