Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10
348 Views

Hi,

 

I had a guest who canceled the reservation the day before check-in.

 

My cancellation policy is "Strict".

 

When verifying the amounts that would be paid after the guest cancels, I verified that Airbnb will refund the Cleaning Fee.

 

Could anyone tell me since when Airbnb changed its "Strict" cancellation policy to include a refund of the Guest Cleaning Fee when cancellation occurs less than 7 days before check-in?

 

Ricardo

 

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14 Replies

Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Level 10

@Ricardo85 

The cleaning fee is always refunded if reservation is cancelled before check-in, on every cancellation policy. IMO it has allways been this way.

https://www.airbnb.cm/home/cancellation_policies

Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Ricardo85 It has always been like this. Why would you expect a cleaning fee if the guest has cancelled and not stayed?

Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

@Mike-And-Jane0 

 

I have never had a canceled reservation. Then I was surprised to receive the information that the Cleaning Fee would not be paid.

 

As far as I understand, the Cleaning Fee is intended to cover the costs of cleaning and organizing the accommodation BEFORE the guest's arrival (check-in).

 

Even if he canceled before check-in, the service was provided and, because of that, the charge is due.

We must not forget that Airbnb is not a Hotel. The guest is staying at someone else's house and is expected to keep it clean and tidy as if he were in his own home. At least this is the marketing Airbnb has always done. Did it change and I didn't notice?

 

If this is not the function of the Cleaning Fee, what is it for?

 

Any clarification in this regard would be most welcome.

 

Ricardo

 

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Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Ricardo85  I've read hosts saying that it is supposed to cover cleaning for, rather than after reservation, but as far as I'm aware, that isn't stated anywhere in Airbnb info.

 

Quite honestly, that it is for cleaning before check in sounds absurd to me. And I'm sure it would sound absurd to most guests, too. Why would anyone pay anything in order to be assured of checking into a clean place? That it would be clean would be the expectation, whether the guest was charged a cleaning fee or not. That guests are paying for you to clean up the last guest's mess is a ridiculous notion, IMO.

 

And if it wasn't for cleaning after a guest, then how could hosts ever rationalize charging guests who leave the place a disaster for extra cleaning? Would hosts tell the upcoming guests that they were being charged for extra cleaning because the previous guests left it super filthy? 

Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

@Sarah977 

 

"I've read hosts saying that it is supposed to cover cleaning for, rather than after reservation, but as far as I'm aware, that isn't stated anywhere in Airbnb info."

It seems to me that Airbnb thinks differently.

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2812/what-is-a-cleaning-fee?locale=en

What is a cleaning fee?

A cleaning fee is a one-time fee for cleaning the space you stay in, set by the hosts. It's an additional charge on top of the nightly rate when booking a listing. Cleaning fees help hosts account for extra expenses they have getting their listing ready before guests arrive or after guests depart.

"Quite honestly, that it is for cleaning before check in sounds absurd to me. And I'm sure it would sound absurd to most guests, too. Why would anyone pay anything in order to be assured of checking into a clean place? That it would be clean would be the expectation, whether the guest was charged a cleaning fee or not. That guests are paying for you to clean up the last guest's mess is a ridiculous notion, IMO.

And if it wasn't for cleaning after a guest, then how could hosts ever rationalize charging guests who leave the place a disaster for extra cleaning? Would hosts tell the upcoming guests that they were being charged for extra cleaning because the previous guests left it super filthy?"

I agree that it doesn't make much sense to charge for cleaning AFTER the guest leaves. After all, you cannot predict how dirty the guest will leave your accommodation. So it makes much more sense to charge the Cleaning Fee BEFORE the guest arrives.

Every host has a cost for cleaning the accommodation. So either this cost appears embedded in the daily rates or it appears in the form of a Cleaning Fee. It makes no sense to think that no one will pay for cleaning.

The point here is not whether the expectation will be for the accommodation to be clean, but who will pay the cleaning expenses.

 

Ricardo

 

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Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
Oregon City, OR
Level 10

@Ricardo85 a cleaning fee is a turnover fee, which presumably represents the actual cost of preparing the space between guest stays. Each stay requires one turnover/cleaning. It really doesn't matter whether you think of it as occurring before or after the guest's stay; n guests require n turnovers. If a guest cancels you have one less turnover/cleaning to do so it makes sense that the cleaning fee would be refunded to the guest. This is completely different from the rental cost, which, when the guest cancels, is a real loss to the host if the dates can't be rebooked. Frankly I don't see what you are complaining about.

 

(Side note: this is another illustration of why separate cleaning fees are fairer to everyone, including guests.)

Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

@Lisa723 

 

I understand your point of view. But it only makes sense to me if you manage to rent your space for the same canceled period. The guest who canceled has their Cleaning Fee refunded and the next guest pays the Cleaning Fee at the cost.

 

But imagine the situation where I can't rent the canceled period and the next booking is a month away. I will probably have a new cleaning cost for this booking in a month. That is, I will have paid the cleaning staff twice for a single booking.

 

Thank you for your considerations. Please don't take my view as a complaint. I'm just trying to better understand this Cleaning Fee dynamic.

 

Ricardo

 

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Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Lisa723 I think the complaint is really down to @Ricardo85 's cleaning fee being greater than the nightly rate. in cases like this the loss of the cleaning fee is no doubt quite painful.

Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
Oregon City, OR
Level 10

@Mike-And-Jane0 @Ricardo85 

 

Why would you pay your cleaning staff for a redundant turnover?


The only reason the loss of a cleaning fee for a cancellation should be a hardship for a host is if the cleaning fee exceeds the actual cost of turnover.

 

If that is the case, then this is a good reason not to set up your fees that way.

 

My cleaning fees sometimes exceed the nightly rate, when the nightly rate drops due to low demand, but the cleaning fee is always the actual amount I pay for turnover and it’s a cost I incur only when a stay happens.

 

 

Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

@Lisa723 

 

You don´t clean your accommodation between guests?

 

Ricardo

 

 

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Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
Oregon City, OR
Level 10

@Ricardo85 I expect you grasp that we clean between guests and this is what our cleaning fee pays for.

 

What we do not do is clean twice when there has been no guest since the last cleaning. Our places are never vacant for more than a few days, but even in your scenario where the place is vacant for a month it should not need anything more than a quick touch-up/reset before check-in.

 

The bottom line here is that your cleaning fee should be an amount that will not pose a hardship for you to lose in the event of a cancellation, and amounts that will pose such a hardship should be built into your nightly rate.

Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Lisa723  It kinda depends on where you live 🙂 When I lived in Canada, I could do a major cleaning of rooms in my own home once a year and all it needed was normal, everyday cleaning after that. That major cleaning has to be done in my Mexican house every two months.

 

I don't know if it might be really dusty, or whatever, where Ricardo lives, but if I had a month with no rentals in my guest room/bathroom, I would have to clean completely all over again, between the dust, the live and dead bugs, the spider webs that appear in a day, and the mildew that tends to form from the humid air.

Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
Oregon City, OR
Level 10

@Sarah977 OK, but that kind of cleaning is something you have to do regardless of whether guests stay or not, so this is an ongoing cost that should be built into the nightly rate, like mortgage interest or gutter cleaning, not a cleaning cost that is specific to a guest's stay. The cleaning fee, sort of by definition, is a one-time cost that a host incurs specifically as a result of a guest's stay-- and does not incur if the guest does not stay.

Re: Cleaning Fee refund - Strict Policy

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Ricardo85 You didn't understand what I was saying. I was referring to the fact that hosts sometimes try to charge guests who leave the place a disaster, requiring hours of extra cleaning time, an extra cleaning fee, above what they already paid. So that would indicate that cleaning fees are for the cleaning hosts do after the guests leave, not before.

 

The article you quoted doesn't say the cleaning fee is for preparing the space for the guest. It says it is for the cleaning the host does before or after.

 

And I still maintain that a guest would find it crazy that they were being charged to clean the previous guest's mess.

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