Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
SF, CA
Level 2
33,057 Views

Hi there, 

 

Curious on this one as a guest and a host.   My wife/friendsand I have been on opposite sides of the argument both as hosts and guests.

 

If a host charges a guest a cleaning fee (not small at $200 here in SF), what is the cleaning expectation of guests?

 

Some in our circles have argued guests should do the dishes and leave the place tidy.  Others have argued their paying a sizable cleaning fee so why should they have to clean.

 

Curious what the community thinks and if there is a clear answer or it depends.

 

Thanks in Advance!

 

168 Replies

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
Tucson, AZ
Level 10

@Rob183:

Here's my take on it. Guests should always leave the house tidy regardless of the fee.

 

When I paid a cleaning crew for my house the cost I was charged was based on the average time it took to clean an average mess (3 hours) which also coincided with the time it took to complete three loads of wash for the linens and towels. However, messier guests cost me additional due to the extra time it took the crew. My cleaning fee was already about $10 less than my actual cost, so additional charges were difficult to cough up.

 

Now that I do my own cleaning, I don't want to spend my entire day cleaning, so I really appreciate it when guests do their own dishes or at least put them in the dishwasher and start it and tidy up the place. We never ask for the guest to do laundry or anything beyond simply tidying up.

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
Kendal, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Tim-and-Holly0 wrote:

@Rob183:

Here's my take on it. Guests should always leave the house tidy regardless of the fee.

Post #1

SELECTED ANSWER

 

The rule to live by.

 

@Robin4 @Sarah977 @Rob183 @Giovanna-Raquel0 @Skylar14 

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

@Rob183 

 

First of all I think a guest is not supposed to assume the role of a cleaner.
However the guest must know he can not behave like a pig in sty.

 

To offer a clean space I have to charge a cleaning fee.
I do not have a volunteer to clean the property for free. I do not have a volunteer to do laundry for free! 🙂

 

If the guests leave the property in a mess and too  dirty,  I give them less than 3 star on cleaning factor.

If the guests leave it tidy they get 5 star. Most of my guests get 5 stars!

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 9

As guests we always leave the accommodation as we found it. Actually sometimes in a better state.

(   And that's another story . ).

As hosts we really enjoy and appreciate guests who do the same .  It seems that most people understand and leave the house as they found it but sometimes, with young people or first time users  things may not be as clean or tidy. We find a gentle reminder when we message or phone to check on departure times can be helpful.

To be fair the cleaning fee we charge does not cover our time and most people understand that.

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
Roanoke, VA
Level 2

Great idea! What do you usually include in this, "friendly reminder?" Could an automated system, or some sort of standard reminder of check-out procedures help?

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
Prescott, AZ
Level 10

@Rob183, gorgeous place you got! So yes, even if guests keep the place tidy, there is lots of linen and towl changes to do, so you got your $200 cleaning fee in place for that. Regardless of the cleaning fee amount, I would expect guests to leave the place somewhat "tidy", like a private guest would do, like cleaning the dishes used. etc. That's just common curtesy.

But to go as far as expecting guest to strip the beds, start the laundry with the towles used, etc.. I think that is a bit much, especially when they pay a certain amount of $$ $ for a one night lodging. So the higher the price, or the higher the stay/cleaning fee ratio is, the more guests should feel free to not getting involved in the clean up process.: 

I stayed as guest at an Airbnb rental recently, they had a $80 cleaning fee (tiny studio)  for 2 nights min. stay of $135.00 per night ( before all the additions), so that is 30% of the lodging price.  They asked to help them out by starting a load of laundry the morning of departure: I didn't like that so much - like I need to facilitate their fast turnover, yet pay $80 for that? No. It's not so much the amount of money, but the percentage rate.

In your case, with a nice chunk of change for a one night lodging, I would just go with the flow - leave it as is and don't expect guest to do anything beyond keeping things "respectful".

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

I know this is an older post but I could not disagree more. Percentage makes no difference. It takes my cleaners the amount of time it takes them regardless of how much I choose to charge for the room. In the low season, I charge a quarter of what I usually get but my cleaners charge the same. I did have one customer ding me based on that. Instead of being thankful that she got the place for a steal, she was mad the cleaning fee ration to nightly rate was high. She even acknowledged how fantastic of a rate she got. So should I charge more for my place now just so the customers feel they are not overpaying for cleaning. That is just silly.

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
Evansville, IN
Level 3

But your guest isn't getting the place "for a steal". She booked the place at the rate the market demanded for the time of year. Like a hotel, you dropped the price during the low season because with fewer tourists in the area, competition is tougher among Airbnbs in the area. The price goes down as suppliers (hosts) try to entice people to choose their place over the others. If you didn't, the place would likely go unrented and you'd earn $0 because there are more locations than people looking for a place to stay. That's not your guest's fault. Just like staying at a hotel, guests shouldn't leave the place trashed, but you should not charge a cleaning fee, especially a disproportionately high one, and expect guests to take out trash, strip beds, start linen laundry, etc.

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
Ringgold, GA
Level 2

I agree as a renter / not a guest...a renter pays for a transaction...a guest doesn't pay because they are a guest....a cleaning fee and expecting the renter to strip beds and gather trash bags and collect towels is just tacky and unprofessional unless the rented space is a shared space with common areas. ...and especially when the dwelling is not where the owner lives....no renters are not guests....they are purchasers of a set amount of time of usage in a facility and anything beyond washing dishes as an expected tidy is a rude money grabber to make your job easier and not fair to the consumer. I know many air bnb owners who don't charge a cleaning fee and some who do...but none of them have any tidying expectations because they understand how repeat customers are won. I have  relative who has an air bnb and they charge a cleaning fee but don't list any tidying expectations ....they think that's a rude request and unethical on the cha-ching side of things. All of them agree that the renters are not guests ....they are purchasers ...when you have guests in....they stay for free ...renters pay...big difference. 

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
Vancouver, WA
Level 10

If I'm paying a $200 cleaning fee, I'm not clean a darn thing. Lol. That said, I wouldn't go out of my way to leave a total disaster either. 

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
San Diego, CA
Level 1

I agree. Airbnb has gotten in the habit of charging us for cleaning then asking us to clean. You will get one:  either I clean or I pay for someone to clean. 

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Edward554  Airbnb doesn't charge you a cleaning fee, individual hosts set their own cleaning fees.

 

All guests are expected to tidy up after themselves, wash their dirty dishes etc. That's just common courtesy when you stay in someone's home. Airbnbs don't include daily maid service.

 

The cleaning fee covers hours more cleaning that has to be done between guests, which many guests, including apparently you, don't understand. If it doesn't show up as a separate fee, hosts would have to raise their nightly price to cover it. The cleaning fee is usually paid to the host's cleaner, it's not going in the host's pocket unless the host does the cleaning themselves.

 

If a host expects guests to also strip beds, start a load of wash, haul garbage out to the dumpster, I do think they should mention that in the listing, not spring it on guests after they arrive. 

 

There's nothing stopping you from inquiring before you book as to what cleaning the host expects guests to do before checking out. But I can guarantee you almost all hosts expect guests to clean up their personal messes, whether they charge a cleaning fee or not. If you just want to be able to walk out without doing anything to tidy up, you should probably stick to staying in hotels.

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
Savannah, GA
Level 5

A guest is a guest. He shouldn't be expected to clean. At a real B&B, the owners/staff of course do the cleaning, and there is no cleaning charge.

 

That said, a guest should be considerate and not leave a kitchen full of dirty dishes after cooking a big meal.

 

Frankly, I've had it with hosts who charge a cleaning fee and then complain because the trash wasn't taken out or the bed wasn't stripped or a breakfast dishes were left in the sink.

 

If you're going to be in the hospitality business, be friggin hospitable.

Re: Should Guest be Expected to Clean when Host Charges a Cleaning Fee?

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

@David0 there is always a cleaning fee factored into the cost of where you stay. The difference is that with B and B's and hotels they factor it into yoru day rate.

 

The 'cleaning fee' covers towels, linen replacement and cleaning the property ie floors, work surfaces etc. Not washing your dishes, taking out your trash etc.

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