Dirty apartment and guest refused to pay extra cleaning fee

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
Level 2
Bluffdale, UT

You do realize that if you don't clean up your dishes at the residence inn, you will have to pay an extra fee, right? Hotels with kitchens also expect you to clean up after yourself within reason.

Level 10
Kendal, United Kingdom


 I think we will end up at a Residence Inn or any other extended stay hotel, those have kitchens too.


Do that. You obviously won't be paying for cleaning (but you will be). The accommodation won't be as good, it'll cost you more and you can be gross without anybody mentioning it about you.


Maybe it's that accountable thing? Being held to account for living like a pig is not very nice to hear or realise.


Cleaning fees on Airbnb are either charged extra or included. You pay for it either way. Many hosts discount the cleaning way below commercial rates because they are house proud. Pig guests are just expectant, take advantage and complain when they're called out.

it is obvious you have no clue of what service is. 

Level 10
Kendal, United Kingdom


3.29AM: Cleaning depends on hosts entirely, so you must agree the conditions with the host

That looks like a pretty good answer to me !?


There's no generic answer.


Guests should leave Hosts accomodation as clean as they find it. Even though they never will.


Read the Host's House Rules where you want to stay before you contemplate booking. There is only an assumption that hosts will not be cleaning up after pigs. The hosts will tell you that additional cleaning fees will be incured if... find out about the 'if'.


Tell them that you do not want to do any cleaning, and that you want them to do all the dirty work and ask if thats OK? You will receive a definitive answer.


Either that, or that you will want to clean up after yourselves: You will polish the place like a pin, remove the grids from and clean the inside and outside of the oven including glasses, inspect and rewash the pans, plates, cups, glasses, knives, forks, spoons, polish the windows, clean and disinfect the toilets, clean and polish the shower cubicles inside and out, clean the bath, clean sinks, remove hair and debris from drains, polish surfaces, clean TV screens, clean door handles, clean tables, wash tablecloths, clean coasters, hoover cobwebs, sweep, hoover and mop the floors, wipe down tops of pictures and door surrounds, clean wardrobe fronts, shake out any rugs and hoover, remove and shake off debris from the sofa covers and cushions, rewash if neccessary, replace. Remove stray hairs. Remove bedding, wash and replace. Rearrange shelving and cupboards with plates, bowls, cups, saucers, glasses, knives, forks, spoons, any games you've used, any DVD's you've used. Wash and replace towels, teatowls, clean fridge, freezer, microwave, coffee machine, clean the fire, barbecue, hot tub, swimming pool, sweep outside areas, search out and clear cigarette litter, wipe down outside furniture, cut the lawn - whatever's needed. Tell them you might need to take at least a day over it and you will stay until it was as clean as when you started, or until the Hosts says its good enough for you to leave.


You will then get your $20 refunded.


clean my place for me which takes us over a day and we'll discount you $65.


Thanks for bringing this up, as Host's we're not charging enough. Either we put prices up and hide the cleaning fee or we just charge commercial cleaning rates instead.


Oh, :

3:52 AM

If you don't cause any damage to any of the facilities or something like that, they don't have a reason to complain.
Broken toilet flush....

If you charge 20 dollars for cleaning you are not charging enough.  Now, if you charge $150 plus, I don’t think people will clean much. I wouldn’t.  I have a hospitality management background and it’s obvious that using this service is not for me, mainly  because hosts don’t get that if they make money out of this, there are a whole lot of service expectations on the guest’s part and I don’t see any of the hosts commenting here as a viable option. I fear most have the same attitude. If we decide for a vacation rental it will most likely be one managed by professionals.  If you charge for cleaning and expect guests to clean you are basically taking advantage of them. 

Level 2
Los Angeles, CA

Wow, that is a massive and incorrect presumption. In New York City (for example, just so you know) we pay very high rent. I only rent my home to guests when I travel. I charge them 140$ a night which is what my apartment rent costs me per day with included utilities. And I charge 80$ for cleaning which is what I pay back to my cleaner (her standard fee). On top of these costs, my guests get to enjoy our space expensively-furnished by a designer (me) free of charge. 


So, no. If my guests leave my place trashed, filthy and leave minor damage,  it is me, the host, who is taken advantage of. If I ask for them to fix it, it is always reflected in their review. People often have no clue how expensive some homes are to run. I expect my guests to leave my home with respect. 


Level 10
Kendal, United Kingdom

In 2016 @Lydia16 wrote:

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)... $20 Basic cleaning.   +$35  because it took the cleaner so much longer to clean the mess.



 If you charge for cleaning and expect guests to clean you are basically taking advantage of them. 


Guests left the place DIRTY @Pedro753  No self-respecting person would leave any accomodation dirty so that is unacceptable. If it was clean and tidy - no problem, the cleaning is included. The only persons taking advantage here are those guests who left the place dirty.


I contacted Airbnb and it's obvious they allow this issue to continue by not taking a firm position on this matter. The first rep avoided the question. The second rep had no choice but to answer. Find attached my exchange with two Airbnb reps. I had to insist to get a straight answer:


**[Private conversation removed in line with Community Center Guidelines]

As you can see, guests are not supposed to clean if they pay a cleaning fee. I rest my case.


Level 2
Westerville, OH

The guests left the place smelling of 'dog'.  It took 3 extra hours to clean pet hair and deodorize and carpet clean, couch clean, mattress clean etc.  Can I charge an extra cleaning fee?


There are just some people in the world who think if they are paying guests , they can be dirty slobs regardless of whether they are staying at someone's home thru Airbnb or at a hotel. I'm not saying this is right - but it's just the way some people are and as a host, you'll have to find a way to deal with it.


You should consider including a check-out checklist - what you expect guests to do before checking out. Such as clearing away left over food, taking out trash, basic tidying and putting things back where they belong etc. What seems obvious to you may not be the case for others, so it's best to be specific and state the obvious to manage everyone's expectations. The broken toilet handle IS something you should get compensation for and I hope you get paid for that. Also, don't be afraid of bad reviews. Good luck~


And @Geraldine50, I agree that it is rude of people to leave urine stains "around" a toilet (pubic hairs I doubt are intentional and people tend to be oblivious of how much they shed) BUT like I said before, some people think that as a guest, they can be as dirty and disgusting as they want to be and expect others to clean up. It's not right but I consider it as a part of the "dirty" side of hosting. Some one has to scrub toilets to keep them clean - some people clean up after themselves, some don't. If you get a guest that doesn't, then it falls on you. Simple~

Hello, I face a similar issue but about the toilets.

I don't understand how one can leave toilets dirty behind oneself. 

even a cleaning fee cannot justify having someone else cleaning your urine, pubic hairs and other intimate souvenirs on/in/around the toilet seat/vase/floor.

how to deal with that?

If you charge cleaning how do you expect people to clean?

Level 10
Kendal, United Kingdom


A cleaning fee is a cleaning fee. It is not a Skivy fee or a manservant fee or housemaid fee. In our homes which we let out to you we expect that guests show respect and keep them clean and tidy. Part of us letting them out to you is we rule that they should be kept clean and tidy. Guests agree to this.  If you don't want to show respect and uphold the letting agreement go to a hotel, pay more, and leave your mess there instead.


We are not saying "Cleaning Fee $20 trash as much as you like, live like a pig".


Your mindset is indicative of the type of guests we as hosts need to deal with. 

Level 10
Santa Rosa, CA


Sorry, but any normal human "extras" left behind in the bathroom are normal ... and some hosts think it is inconsiderate, but I've seen the same in many public restrooms. I expect that many people will do the same in my studio. Therefore I have a cleaning fee. No, someone doesn't necessarily purposefully "leave behind" urine, pubic hair, etc, behind...They just do it.

You are a host. Deal with it. If you have a cleaning fee and don't want to deal with a guest's personal "leavings" then you should probably get out of the businessness. Guests don't think this way. You deal by dealing. Clean it up!

Jann, you know and understand service. Congratulations!

@Jann3 I am very confused by your answer. Shall I understand that it is normal for you not to use the toilet brush and pee outside of the toilet vase and all other the toilet seat? and leave it to someone else to clean?

I guess it is then a question of education.


Level 10
Boulder, CO

Hi @Lydia16,  Unless you have made it clear the guests that you expect all food to be disposed of and all surfaces wiped clean it is not reasonable to expect guests to meet your expectations.  As a guest, when I pay a "cleaning fee" I do not expect to be required to leave the apartment/room in a clean condition (although I do!).  If you raise your cleaning fee for all guests a small amount you can cover the rare extra cleaning fees and not have to go through the hassle of trying to charge the guest and risk a bad review.  The broken toilet handle is another matter, but it can be considered a cost of doing business unless you have a security deposit.


My guests often leave "gifts" behind for me.  Sometimes I get a nearly full bottle of bourbon, soda, limes, beer, twinkies, and other times condoms (new).

Not all is lost, it seems that bad hosts are just a few. Congratulations!

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