I recently stayed at a property in Greece where the cleaning fee was listed as 21 euros.
This was a large two-bedroom apartment with a dining room, living room, kitchen, entrance room, and bathroom.
I checked out of the apartment and cleaned it reasonably before leaving, though I didn't remove the sheets from the bed, I admit I hurried away and left a plate rinsing in the sink, and some toiletries on the shelf in the bathroom. However, it was certainly NOT messy. I put all the linens in a pile and even swept the floors. The host left me a glowing review to say that the apartment was spotlessly clean when I left and I was welcome back at any time. She didn't message me about any issues and was friendly in our final communications.
I hadn't heard anything more until Airbnb contacted me today, several days later and said that there was an additional cleaning fee of 160 euros! The host is out of the country and hired a professional cleaner that charged her 75 euros per hour plus admin fees, equating to two hours of work.
This is an extortionate rate in my opinion, especially for a standard clean between guests and especially for Greece. I'm really angry that the host is trying to pass this fee onto me. It should have been listed outright. Airbnb sent me a photo to demonstrate the "condition" of the apartment that needed cleaning - it was a photo of an unmade bed and a photo of a few bottles of shower gel on the shelf. This is outrageous to me. I left the shower gels in case they could be used by another guest. I didn't think I'd get charged for this.
I have never had such an experience like this before. Of course, I disputed the fee but I don't want to pay another 160 euros when I have done nothing wrong and the host should have looked for a more economic cleaning service. I was a host in the past, and I know that you can get cleaners in the UK for 15 euros an hour, nevermind Greece! I don't believe there was a security deposit on the property. Can Airbnb just charge my account if they decide to agree with the host?
This is the icing on the cake of what was already a nightmare stay. The apartment was already quite expensive. To add to this, I found a cockroach in the apartment when I arrived. I sent images of it to the host and opened a cupboard to find cockroach traps and bug spray, so she was clearly aware of this issue. She suggested that I call pest control, but it was very inconvenient for me so I simply sprayed the place and removed the bugs when I saw them. I didn't ask for a refund, though I probably could have, but I messaged the host privately and left a comment about the cockroaches in the review. I cannot believe the nerve of this host after everything I went through with the bugs! After she requested the cleaning fee, I communicated this issue with the photos to Airbnb
I'm travelling at the moment and feeling very stressed about it all.
Thanks Elena, maybe. She left me a glowing review and I discussed the cockroach issue in my review for her.
After that she tried to claim funds. The host is in the USA and the property is in Greece. She isn't here in person to change sheets, wash towels, etc and I think that she simply hadn't realised the costs of the professional cleaning and is trying to pass it on to me. However the apartment was not a mess and 75 euro an hour plus fees is something I don't want and can't afford to pay when I did nothing wrong. I'm just worried that Airbnb can debit my account or something.
@Melissa1208 There are many places in the world where cockroaches are endemic and have nothing to do with whether the house is clean or not. It doesn't matter how spotless I keep my house here in the tropics, there is inevitably the odd cockroach I have to kill on a regular basis. Where my daughter lives, you see them just running around in the desert where it certainly isn't dirty and there is seemingly nothing for them to eat.
If seeing a dead cockroach, or cockroach traps is a deal-breaker for you, I suggest you not travel to places where insect life is prolific.
However, I do agree that the host saying in her review that you left the lace spotlessly clean, and then turning around and charging you for extra cleaning isn't on.
@Melissa1208 It’s against Airbnb terms of service to charge fees not disclosed in the listing. If you left the place as you describe this doesn’t merit an extra cleaning charge. In your shoes I would dispute the claim with Airbnb and, if that doesn’t work, with my credit card issuer.
If you have host experience perhaps you experienced unfair guest claims as well. It happens, @Melissa1208 . No reason to panic or do anything else other that dispute the claim. In general, Air BNB is a lot more sympathetic to guests as many hosts can attest. Unless the host provided more evidence of undue damage as a result of your stay causing additional cleaning, you should be fine.