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

Rob183
Level 2
SF, CA

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

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!

 

202 Replies 202
Skylar14
Level 1
Westminster, CO

As a guest, if the host is going to charge a cleaning fee, the listing - not a folder at the house - should state what the fee covers and what the host expects of the guest so that the guest can decide if it is worth it or not. If they want you to pay a large cleaning fee and aren't up front about their expectations, i feel like they are just being dishonest and trying to use scam tactics to make their place look more desirable. 

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

@Skylar14 

To be a member of Airbnb you need to agree to their Terms and Conditions. Airbnb Term and Conditions state that you, as a guest should "leave the accommodation as you found it".  Theres no ambiguity there. So do that. The 'cleaning fee' is always clearly stated as an addition to this.

 

Stating expectations up front in the listing I would agree with, but I wouldn't make it an obligation as only 'members' are allowed to book and they have previously agreed to, and should be aware of 'the rules' and their obligations.

Skylar14
Level 1
Westminster, CO

I  only use air bnb a couple time per year, but I've been a member for a long time. The rules haven't changed since the beginning and that rule was written before people were using air bnb as a side job. People were just renting out rooms in their houses and they weren't charging cleaning fees. If you want your logic to stick, the rules need to be updated to go along with the newer charges. People who use air bnb to treat their rental property like a hotel should expect that people are also going to treat it like a hotel.

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Skylar14  As a guest, you are free to book a place which charges a cleaning fee or not. If you don't mind paying a moderate cleaning fee but feel the fee is unreasonably high, you just move on to look for another listing. Certainly it's not acceptable for host not to mention in the listing info and house rules what is expected in terms of a guest cleaning up, only springing it on the guest after arrival. Not okay at all, and if I booked a place like that, I'd be quite inclined to ignore them asking me to strip the bed and start a wash, informing them that they need to make that clear to guests before they book.

I also don't like "leave it as you found it", because that's not really what it means. Guests aren't normally expected to vacuum the place, mop the floors, sterilize the bathroom, etc, even if they are expected to do some other things. What that should read instead is "Please be respectful- leave the place tidy and clean up your own personal mess". Which means don't leave a pile of dirty dishes, garbage strewn around, stove top swimming in grease, that sort of thing.

I charge no cleaning fee for my private room/bath listing and don't ask guests to do any cleaning chores. Yet almost all my guests have been very respectful, and I only once had a guest who left her space a disaster area. Most give it a quick sweep with the broom I leave for them ( which I leave for their convenience, so they don't have to walk around on a sandy or dirty floor, not because I expect them to sweep up), wipe down the bathroom counter and make sure all the garbage is in the bin. Some have left it so immaculate it hardly looked like anyone had stayed in there, aside from a damp towel neatly spread out on the rack to dry.

 So as a host with experiences like that, I don't feel any need to charge a cleaning fee or leave the guest a list of expected chores. But hosts who have had quite a few totally disrespectful slobs leave a huge mess behind tend to decide to charge a cleaning fee which will balance out the cleaning time required for respectful guests and the completely clueless pigs. Which can be high if it's a large place that requires hours of cleaning, even without disrespectful guests.

Denis377
Level 2
Boston, MA

Depends on how ridiculous the fee is. If host posting 120$ fees for 1 night stand while place cost even less, Im not cleaning anything because I paid for it. I'm also not going to trash the place either. I will use trash cans for trash, but I ain't mapping a dirty floor after myself and neither I'm taking a trash out or wiping tables around from the dust. Dishes? Depends how crazy fees are. I always cleaned my dishes myself, because I was lucky with previous hosts that charges for what they should, cleaning towels and so on. I've never booked a place where host was asking 100-200$ cleaning fess for 1 night.  But if you charge that much you should expect that money goes for cleaning work. 

Kevin1322
Level 10
null

for $200 cleaning fee on top of the rental I'd expect to get my shoes cleaned as well.... and my car valeted 😉  But I'd still never leave a place in a mess,  out of courtesy to whoever has to do the cleaning and for my own self respect.

 

Before we joined Airbnb my wife had looked for accommodation for a familiy visit in a UK city. 

The rental itself was at the higher end of our budget for an overnighter,  cleaning fee came as a shock (as new users to the platform) although in hindsight £20 on top of a £120/night en suite room in a private house probably only coovers an hour of a cleaners time with national insurance, pension contributions and travel to the next or from the last job.

Our cleaning fee is really just a token for the towels and bedding wash, as it's a private room and shared spaces are cleaned anyway whether there are guests or not as we live in them.

Having said that, we are quite new to hosting.

 

Denis377
Level 2
Boston, MA

That's seems to be reasonable. 

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

Campsite rule applies to Airbnb. Leave it as good or better than you found it. No wet towels and soiled sheets in piles on the floor. No sink full of dirty dishes. No mystery smells. No dog poo or unflushed toilets. 

 

We charge a minimal cleaning fee and guests STILL complain. We can certainly raise our nightly fee to cover it but then we have heard people say "if you don't charge at least something guests think you either don't clean or clean yourself so they react accordingly."

 

I expect my place to be at least reasonably tidy when I get there after a guest leaves. Families  with small kids tend to require the most deep cleaning and de-sticking of surfaces that aren't normally sticky . But I don't expects to act as their own maid service. If they do they get a very nice review.

 

Denis377
Level 2
Boston, MA

What is the minimal charge that you charge? And why do I have to leave place in even better conditions that I found? I've seen Hosts charge as much as 200$ cleaning fees for ONE night stand, you should not expect gussets to do anything for this price, even cleaning there own dishes 

Miranda147
Level 1
Arkansas, United States

So I rented a condo for one night and was charged $330 that included a $75 cleaning fee. I was literally at the condo for 16 including to sleep but the owners expected that I not only take the trash out and wash any dishes I used, but also wash the bed linens and towels.  I’m on a getaway and I paid a cleaning fee. Why I’m I expected to do laundry? 

Petra327
Level 10
Phoenix, AZ

@Miranda147  That sounds like a bit much.  I would have either picked a different place or simply not do the laundry and I probably would have mentioned it in the private or public review.

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Miranda147  That does sound like unreasonable expectations for the price you paid and the amount of time you were there. Were these requirements stated in the listing description anywhere? If you read through all the listing info thoroughly, and nowhere was this stated, only told to you when you arrived, then I think you have a very legitimate beef. 

If, on the other hand, it is in the listing info and you just failed to read it, or booked anyway, then the host is not to blame. 

There are many places that charge a cleaning fee and expect guests to put a load of wash in before they leave, take out the trash, etc. But those are most often places that host larger groups (how many of you were there?) and are large and require extensive cleaning. There can easily be $75 worth of cleaning time apart from the laundry if a host has to change out several beds, and thoroughly clean after a party of guests. You may be super clean and not leave any mess behind you, but not all guests are like that, so hosts have to average out cleaning time, plus hosts or their cleaners have to clean and sterilize the bathroom, vacuum, replenish amenities, and many other cleaning tasks,  regardless if you only stayed for 16 hours or a week.

If it was only you, or you and your husband, I can understand where it feels unfair. My son-in-law travels a lot on business, would never leave a mess behind him, and also resents being asked to do laundry or take trash out to the dumpster if he's paid a large cleaning fee. 

Bottom line- if the host states that in the listing, it was your choice to book it anyway and you can't really complain. If they don't, you have every right to feel like they expected too much and you should let the host know and review accordingly.

Tracey207
Level 4
San Diego, CA

As a host...

 

I charge $130 for a 2,500 sqft house with 7 beds sleeping 10 people. 

 

I never ask my guests to clean or tidy before they leave. And they tell me all the time, unprompted, how nice it was to sleep in before leaving...instead of having to wake earlier to do what one guest referred to as “vacation chores”. Then his wife chimed in “vacation chores that WE PAID IN ADVANCE for the privilege to do”. lol

 

My checkout note/list asks guests NOT to...

strip beds

set dishwasher off

start laundry

etc...

 

It DOES ask them to turn off the heat/AC, all small appliances and all lights. It also asks them to lock all windows and doors.

 

It signs off with how much we appreciate guests who drop their trash into the outside bin on their way out to their cars. And 100% of guests do so 🙂

 

As a guest...

 

I leave the place immaculate, knowing how much I appreciate my guests who do that for me. But that’s because I’m a host.

 

That aside...I get irked when I pay a cleaning fee and then I’m asked to clean. I’d rather you increase your cleaning fee and charge me a few bucks more at booking...then NOT ask me to waste my last morning doing dishes, stripping beds, starting laundry AS WELL AS packing up my stuff, loading the car, wrangling the kids....

 

 

Denis377
Level 2
Boston, MA

Seems reasonable to me charge 130$ for such a big space. 

Helen3
Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

Actually @Tracey207 you don't charge £98 you actually charge £168 plus a £99 cleaning fee for 10 people to stay (converted to sterling). Which is a great price for a lovely space.

 

But what you charge isn't the point.

 

All hosts host in different ways and just because you don't ask guests to have a  tidying up  check out routine at your place, doesn't mean other hosts shouldn't.

 

I don't know any hosts who asks guests to actually clean. Doing dishes and stripping beds is not cleaning. I haven't had any guests who haven't cleaned their dishes as they go along. 

 

In terms of check out, unless  you are a slob and have weeks worth of dishes, oven top and other appliances etc that needs cleaning, stacking a few breakfast dishes in the dishwasher and turning it on, is a matter of minutes. As is stripping beds and putting bedding in a laundry bin or washing machine.

 

Most hosts clearly outline expectations in their house rules, so you can avoid hosts with house rules that don't work for you.

 

 

Ann72
Level 10
NY, NY

@Rob183 Good question!  When guests message me and ask if they need to do anything before they leave, I say absolutely not.  I charge a very healthy cleaning fee to cover the cost of my $35-per-hour housekeeper, and I want guests to feel that everything is taken care of for them.  

 

That said, they almost always at least tidy up and I appreciate that as does my cleaner.  I think the mutual review system keeps everyone on their toes.

Sheila584
Level 2
Ringgold, GA

Absolutely... Renters  should know that everything is taken care of and that in itself gifts the renter with stress-free down time and probably repeat customer and more customers by that happy customer sharing your business by word of mouth 👌

Bob143
Level 2
Truckee, CA

bad_stove.jpgHow about this picture?  Is this ok?  No absolutely not!  Clean up after yourselves and put dishes in the dishwasher.  Have some common courtesy for christ sake - you are renting my house so treat it like it is your house.  The cleaning fee is for the bathrooms, changing out all the linens and a general wipe down of the house (vacuum, dust, etc).  Anything extra like this crap is not right and it costs me more than the cleaning fee to clean up after bums like this.

HannahyMartín0
Level 3
Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica

We charge 20 dollars as a cleaning fee, and we don’t expect our guests to leave the place perfect and clean, but if they don’t leave any dirty dishes and sweep a little bit before check out it makes us very happy. 

 

Denis377
Level 2
Boston, MA

This is reasonable! Of course if you charge 20$ cleaning fees I would leave the place how I found it. I guess those 20$ should go for laundry and some bruming.  

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