Dirty apartment and guest refused to pay extra cleaning fee

Lydia16
Level 2
Tempe, AZ

Dirty apartment and guest refused to pay extra cleaning fee

I encountered a family who stayed in my apartment but left the place dirty. My cleaning lady took pictures to show me (food left over on counter and fridge, dirty chair, messy garbage can...etc) and I was charged $35 more for the extra cleaning. The guests actually also broke my toilet handle and I'm having someone fix it.

However, the guest refused to pay it but said there's already a cleaning fee when she made the booking. Yes, it is, but it's only $20 which includes the very basic. I sent a request in the resolution center but found there's no place for me to submit photos. I now doubt if the guest will really consider it and may be even leave me a bad review. 

 

Please help!!

 

39 Replies 39
Jane556
Level 2
י-ם, Israel

I am in a similar situation. I thought guests were expected to leave the property as they found it. These guests left garbage all over the place. They stayed a month and it looks like they never cleaned. They also opened up my personal items (packed in boxes and suitcases in a niche behind a curtain). I found bottles of my hair moisturizer, etc. in different places in the house. Even a dress taken out of the dry cleaning bag was on the floor!

If I cannot charge them, is it wise to write a bad review? This is my second year with airbnb, and I've never written a bad review for a guest, even though I've considered it at times. Is there any way the guest can "get back at me" after airbnb reveals our reviews?

These guests were extremely critical of the level of cleanliness when they arrived, complained to me rather to the local host (neighbor). In the end it turns out they found dust on top of the cabinets. Really horrible people.

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Jane556  I'm sorry you had such disrespectful guests. It's hard to fathom how people who live like pigs would have the audacity to complain about dust on the top of a cabinet. It's never a good idea to let someone stay for a month without going in and checking on the place. You can do this by saying you go in to do a weekly linen and towel change and a vacuum, anything to make sure you or your cleaner or co-host are aware of how the guests are behaving. Also they may keep it cleaner if they know someone is going to be coming in. Of course this has to be made clear in the listing description and convenient hours arranged with the guests.

 

Yes, please leave an honest review so other hosts will be warned and not accept them. If you've never had to write a bad review before, do a draft and post it here on the forum for input from other hosts before submitting, if you like. 1 star for cleanliness and following house rules (getting into your personal stuff should count as against house rules). No need to go into details in the written review, other hosts can get the jist of something like "Place left unbelievably dirty after a month stay. Days of cleaning required. Opened boxes and suitcases of owner's personal belongings, helped themselves to use items therein. Not recommended."

If you ask for $ from the guest for extensive cleaning, they will likely leave a retaliatory review full of lies, but they will probably leave a bad review no matter what, because that's what these kinds of guests do.

They may not be inclined to leave any review at all, unless they see that you have. So wait until the 13 and a half day mark after check-out to submit your review if they don't already leave one first- they may then not see the notification that you've left a review until it's too late.

Unless the guest lives locally and you have concerns about your safety if you write a bad review, there isn't any way they can "get back at you". 

Jane556
Level 2
י-ם, Israel

Thanks, I would love some advice on the feedback. I was thinking of something like this:

 

"Jeannette was very particular about cleanliness when they arrived, however, unfortunately, they left the apartment in an unacceptable state. There was garbage throughout the apartment. Also, they had opened items that were stored away in closed boxes and suitcases,  such as my personal hair products and even my clothes were on the floor.  I have been tempted to write bad reviews in the past, but this is my first. I needed to pay for extra cleaning which took a few days."

 

Too much? She has already written a review for the apartment. I'm afraid she's already written something negative. Is there any further way for her to "get back at me"? I really am tempted to have this as my last Airbnb season.

Thanks

Jane556
Level 2
י-ם, Israel

Thanks so much for the prompt reply. In my experience, I cannot see the guests review until I've also submitted a review, or until my right to submit has expired. That seems like a good system. I am going to now add some explicit house rules, explaining that anything packed in a box or suitcase is not to be touched, and that I expect any trash and/or garbage to be disposed of properly (the different garbage cans are 8 meters from the apartment). This I will do with an apology for even mentioning such things, since most guests are wonderful. BTW, I thought that removing trash was required by Airbnb. Right  now my local host is going through stuff on the floor and asking me if any of it is mine. So I'm waiting to see if she finds real damage (still looking for the AC remotes). Thanks!

BTW, the text you have in quotes, those are remarks you think are acceptable for me to leave in my feedback? Can a prospective host contact me about them? 

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Jane556  The text I put in quotes was just a sort of example I made up on the spot of how brief you can be in a review and still get the salient points across. Sometimes hosts are so upset about bad guests they write some long rant, mentioning every transgression in detail, which isn't needed and can just make the host look a bit off or hypercritical. What I was suggesting is that after you compose the review, you could post it here on the Hosting forum (or the Host Circle forum, which guests don't have access to) if you'd like other host's feedback on whether they think there's things you should say differently or leave out. Many hosts do that if they're unsure about how to word a bad review.

I'm not sure what you mean "can a prospective host contact me about them?" Like, could another host read the review when considering the guest's booking request and contact you for further details? Yes, they could and occasionally do, but I don't think that happens very often- other hosts will just read the review and and think "Thanks for saving me from a horrible experience, Jane" and hit Decline. And if you give a 3* review or less and "not recommend", the guest won't be able to Instant Book- they'll have to send a Booking Request to all hosts in the future.

Yes, it's one of the better policies of Airbnb that reviews are blind. Neither party can see the other's until they both submit a review or until 14 days have passed if only one party submits one.

 No, removing trash isn't required by Airbnb (there's some wording about leaving the place as you found it, but that doesn't mean much to a lot of guests)- each host has to be explicit in what they expect the guests to do. Some hosts want the guests to strip the bed and start a load of wash, and fill the dishwasher and start it up before they leave, some hosts just expect the place to be left in good condition with personal messes cleaned up and don't expect the guests to do anything more. As long as you're clear in your listing rules and reiterate with guests when they book and arrive, it's up to you. Things we would would consider common courtesy that need not be mentioned, like not leaving piles of trash in the place, unfortunately need to be spelled out for some people.

If I were you, I would not leave your personal boxed or suitcased things anywhere a guest can access them. I'd lock them in an "off-limits" closet or garage or store them at a friend's place.

I'm glad you've had lovely guests in the past. I get great guests as well, but a bad apple could always slip through.

 

Tатьяна0
Level 2
Kiev, Ukraine

Поясните, те, кто устанавливает плату за уборку, убирает в жилье каждый день не зависимо от того, на сколько дней было сдано помещение или только при выселении одних и вселении следующих гостей? 

Pedro753
Level 2
null

You provide a hospitality service.  I’ve never used Airbnb, but if you charge people a cleaning fee, your customers expect you to cleanup after them.  If the problem is your $20 fee, raise it to what handy or any other app would charge. Being competitive is far from being cheap.  You can’t fight with your guests. Charge more and have a cleaning profesional pickup the pubes.  You depend on reviews, be profesional and think as a professional. 

Elizabeth10
Level 10
Fort Wayne, IN

@Pedro753 Per AirBnb's terms of service, which does not mention charging or not charging a cleaning fee! It's not fair to penalize responsible guests with an extra fee!

 

This is a rental contract agreed to by booking.  The AirBnb Terms of Service (1 & 2.1) states “When Members make or accept a booking, they are entering into a contract directly with each other.”  This agreement includes all AirBnb Policies (cancellation), and any rules and restrictions specified in the listing, or posted in the home. All conversations between guest and host must be made thru the AirBnb app or web site messages (AirBnb policy). Failure to comply with this agreement is a breach of this contract and will result in immediate eviction, without refund, at and host’s discretion. 

Refer to Terms of Service "11.1: As a Guest, you are responsible for leaving the home & property in the condition it was in when you arrived." I keep prices low for my guests by not charging an extra cleaning fee so should not require any extra cleaning beyond the basics, one hour.  No excessive use or misuse of any provided resource or utility.   If extra cleaning is required, any house rules disregarded, home and property disrespected, excessive or misuse of resources, and\or negligence, the booking guest will be charged $25, plus $25.00 each additional hour or incident.  Only TP and normal amounts flushed, no oil in drains.  Repair of any clogged or stopped drains that occur during the booking will be charged to the booking guest.  Minimum of $125 per drain.

 

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Pedro753  And guests need to behave as "guests" when they are staying in someone's home. Appreciative, respectful people do not leave a mess behind them, expecting someone else to clean up after them. Hosts expect to do the heavy duty cleaning, which includes vacuuming, dusting, mopping floors, and removing leftover food from the fridge, do the laundry, make the beds, put out fresh supplies, disinfect the bathroom. This is done whether someone leaves it super clean or not. All my guests have left their space clean and tidy. There was no need to "fight" with them, wash their dirty dishes, or pick up their garbage off the floor, because they behaved as responsible adults who show respect for others. I don't expect them to make sure they pick up every stray hair or scrub out the shower stall, neither do I expect to be regarded as a personal maid or mommy.

Grow up.

Pedro753
Level 2
null

Ma’am, I think you are in the wrong business. Hospitality is about the customer. I wish you well. Sadly, I foresee a low rating from your costumers if that’s the attitude you will show them. Follow advise, my intention is to help. Raise your cleaning fee. It’s not your home, if it was, you would not allow strangers in. It’s your business, treat it as such. 

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Pedro753  I don't know who you are, or why you decided to start posting here, as you say you have never been a guest, nor do you have a listing as a host. I have 5* ratings across the board and pages of glowing reviews, so my guests are obviously happy with my hospitality. It is my home, I host a private room in it. I don't charge any cleaning fee, and as I stated, my guests are responsible adults who do not behave like entitled strangers, they behave like respectful people who appreciate being accepted into my home. Some of them have become friends.

We can do without your "intentions to help", troll.

Pedro753
Level 2
null

Obviously you don’t get it. Good luck. 

Property2
Level 10
null

@Pedro753 No, Pedro, obviously you are the one who does not get it. You have no business on Airbnb, so your "help" is not needed here. We get it, you don't clean regardless, so be proud of this and do whatever you want in your own house however filthy it is. Just don't teach other people how they should run their business, it's not appreciated.

Pedro753
Level 2
null

The need to defend wrong doing is outstanding. Do not request a fee and for paying customers to do the job too. You are right, this is not for me.  We booked a hotel, I would never allow any of you to take advantage of me. 

Ian-And-Anne-Marie0
Level 10
Kendal, United Kingdom

@Pedro753 

Read the TOS of Airbnb you signed:

11.1 As a Guest, you are responsible for leaving the Accommodation (including any personal or other property located at the Accommodation) in the condition it was in when you arrived. 

 

I hope you have read the TOS of the hotel you booked.

 

 

Pedro754
Level 1
Miami, FL

I shared the info, people can do with it what they want. If they want to allow you to rip them off it's their choice. I wouldn't rent from anyone who charges for something and expects me to do it. Be professional. 

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Pedro754  The "something" that is charged for when a cleaning fee is applied doesn't cover having to deal with a disgusting mess left by inconsiderate people.

Decent human beings don't leave a pig sty in their wake, ever, anywhere.

Property2
Level 10
null

@Pedro0 Once again, nobody is interested in your opinion here... If you call not cleaning after yourself being a professional, I will leave this honorary title for your personal exclusive use. And by the way, you really don't have to worry about renting from the hosts here, nobody will rent to you since everyone knows now that you don't clean after yourself being professional!

Helen350
Level 10
Whitehaven, United Kingdom

Sounds as tho' you know nothing about the mutual respect ethos of airbnb @Pedro753 , & as you say, you've never used airbnb...... If you ever do, please familiarise yourself with airbnb's history, culture, & expectations! Someone on this forum recently summed it up well with: "When you open the door to an airbnb guest, you expect to receive a gracious friend, not an entitled customer!"

Pedro753
Level 2
null

@Helen350 , my issue with all this is hosts charging a cleaning fee and expecting guests to clean. Leaving dirty dishes is nothing short of being a pig, that being said; if you charge for cleaning, clean, don't expect guests to pay for it and clean too. I was looking for a house because our friends want all of us to stay at a vacation rental because of the convenience of having a kitchen.  I would never rent a room at someone's house, nor would I rent one to someone at mine. I saw cleaning fees of $150 plus... If all Airbnb hosts are as hospitable as most I've seen commenting here, I think we will end up at a Residence Inn or any other extended stay hotel, those have kitchens too.

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