Are hosts allowed to 'spring' utility bills on guests?

I’m not a host but rather a renter. I searched for an entire apartment in Turkey and found a great one for £13 per night so I rented it for a week. The place is fantastic and I’m happy with everything except that the day after we settled in the landlady told us we have to pay for electricity, gas, water etc.
They had us confirm all the meter reading with them and said we will do the same on the day we leave and then we should pay for what we have used. They said this is normal when someone rents an ‘entire’ place on airbnb.
In practice it won’t be that much (perhaps £20-£30 for the week but in principle it’s a hidden cost that they didn’t show on their listing.

Could you hosts tell me if what they say is the case and that it’s normal for hosts to ask renters to pay utility bills on top of the agreed rent?

No, this is not typical. Make sure you let others know of this ‘hidden cost’ when you write your review. Personally, I would have refused to pay it.

I guess they are then asking you to pay outside of the AirBnB payment system? That is obviously not something AirBnB approves of…

Thanks. We are only on the third day of our eight day stay. They expect us to pay on the day of leaving. If it’s confirmed that this is not normal then we will refuse to pay.

I would strongly encourage you to run all communications regarding this through the airbnb site (i.e. your airbnb e-mail). It will help airbnb offer support if it is documented.

Good luck, and enjoy Turkey!

I’ve asked around and it seems that it is the culture here when renting out a whole apartment or house to expect the renters to pay for the electricity and water they use.
Taking into account that the rent for the apartment is ridiculously low while being a very high quality place and that the utility costs will be relatively very low then I have decided to pay it. I will still mention it in my review but I feel there are more dimensions to things than a world wide policy for a site like airbnb. What the hosts are asking is reasonable and normal in this culture so the only real point of contention is that it wasn’t revealed on the listing and they just expected everyone from around the world to be aware that’s the way they operate.

I’ll pay it and tell them people from outside Turkey will feel somewhat deceived then also explain it on my review.

No way, no how. You already paid up front and that’s all you owe unless you damage something.

It’s fine, you put your own rules, I charge 30 cents per KW, however WIFI and water is free, it’s your property remember, and ppl would take advantage of you if you didn’t charge them, thus, this would make them use your utilities in a responsible way, make sense ? :smile:

My suggestion be nice but not too nice :wink:

If you are getting an unbelievably good deal and guzzled their utilities then it would be bad manners to not pay if they are new hosts who just forgot to put it in their listing and the bill is reasonable. If they have many many reviews and are experienced hosts and the utilities bill is outrageous I would not pay it. Either way what kind of guest do you want to be reviewed as?