Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Covington, GA
Level 10
1,518 Views

I normally have guests that stay no longer than 6 nights and usually less than that.  However I just had my longest occupancy since joining Airbnb.  They arrived 12/1 and stayed until 12/21.  Although they were decent guests (2 people), they were pretty messy.  It didn't warrant a less than stellar, 5 star review, because they were very good guests in all other facets of their stay.  When they checked out, I did a brief walk-thru of the cabin and because it was daytime, I didn't turn on the lights.  As a result, I missed the fact that the kitchen counters were covered in sticky food substances, the floor needed to be not just be mopped, but actually needed scrubbing to remove a lot of smears, and the bathroom - suffice to say it needed extra scrubbing too.  I wish Airbnb had a way to charge varied cleaning fees contingent on the length of stay.  I wondered if anyone had a work-around that would allow me to charge something more appropriate for people staying longer than a week.  I typically charge a measly $15 cleaning fee, but that is just fine for short stays.  It was definitely not fine for this extended length of time. 

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Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Australia
Level 10

@Susan1404 

Have you considered NOT charging a "cleaning fee" and just adding the very small cost you ARE charging to your nightly rate? That way the amount you are collecting for cleaning accumulates nightly.  You can fiddle about with your discount settings -for stays of 3 days, 5 days etc to minimise /offset the extra costs if you want.   I do this and then state in my checkout procedures that because I don't charge a cleaning fee I expect guests to do the following basic things ( and list them).

It's purely pyschological but it seems to work - for me anyhow.   I have a group of 9  - including an infant - who are staying for 11 nights over xmas/ new year.   steeling myself for the workload when they check out on 3/1.  But then again, it was great money ( for once) so I'll grin an bear it. And it MAY be ok  - they messaged me and asked if I would like them to water the garden and verandah plants so they're considerate.

 

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Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Susan1404  The problem with that is that the amount of cleaning needed isn't really contingent on the length of stay, but on how clean or messy the guests are. There are guests who can totally trash out a place in one night and those who can stay for a month and leave it spotless. 

I just have a private room/bathroom to clean and my cleaning routine is the same no matter how a guest leaves it, so I don't really care one way or the other, and while the majority of my guests leave it really neat and clean, I've had 3-nighters who left it far messier than other guests who stayed for 2 weeks.

I guess what you could do with longer stays is put in your listing info and message guests when they send an inquiry or request and you see that they have entered dates for longer than a week (or 2 weeks, whatever you want) that you do a quick half hour clean once a week for guests who book that long and charge XX amount for it. That would keep things from getting too bad in case the guests are slobs. And that it's not an option, it's the way you run your listing.

Perhaps other hosts will have some better suggestions. 

Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Covington, GA
Level 10

@Sarah977Thanks for your reply.  I don't have the accumulation of trash or dirtiness that comes with people who stay long term so far.  My routine is a little different from yours because there is a lot more area to be cleaned and this time around it took some pretty labor intensive cleaning on  my part.  I was at fault for not taking a closer look with lights on when I did my walk thru, but it was Christmas week and I was pretty busy.  Your suggestion about doing a quick clean for longer guests may be exactly what I resort to, but again, I need to charge more for that.  Definitely going to have to give this some thought! :+)

Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
KCMO, MO
Level 10

@Susan1404 

You may also want to have a checkout list posted on the fridge and include that following the checkout procedures is part of the "house rules". Mine is posted on the fridge and I message them the morning of their departure to remind them about it. them Mine has about 5 steps on it and takes no more than 5 minutes. 

Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Covington, GA
Level 10

@Emily487- I do have a framed list of items that guests need to know and they include some check-in and check-out items.  My list could definitely include a little more breakdown though - thanks for the suggestion.

Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

I agree that there are some guests that are messier than others regardless of the length of stay. But to @Susan1404 's point there are some tasks that do take a lot longer depending on how long someones stays. Like scrubbing soap scum from the shower or wiping out/cleaning the refrigerator. I would never expect a guest to do either of those things and for one-two night stays it rarely has to be done. It definitely take me longer to clean after a guest who stays for a week or more. 

Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Indianapolis, IN
Level 2

Question - when you have guests staying a week or longer, do you expect them to wash their own sheets/towels if they want to change them during the stay?  I have laundry onsite so this would be easy for them to do.  The other thing is do you ask guests to roll the trash barrels out to the street on trash day?  Or do you stop by the property and do it yourself?

Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

It's not a good idea to let guests wash the sheets and towels. Hosts eventually become laundry experts, learning how to remove all sorts of things like blood or ink, or whatever, otherwise we'd be throwing away and replacing linens far too often. Bedding and towels often need to be pre-treated before washing so they don't stain. Guests will just throw it all in the washing machine, which will set most stains in so they will never wash out again.

 

Best to just give your guests a change of linens once a week and deal with the laundry yourself (or if you have a cleaner who also deals with laundry).

Nothing wrong with asking guests in residence to take the trash out to the curb on garbage day, though, if you don't live nearby and it would be a hassle for you to drive over just to do that.

@Holly471

Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Oregon City, OR
Level 10

@Susan1404 @Emilia42 @Emily487 @Sarah977 

 

My house rules include "Stays over two weeks will require mid-stay cleanings."

 

(And my cleaning fees are $60, $150, and $200.)

Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Santa Barbara, CA
Level 2

sounds very reasonable! I will go with this!

Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Santa Fe, NM
Level 2

@Lisa723 Curious if you have multiple listings & varying rates depends on size etc of each location?

Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Oregon City, OR
Level 10

@Merrimon0 Yes.

 

You can see the listings of any host on this forum by clicking through to their Airbnb profile.

Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

Level 2

 

Can you please describe your mid-stay cleaning and fees in more details for long-term/more than a week rentals? I'm truly trying to figure out the best way to go about this as a new host, because I know it's going to cost to clean a 1700sqft home.

Thanks

Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Australia
Level 10

@Susan1404 

Have you considered NOT charging a "cleaning fee" and just adding the very small cost you ARE charging to your nightly rate? That way the amount you are collecting for cleaning accumulates nightly.  You can fiddle about with your discount settings -for stays of 3 days, 5 days etc to minimise /offset the extra costs if you want.   I do this and then state in my checkout procedures that because I don't charge a cleaning fee I expect guests to do the following basic things ( and list them).

It's purely pyschological but it seems to work - for me anyhow.   I have a group of 9  - including an infant - who are staying for 11 nights over xmas/ new year.   steeling myself for the workload when they check out on 3/1.  But then again, it was great money ( for once) so I'll grin an bear it. And it MAY be ok  - they messaged me and asked if I would like them to water the garden and verandah plants so they're considerate.

 

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Re: Cleaning Fees should be based on Length of Stay

in
Covington, GA
Level 10

@Rowena29- that just might be a good solution to my problem!  Thank you - very helpful advice and I will give it some thought about what rates might work without putting off guests who might think my pricing is too high.

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