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Cleaning fees going to co-host

Curious to know what others think of this.
We have a house in Adelaide that has been on Airbnb for the last 18 months. It is managed by a co-host company and I guess I never really gave a lot of thought to the cleaning fees until I had a chance conversation with the cleaner who felt “under the pump”. On further exploration it turns out that of the $240 cleaning fee - 4-5 hours at $25ph goes to the cleaner. Maybe $10 goes on incidentals - coffee, cleaning fluids, and $30 on linen cleaning. This leaves around $70-100 which the co-host says is for organising the cleaning.
The co-host also gets 20% of the rental fee which I had assumed should cover the management of the cleaning.
Is this normal practice? My preference would be for almost all of the cleaning money to go to the cleaners and for them to have more time to do the job and not feel too pressured. I am not looking to get anything extra myself.

To me it feels like they’re scammers. The cleaning fee should go entirely to the cleaner since you already pay 20% for them to manage your place. However, if you’re happy with them and they’re doing a great job, you might have to look the other way since it’s very difficult to find co -hosts that are realiable.


I agree with Riz3 - the cleaners should get the full cleaning fee. I even thing the incidentals should not come out of the kitty but perhaps the linens. As or the co-host she is being paid by the percentage of the rental fee. Perhaps a nominal fee for organizing but what is she cleaning since you have cleaners?


I am a cohost as well as a host and all the cleaning fee goes to the cleaner . The management of cleaners should be included in the cohost fee. If they wanted extra money for managing cleaners on top of their fee this should have been clearly identified in their contract with you.

I would get another cohost .

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I’d have a long talk with the co-host company. 20% plus the cleaning fee?

Cleaners get 100% of the cleaning fee after restocking incidentals. And I’d want itemized receipts.

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So they spend 2-3 hours per booking “organizing” the cleaning? What does organizing the cleaning entail? Seems like it would take all of 5 minutes to let the cleaner know when to show up.

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Thanks for all the replies - I have asked to get clarification and was told, “The overhead of managing cleaning is massive, scheduling and rescheduling contract cleaners is critical to the success of our business, reviews are everything. Keeping cleaners happy and committed is challenging and very time- consuming.”
I would still think this should all be part of the management fee.


They could keep cleaners happy by giving them the entire cleaning fee. It’s probably challenging for them because the cleaners probably quit when they see how much they charge as a cleaning fee and only pay them half.


Cleaners are happy and committed when they get paid well. Your managers are full of s**t. If scheduling cleaning was one of the tasks included in their property management package, then of course it should be included in the 20%. You must have some kind of written contract with them?

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It should be. The management company is skimming the cleaning fees.

Tell them point blank that 20% of your business is a lot of money and you want the cleaners paid 100% of the cleaning fee. You also need receipts for any restocking.

If I were you, I’d get more on top of this listing. You’re bleeding money.


Thanks - I will do.

Think it is time for a new host.

Just recently I suggested a refund for a guest as the AC had broken down for a few days during a really hot period. I was unsurprised to find that the management company had taken off their 20% fee before the guest’s refund so, in effect, the whole refund came from my 80%.

There seems to be a theme here!


They say the cleaners get an “above award rate” and a bonus at Xmas.

The host company are clearly trying to build up a business so they do as little as possible.

For even small maintenance tasks, I seem to get roped in immediately and if I suggest they should be sorting things out, they become rather sensitive and passive aggressive.

20% seems a lot to pay for not a lot. I was with a large company before and although I had some small issues, I think they provided a far better service.

What the manager is essentially doing is charging you 20% and then also charging the guests $70-$100 per booking that they are scooping off the cleaning fee.

You say that 20% seems like a lot for what they are doing. I can’t speak to that in your case as I don’t know what all they are doing or expected to do for that percentage. It may be fair and it may not be. No offense, and it may not be at all true in your case, but I think some remote hosts don’t necessarily have any idea how much time is required to adequately manage their property if they have never done it all themselves, and can be rather greedy in what they feel they should earn simply by virtue of owning the property. I’ve heard of good co-hosts or managers being paid up to 30-40% - it depends how much they actually do and how well they perform.

As with cleaners or anything else, you generally get what you pay for.

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As I said before - I was with a larger company before and thought I got a much better level of service for the same %. 20% is fine but I do like to see what I get - and this is less apparent with the new company. Not sure why I changed, and now it is time to go back!

I am not looking for more money at all. But when your cleaning fees are much higher than other similarly sized properties in the area, and the cleaners feel they don’t have enough time to do a good job - then something aint right.

I agree strongly with this - using the cleaning for a bit of a side hustle isn’t fair on the cleaners. It also seems to build in some resistance to increasing the time available for cleaning as this would eat into the extra made by the host company.

So did they specify the additional management fees for managing cleaners in your contract and their pricing or not @Ben2 ?

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Not at all - I always thought the cleaning fee was expensive but thought fair enough, it is a big house. It was only when I asked a few questions it became somewhat clear that money over and above cleaning, laundry and incidentals was being charged. Even then, the information was reluctantly given and they have called it a cleaning management fee.

So why did you switch managers? I couldn’t find anywhere that you mentioned that.

I don’t understand this. How does doing as little as possible help to build up a business? You build up a business by providing good service and therefore being recommended by your clients to others.


When I used to have a cleaning fee I found this NOT to be a good model, the cleaners would rush through and get paid for 3 hours (cleaning fee) and they mostly spent half that time. I raised the hourly rate and made it straight hourly because I was not happy with the arrangement like that.

No fee now, I roll it into the minimum 2 night fee. Most of my stays are 2-4 nights, sometimes 5-7 and I never discount it for longer stays.


You’re getting ripped off, and so are the cleaners. Good luck finding another co-host.

I could never run a remote business as personal as innkeeping. I’m happy to have it over my head.

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