Can you charge a cleaning fee for hosting a service animal?

I have a “no pets” listing and currently do not charge a cleaning fee. I’m new to air bnb and trying to get some reviews under my belt before I add a cleaning fee. ( I’m open to opinions on that too)
My question is is it legal or even moral to charge a cleaning fee for hosting a guest with a service animal? Thanks.

Nope. It’s not legal nor is it allowed by Airbnb. I’m not interested in having a discussion about morals right now so I won’t address that part :wink:


Not allowed, but if someone is bringing a service animal, you can cut down on possible extra cleaning by providing some old sheets, towels, or small blankets and request that the guest use them to protect any furniture the dog lies on.

It would seem that you haven’t read Airbnb’s service animal policies, so be sure to famliarize yourself with that. There are 2 questions you can ask the guest, which can help with warding off the fake service animal claims.


In addition to the great advice above I just want to mention that hosting dogs doesn’t mean there will be extra cleaning.

Unfortunately I no longer accept pet dogs because of HOA regs, but I did for years and there was never any additional cleaning required. After all, everything is going to be thoroughly cleaned anyway.

People with dogs, and especially with service dogs, are generally very considerate towards their hosts.

I’d make sure to have dog bowls, a dog bed, doggie treats and so on. In the same way that parents appreciate people who make a fuss of their kids, the same applies with dog owners. It’s a great way to show what a thoughtful host you are.


I immediately googled if I was able to refuse them to stay and I saw that I wasn’t. I think this is really a better case scenario… he told me he was bringing a service animal and offered to show me paperwork. I figure if he was going to offer, it was legit. Honestly, it’s just the dog hair and scratches in the lvp that don’t seem to be coming up. It’s normal wear and tear, if you have a dog. But my washing machine is filled with hair and I’m on my hands and knees cleaning the baseboards. It’s just so much extra work, for something I didn’t expect to be doing. And he stated in his review that he loved our place and it would be his go to to visit family. :sweat_smile:
I realize it comes with territory. I appreciate your reply. As I am new to hosting and this forum.


Thanks. I appreciate your reply.


Lint rollers are your friends here!


That’s a bit of a red flag as there is no paperwork for a service dog. There are outfits that sell “paperwork” but they will sell it to anyone.


When a guest says they are bringing a service animal, that’s the point at which you should ask them the 2 questions you’re allowed to ask. As mentioned, there is no paperwork for service animals, so offering to show you some could be a red flag.

During the stay, there are also clues that it isn’t an actual service animal. Service animals don’t cause damage (yes, they shed and can scratch floors with their nails, like any dog), they don’t bark uncontrollably, they are immediately responsive to owner commands, they don’t bound out of the car and start running around, they are housebroken, and in most cases,will never be left alone.


sorry, realize that my reply makes no sense :woman_facepalming:t3:
Really? I had no idea. Do you know if there is a way to tell if it’s authentic paperwork?
I have a ring doorbell and he kind of struck me as a military guy. So I’m hoping it was genuine.

There is no authentic paperwork for service animals.

What does looking like a military guy have to do with it? You mean he maybe had PTSD? Or like people in the military never lie, or what? Military are no different from any other guests- some are good folks, some aren’t. I’ve read posts from hosts whose military guests left the place a pig sty, snuck in extra guests or pets, and said military guests were the worst guests they’ve ever had.

As a host, generalizing about different demographics of guests isn’t wise. For instance, you might think a senior couple will be easy to host, and be worried about renting to 19 year olds. But the senior couple might turn out to expect an Airbnb to be like a hotel room, expect clean towels and a room cleaning every day, and call you 6 times a day because they can’t figure out how anything works. And the 19 year olds may be hassle-free, leave the place spotless, and write you a sweet thank you note.


Apparently I was naive in thinking that this forum would be helpful and without the snark and righteousness that comes from keyboard warriors.

The man had a military haircut, pressed clothes, pristine truck and the overall way he carried himself… so him having a German Shepard checked out to me.
Not to mention I searched him after he booked (instant book, on). All of his previous addresses were military bases.


Hi @Airbnb_mama,

‘Snark’? ‘Righteousness’? ‘Keyboard warriors’? [I love that].

Here? On the forum?

It’s true that the issue was addressed with;

I asked ChatGPT to respond (with wit and humor) to your reasoning that this was a military guy.

Here’s what it said:

Oh, Sherlock, have we got a mystery on our hands! Let’s play a game of ‘Military or Maybe Not?’ using the evidence you’ve gathered:

  1. Previous addresses on military bases? Could definitely point to military service. Or it could mean they had a military brat upbringing, growing up on bases faster than they could recite the alphabet. Perhaps they just have an affinity for waking up to reveille and marching to the post office!
  2. A military haircut, you say? Our friend could be serving Uncle Sam, true. But maybe they’re just a fan of the breeze on the back of their neck, or they’re a swimmer who needs to be aerodynamic, or they have a bizarrely specific phobia of hairdryers. Anything’s possible!
  3. Pressed clothes? Either they’ve got the discipline of a Marine, or they’re auditioning for a Tide commercial. Perhaps they’re merely a laundry enthusiast or someone who has an ongoing feud with wrinkles. You never know!
  4. A pristine truck? They could be a military logistics expert. Or maybe they just love their truck more than a cowboy loves his boots, keeping it cleaner than a plate at an all-you-can-eat buffet!
  5. German Shepherd sidekick? Could be a military working dog. Or it might just be a regular dog who’s watched too many crime dramas and has a nose for investigation. Maybe it’s a K-9 who missed the memo that it’s not a spy.

So, while our friend here may be about as military as GI Joe, they could also just be a clean-cut, truck-loving individual with a nosy dog. The world is wonderfully unpredictable, isn’t it?

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If the guest leaves an excessive amount of mess, whether caused by the guest or the service animal, you may request extra funds to cover the extra cleaning.

I’m pretty sure you cannot charge an additional pre-arrival cleaning fee for the service animal. That would make it the equivalent of a “pet fee”, and a true service animal isn’t a pet.

Since this guest appears to be in your property already, it’s too late to do anything other than request post-stay cleaning funds if needed.

I suggest you take some time to read the AirBnB guidance on pets, ESAs (emotional support animals), and service animals. It’s a bit complicated and varies on where your property is located. If you get mostly guests that drive to your location, you’ll probably get people that want to bring their pet Fido (or Fluffy) and are willing to lie and call them a service animal to avoid pet or extra cleaning fees.

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I still don’t understand what you think the correlation is between the guest being military and the dog being a legit service dog. Lots of people have German Shepherds. And most German Shepherds aren’t service dogs.

A working dog like a police dog, or used in the military, is not what is meant by service dogs you have to accept as a host. Service dog in that context is a dog that performs a service for the handler with a disability.

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Didn’t we go through this not too long ago on a different thread? Their guest insisted it was a “service dog” because it had been a police dog.

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Yes, and I don’t know if it was the same one, but a guest had tried to claim it was a service dog because she used it in therapy sessions for her psychology practice.

Yes. This forum, like other parts of the internet, is a place where most anyone can post most anything.

It seems that you’ve taken offense at someone pointing out that you can’t stereotype people based on their looks? Really? But if he is indeed military, there’s no reason to assign any good characteristics to that.

I’ve been hosting and allowing dogs in my Airbnb for 8 years in a city with a large Army base. I also board dogs in my home. I assure you that my military clients (between dogs and Airbnb I’ve had hundreds) have been a mixed bag and one of the only dogs who caused damage in my rental was a military client. Some of my worst dog boarding clients were military; I mean the owners not the dogs of course. I just turned down a military client this week who lied about what kind of dogs he had and changed his mind 3 times about if he was going to use my services and what dates. No thanks.


We bought our AC system from a guy who told us he was military.

That, and his professional demeanor, impressed us.

But – without going into details – it was a mistake and we shouldn’t have given that the weight we did.

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The correlation is that top of being naive I’m also very narrow minded and ignorant. Often stereotyping.