Advice on providing cleaning for guests

Hello everyone, I would like some advice on what to do in this situation. We have a condominium that we rent the entire place to Airbnb. We also charge a cleaning fee of 40€ per stay which covers our expenses after the guests leave. We recently had an inquiry of a family which asked for a discount for 3 weeks stay, we humbly gave them 10 percent off and also removed the cleaning fee which they accepted and made the booking. Upon check-in the guests immediately asked when would we be coming to clean and change the bedding!!! We politely said we do not provide this service as this is not a hotel, bed sheets and extra towels are in the closet and they can wash the dirty ones.
My question is did we do the right thing? Are there others that go and clean the units during the guest stay? Should I offer this cleaning service with a fee?

I charge a $40 cleaning fee. This is for an entire house and doesn’t come close to the actual cost of the cleaning.

If guests stay over 7-10 days, I go in and do a “linen change”— I change the bed linens and give them clean towels and remove the dirty ones. I might also take out the trash.

I do this because I want to see what kind of shape the house is in so I can judge if I’m going to need extra time or help to clean after the guests leave. I also want to make sure the bed linens get switched out. If you leave it for the guests to do (they may tell you they’d rather do it) 90% of the time they won’t. After 10 days of someone sleeping on the same bedding, the body oils get ground into the fibers and it gets progressively harder to get your linens clean.

So I do the linen change. It takes an hour to two hours depending on the number of beds but it saves my linens. I don’t charge for the linen change. The $40 cleaning fee is a single one time charge.


@mmlisbonrentals I would include it in your house rules that there is a mandatory weekly fee for providing new linens and towels and changing beds long term guests. This also has the advantage that it enables you to be able to check on the property during their stay.

You can then create a special offer when they book and add this in.

I am a little confused as to why you agreed to not charge the cleaning fee as well as giving this family a discount?

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The big issue is that we live 3 hours away from the property and we do our own cleaning. There was another guest that stayed for 24 nights and we went there after the first week to clean and also check on the apartment. But this backfired as they messages us the following week asking to come clean again and also left the place in a huge disgusting mess for us to clean. We went there 3 times during their stay and cleaned for free and yet received 4 stars for value on the review. So we decided not to do this again.
The reason we gave a discount is during the dates the place was not reserved and we did not want to loose out on income. Would rather accept a bit less than receive nothing.

The easy solution to this is to employ a local cleaner and add the cleaning fee to your listing @mmlisbonrentals

No-one is suggesting you do a full scale clean every week. We are suggesting you or a local cleaner just do a changeover of bedding and towels each week.

You can charge a one off cleaning fee to prepare the property and a lower fee for the weekly changeover of bedding and towels.

I hope you left the guest that left your house in a disgusting mess and honest review and charged her/him for the extra cleaning involved.

Thanks for the advice. I think it’s a great idea. We actually looked into hiring a cleaner and also to check in the guests but really couldn’t find anyone reliable so we did it personally.

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Once you gave in to the guests by giving a discount you opened the door to other requests. To put it another way, you showed straight away that the details on your listing are negotiable. So the guest negotiated.

Yes, many other hosts (most?) clean at least twice during a three week stay which is a sort of mini-turnover - complete clean, new bedding, fresh towels, fresh kitchen linens, new loo paper, cleaning materials check and so on.

Hosts vary as to the extent of this but most offer clean bedlinen and towels to the very least. Even guests in a budget in a cheap, basic place wouldn’t expect to use the same bedding and towels for three weeks! (Especially as they are a family so presumably have children).

Hosts also vary regarding the fee. I do it for nothing once a week (or mid stay if the guests are staying for more than eight days) and this is as much for my benefit as theirs. I get to see how they are looking after the place and a regular clean keeps a major post stay clean at bay.

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I believe there is a Lisbon host forum so why not ask there for a local co-host and recommendations for a cleaner @mmlisbonrentals

I don’t know; too many variables to say.

However many people recommend a weekly linen change for longer stays. That way you can legitimately check the place. Since you removed that cleaning fee and gave a discount I think you probably were right to say no cleaning or bed change when paying reduced price. That’s why you reduced the price!

@mmlisbonrentals Matthew, I have a condo that I list via Airbnb. I make it clear in my description that I provide NO cleaning services during a guest’s stay. About half of my guests are from Europe and I never had a single guest ask me about cleaning or change of towels during a stay (the usual stay is 10-14 days). Just make sure you are clear in your listing about not offering cleaning or exchanging of towels during a guest’s stay.