Shorts Stays Complaining about Cleaning fee

Level 4
Shalimar, FL

Shorts Stays Complaining about Cleaning fee



I own a small elite cleaning Service and I co host for a few Super Host and Clean for others.  Here is the problem. Lately we have had reviews complaining about the cleaning fee. These are whole houses or condos some located on the beach. We have nothing but 5 stars for our cleanliness and the in the same review that one raves about how clean the home is they also complain about paying a fee. 

We are in a tourist area (Destin FL) and my fees are below that of local management companies. 


The complaints have mainly come from people on short stays who think they should pay less. Rather they are there 1 night or 10 the house doesn’t get any smaller the work still has to be done. Bedding has to be washed and changed in every room , towels and so forth. The furniture still has to be vacuumed as our beautiful sand gets everywhere. Every surface has to be cleaned , floors mopped. 

I’ m just be fuddled how someone can leave a hand written note for the cleaning staff about our attention to detail and how they have never stayed in a rental so clean then complain about the fee which was clearly listed at the time of booking.


Now with the new Supper Host requirements my owners are nervous over the 4 stars for Value Because of fees bringing down their standings. They have asked me to come up with something to include in their listings but I’m unsure if this is what to do. Any Ideas ?

97 Replies 97

@Lisa9071 Sadly I have to disagree. As an example we have  a cleaning fee of  about £15 for our 1 bed and charge about £60 per night. If I add this to the nightly rate then a person staying would be charged £75 per night. But at present a person staying 7 nights only pays £62 per night so they will lose out.

Why should people staying for longer subsidise those staying for fewer nights? This is especially pertinent as cleaning costs are typically fixed whether a guest stays a night or a week.

If your rate is 60 per day, then charge 60 per day. If the cleaning is 15 (which is very reasonable as a side point and not really the type of fee that is the point of contention in my case) then that gets charged once per stay. I literally would not think twice about a cleaning fee at that rate. I, as a renter, am absolutely not saying no fees should be charged. There are unreasonable amounts that people ask for that are not along the same vein.


For example, I need to go to a town that is near a college. I am not going there to party but when I look at rooms the rates I find are around 120 for a room and an additional 200 cleaning fee, for one night. I presume they have had to clean up after a lot of parties so now the rest of us get slammed with that cleaning fee. For nearly 400 including taxes I can stay at a really nice actual B&B that won’t expect me to take out the trash or vacuum under a bed that I can clearly tell nobody vacuumed under before me.


When the fee makes it cost more than a nice hotel, what becomes the point? Often, the stay is shorter because they have no early in or late out because the hosts need to clean, again time and service which I am charged for. There are no amenities to partake, are you feeding me breakfast or letting me use the pool like a hotel?


I have had some great Air B&B experiences throughout the world, this is an issue I have only had in the United States. To a point that it feels more like they are just trying to make money off of the cleaning fee and still advertise a lower rate.


I want to mention that I absolutely believe cleaning services are worth their weight in gold. But there comes a point where it feels opportunistic for some hosts to pass along more than a reasonable fee to their guests.   

@Lisa9071 I have always believed in voting with my feet. In situations like you describe I would book the hotel not the Airbnb. That way the hosts will learn quickly that they cannot charge ridiculous amounts.

Where I do perhaps (?) differ is that I couldn't give two hoots what the cleaning fee is per se. If $200 a night is a fair overall rate it can be $10 per night and a $190 cleaning fee or $190 a night and a $10 cleaning fee.                         

I agree that if the room rate overall is reasonable then it mostly does not matter which portion goes to which. If I am spending $2000 for a week, it is what it is.

One unit I was looking at is charging 118 for the room and 178 for cleaning. Which I guess I just consider infuriatingly ridiculous. I do realize I do not have to rent it, and I do “vote with my dollar” as it were.


I am traveling with my mother, who is a retired RN and my son who is going to a new college soon. I was trying to find something with at least three actual beds, it did not have to be three bedrooms. We will drive two hours to get there, have dinner at a restaurant, sleep, get up and check out to go meet with the college rep first thing in the morning.


I could see charging that much for five college kids who are not going to clean up after themselves and likely will throw a party. I suppose you cannot know in advance which of those groups we will be.

Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

Hi @Lisa9071 


In your example the host would be a fool to let a room out for 100 when his cleaning costs were 250 wouldn't they? 

A business owner doesn't absorb costs they look at All their costs so for hosts this would include insurance, cleaning products, cleaners , maintenance, fire alarms, mortgages, service charges local taxes, towels and linens, welcome gifts and marketing etc .


they total these up and divide them by the number of days they are likely to get bookings for to come up with a daily rate


would you run a business where you made a 250 dollar loss a day? 



Again, YOU do not understand the concept of the cost of doing business. Running a business is not free as you seem to imply. You know the adage "it takes money to make money?"


The cost of doing business definition "any expense a business incurs while in the process of conducting business. A cost of doing business could be a direct cost, like raw materials, or an indirect cost, like building security." ... Or, you know a cleaning fee because you want to re-rent the property and continue to make more money off of people? 


The point is that it is often not their actual cleaning costs, that is their cleaning fee, which they are using to offset their reduced room rate by passing it along to the consumer.


They do not have a room worth 350 per day or they would rent it as such.  

Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

Bless you I've run two award winning businesses for over twenty years @Lisa9071 


what sort of business do you run? 


It's you who doesn't understand I'm afraid it's simple 


1. look at your total costs 

2. look at likely gross profit 


This will give you your net profits. If you are making the net profit that you want and need  and your market research shows demand is there it's worth looking at - if not you don't bother 


cleaning costs are just one of many (variable ) costs a host incurs . 

I am well aware of how cost accounting works, thank you. Accounting is just one of my professional degrees. I have not only run multiple properties including a hotel but also a very successful camera rental house in Hollywood. (I am sure you know rental is a goldmine in many industries, not just rooms, if you have the seed money.)

Currently, I do not run any because I retired from entertainment union payroll to work on a PHD in forensic psychology, for my fifth diploma. 


I am not arguing about the need for or application of a (reasonable) cleaning fee. I am contesting the hosts who use it to offset the rental cost so they can claim to offer a lower rental rate. I just firmly believe this is a cost of doing business. My personal opinion is to not pass those along to my consumers. When I take a consulting fee I do not charge extra for payments by credit card because I also consider this one of my costs of doing business. I know not everyone feels the same which is why I mention this sort of fee.


I actually have a great deal of difficulty charging my worth for my private services (taxes, forensic accounting) which is why I do not do it often. Somehow my employer billing my hours at a rate I could never imagine charging makes me feel better than charging it myself. Admittedly, I have an issue passing along additional costs to my clients and I think I carry this emotion over to the cleaning fee aspect here.