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Greed in charging cleaning fees

since you can’t read, the answer is no you don’t 1099 your housekeeper: http://www.justanswer.com/tax/4sjlz-need-give-housekeeper-1099.html
You would only need to issue a 1099-Misc if you were in business, and
you were paying a person more than $600 over the year. You don’t issue a
1099 if you are a private person, or if you are a business but writing
checks to a corporation. It is the housekeeper’s responsibility to
report income and pay taxes and you don’t have to get into it.
I read a recent post by konacoconutz defending greedy hosts charging big cleaning fees :
"I’ve only had one guest complain that he didn’t understand why he had to
take his trash and not leave a mess because he had paid a cleaning fee.
I had to explain that the cleaning fee was to ready the apartment for
his arrival. Not clean it up after he left. " WRONG!

Let me explain something to you. In a hotel the cleaning fee is part of the room price. Some guests may be generous and tip the maid. In a short term rental, be it vacation condo, airbnb, VRBO or anything else, if there is a cleaning fee added on that pays for the cost of ALL cleaning after the guest who paid that charge.
These fees are a huge rip off for a on night stay in ONE room and here’s why. In most US cities, like in California, a housekeeper will charge $40 to clean a 600 sq ft apt. It takes them 2 hours. To “clean” one room that someone has stayed in one night would take 15 minutes. At most the charge should be $10. Thats for 90% of guests. Therefore airbnb and other short term vacation rental “hosts” landlords rip off their tenant guests on each and every rental.


LET ME EXPLAIN SOMETHING TO YOU. I don’t need to be schooled by you on how to host. Oh YEAH… Greedy all right. Greedy for wanting to be paid for my work, which takes at least 5 hours minimum. What do you know about hosting anyway. If you don’t want to pay for cleaning, DON’T. Go get the nearest Motel 6 and avoid Hawaii please. You get what you pay for.


I don’t charge cleaning fees because I just started and wanted to get more reviews but will consider them come the high season. It takes me 3 hours to clean my unit and it includes the following each and everytime.

  1. Sheets, blankets, pillow cases and coverlet laundered, sheets ironed and bed made with hospital corners.
  2. bathroom thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
  3. Kitchen cleaned and surfaces cleaned, appliances cleaned and checked. Restocking the fridge.
  4. Ceiling fans 2 dusted and polished.
  5. tile floors vacumn twice, moped twice, and finally inspected with lint roller for any hairs.
  6. fresh flowers set on table, personalized welcome note plus a chocolate bar placed.
  7. garbage out and liners replaced.
  8. once a month based boards are wiped or when I have a gap .

Yes if it was one day and back to back some things I can wait until a gap. But to me it is to get the room spic and span for the next guests.

Yeah I could cut my work in half but then I would be worried all the time the guests are here that I missed something and I also take great pride in my 5 star cleanliness and over all reviews.


We charge $15 and figure that this is not the place to rip off guests with outrageous fees. In two hours what I do is:

Remove used bed linen, pool and bath towels and mat, and get them in the wash
Make the bed – sheets, comforter, pillows and shams
Wipe down with cleaner all horizontal surfaces.
Clean out the fridge, kitchette sink, and microwave.
Replace used waters (2), coffee cream if used, and bottle of wine if drunk.
Replenish candy dish, coffees, teas, sugar/salt/pepper if needed
Vacuum throw rugs and door mats
Mop the tile floor
Disinfect toilet and shower, clean bath basin and mirror. Replace used bath soap.
Replace bath towels and cloths, and pool towels

Sure we “only” make $7.50 an hour, but it’s not like digging ditches, working an assembly line or flipping burgers. To us the cleaning fee is NOT intended to make money, but to cover consumables like coffees, teas, water, wine, individual soaps, toilet paper, cleaners, etc.



You cannot compare a hotel room with onsite staff, etc. to renting out a whole home or a private room. You are assuming that the owner can whip in and out within 15 minutes.

My vacation rental takes 8 man hours to clean and the cost of cleaning it is $105. I am not forcing guests to book for one night or two nights. Any intelligent traveler will do the math and realize it is not economical to rent a whole home for a short stay. If they want to fork over that money they can…I won’t stop them. It’s their choice. What really gets me is travelers who use Airbnb and want discounts on rates, cleaning, etc. - YET they are willing to pay Airbnb 12% of the rate and cleaning. So Airbnb might be charging my guests $30 additional per night…when they could have found me directly on my website if they were smart. Yet they want me to waive my charges. Airbnb already earns interest on your money when they hold it till you arrive. So they are the greedy ones charging you an inflated nightly rate when your credit card already protects you from fraud.

The purpose of a cleaning fee is not necessarily solely about cleaning. It is a one time fixed cost per reservation. Think of it more as a cleaning/preparation fee. Imagine if I rented out all the time for one night - then I would have to add $105 to my nightly rate. But if I did that then I would never get anyone to book more than one night because my nightly rate would be too high.

I have to clean out a fireplace, BBQ Grill, movie theater popcorn machine, clean 2 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms, do all the laundry, clean off the bird poop off the deck, wash all the hardwood floors, restock everything. I also clean out the refrigerator, microwave, unload the dishwasher, reorganize the entire kitchen cabinets, put board game pieces back in the correct game, fix the tv settings on 4 different televisions, wipe all the outside deck tables, go on a Easter Egg hunt for my croquet balls and horseshoes for the horseshoe pit, unclog the kitchen drain, scrape off the glass flat top stove, clean out the mess left in the oven. wash the windows and glass doors from all the kid fingerprints, clean cob webs inside and out, wash the outside entrance rugs from all the mud that is caked on. A hotel room doesn’t even come close.

A cleaning fee is there to separate out the cost per reservation so that the cost is fair to everyone - those staying one night of course are going to pay the highest. Those staying 7 nights are going to have the cleaning fee spread over 7 days…it’s more economical.

Imagine if a host who rents out their spare room works full time and hires a housekeeper to clean. The host would lose out on all one night stays, or their nightly rate would be too high for longer term stays (if they build the cost in). Sure some hosts average out their length of stay and build it in. If I rented out a spare room…I would maybe consider this. Because then I could do laundry at my leisure versus having to dedicate a certain amount of hours where I decline other income producing opportunities.

It’s not about greed. It’s about charging all guests fairly so that no one under pays and no one over pays.

Edited to add: I see someone posted about dusting ceiling fans…that too. And also hauling off the garbage bags to a dumpster, and the glass and aluminum recyclables. I could go on and on…


Yayyyyy The voice of reason! Glad to see you post again Cabinhost!

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Hello … who here claimed Airbnb was A HOTEL? If you want a hotel, book one. That’s what I do when I travel.

Airbnb is a short term vacation rental in someones home, aka paid couchsurfing, pretending to be an actual BNB which is a real business, with on site hosts that cook you breakfast. A real BNB is an alternative hotel. Real BNBs do not charge a deposit OR a cleaning fee. Airbnb is not “sharing”, its renting. What airbnb does is provide an escrow and management company to prevent the client or owner from being screwed. The credit card company also does that. For example, just renting a house off craigslist and paying with a check gives the renter zero protection from fraud.

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Let me explain something to YOU. Yes, it is part of the hotel price. So is the cost of cleaning the entire building, the building maintenance, the pool maintenance, the upkeep of the bar, the parking lot and and many other facilities, whether you use them or not. In other words, they are charging you for things you may not even be using.

Check on the internet - in the States, hotel guests are supposed to tip housekeeping staff $3 - 10 per day. That’s for making the bed and a swift clean of the bathroom. Unlike Airbnb when hosts have to do all the things that others have described above.

We have a $50 ‘preparation fee’ for a full apartment that takes at least three hours to prepare, even if the place has been left in great condition. That $50 doesn’t cover the cleaning time, not to mention the laundry, paper products, coffee and refreshments, cleaning an entire kitchen, trash bags, laundry liquid, dishsoap, toiletries, cleaning materials, replacement items and more.

The $10 quoted above is the recommended tip for a good hotel. Many Airbnb places give more and better space than a good hotel but with personal service. So if you stay at my place for ten days, you’re paying $5 per day - less than you’d tip housekeeping staff for making the bed.

So if you stay in a hotel, you’re paying twice for cleaning. Once when the cost is included in your room fee (from which the housekeepers are paid their wage) and twice when you tip them,

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Cabinhost you don’t say that your unit must be left spotless after your renter pays the huge cleaning fee. What coconut and seth porges and other owners say is that the airbnb client must pay the fee and leave the unit spotless. So they pay for nothing. If I stay at a friends house for free I clean everything. If I rent ANYTHING, car, motel, house, etc. then I know that part of the rental fee goes to cleaning. Short term rental owners are not doing the world a favor. They are just taking their units or rooms out of the regular rental market and moving them to the daily/weekly market to make triple the money. They cater to tourists rather then locals. Owners pay their mortgages off one week a month rentals. They are not martyrs or altruists. And in fact, yes many people DO rent houses for just one or two nights.

"Check on the internet - in the States, hotel guests are supposed to tip housekeeping staff $3 - 10 per day. "
I don’t live my life based on Internet demands or dictates. The accepted customary tip in a RESTAURANT is 15-20% for EXCELLENT service. YOU can tip whatever you like.
There is no standard tip rate in hotels, motels, car rentals, dry cleaners, etc. Its purely voluntary. Hotel rooms take 15 minutes to clean. Ive seen it done. I would tip the housekeeper if the place was left unusually messy, which very seldom happens. Only a person with limited reasoning is going to rent a room for say 14 hours, 8 pm - 10 am, pay $200 total for that, pay other fees, then tip on top of it. People will only do short term rentals when they are a much better value then a motel. Example, there was a room in a house on airbnb in East Los Angeles (lousy area), for about $60 USD night and no doubt other cleaning or who knows what fees would have been tacked on. Street parking, loud area, small room etc. I got a motel in a similar level area for around $100. No cleaning fee, parking lot, no possible weirdos in or around the house. That host hopefully gets no renters. Coconuts also hopefully gets none.

Finally the truth comes out. You admit the cleaning fee is a profit center. "The purpose of a cleaning fee is not necessarily solely about cleaning. It is a one time fixed cost per reservation. Think of it more as a preparation fee."
You are paying your whole mortgage off just a few days of rentals. You are the winner here.

You mean YOU don’t tip housekeeping? I thought everyone in the US tips at least 15% in a restaurant.Yes, of course it is voluntary but most people have the intelligence to appreciate the services they receive. There ARE standard tip rates - for grown ups.

The market dictates what can and can’t be charged. You are free to charge or not charge a cleaning fee as you wish.


You’ve made money off your illegal renting schemes. You can afford to stay at $1,000 suites and tip $100 on top of that. You can eat at the best restaurants and tip $100 there too. Most don’t tip hotel maids. Its part of the inflated room rates. They are on salary.

I see that your remark was intended for me. Would you like to explain exactly what my ‘illegal renting schemes’ are?

No, I did not say the cleaning fee is a profit center. Don’t put words in my mouth Loady. What I said is you need to look at it as a fixed cost per reservation. The sites should be calling it a “preparation” fee. It is your choice to book a place for a short stay. At least we give people the option.

Just to be clear…nobody on this forum charges a cleaning fee and asks guest to leave the space spotless. Can you leave sinkfuls of dirty dishes? Of course not. You really need to consider that hosts have guests checking out same day and checking in same day. So I cannot spend two hours cleaning caked on dishes when I already have 8 man hours of work ahead of me. That is when guests are charged for excessive cleaning. What hotel room would allow you to cook full on family meals with oven, full size fridge, microwave, dishwasher, etc.?? And then leave piles of dirty dishes.

Do you scrub the showers and toilets before you leave? Do you do all the laundry and make up all the beds to perfect presentation before you leave? No way. You would have to get up at my place at 1 a.m. in the morning in order to leave the place spotless by your 11 a.m. check out.

But like I said I could charge $302.50 for a two night minimum stay based on a $105 cleaning fee. Or I could charge $250 a night and separate the cleaning fee so everyone is charged fairly. Most people would go for the latter. Because anyone booking a stay of 3 nights or more would lose out on building the cost in. And nobody would book longer stays based on that rate.

You are really comparing apples to oranges. Many people do not pay off their mortgage with one week’s worth of rentals.

You also have to understand that the listing sites do not give us the option of displaying our rates with the cleaning fee added in. IF they did then travelers would only see:

1 night stay is $355
2 night stay is $302.50 per night
3 night stay is $285 per night
4 night stay is $276.25 per night
5 night stay is $271 per night
6 night stay is $267.50 per night
7 night stay is $263.58 per night

I would prefer the sites allow us to list like this. That way no one complains about a cleaning fee.

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Sigh…yes the cleaning fee is about the cost of cleaning. When I said it is not solely about cleaning but to look at it as one time fixed preparation fee means…you cannot leave the place a mess like all your dirty dishes, etc. and expect someone to spend hours cleaning that. Many of my guests leave the place in great condition. It still takes 8 man hours to properly clean it for the next guests!


Lol! I just read your other post. Where are you coming up with a hotel room can be cleaned within 15 minutes? Maybe with two housekeepers. Those housekeepers aren’t doing the laundry. They are whipping in and out. Just think about how long it takes to properly clean a bathroom and restock. How long does it take to strip a bed or two double beds and make them up. Dust the entire room and all furnishings, lamps, reset alarm clocks, replace brochures, test tvs, vacuum, clean windows, etc. Clean the coffee maker. If you are telling me it takes one person 15 minutes to do that then they are skipping things.

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WOW. Count us in the ‘greedy’ host camp! Glad I’m in good company with @konacoconutz @cabinhost @jaquo

  1. Please tell me where in California you can get a housekeeper to clean for 2hrs for $40, I will hire them tomorrow. Currently our weekly housekeeper charges $100 for 3hrs and our Air housekeeper charges $80 for 3 hrs not including laundry, and that’s at our condo NOT house.

  2. We have thought about increasing our prices instead of charging our cleaning fee, but in 7 years of hosting, we have maybe had one person question it. And as @cabinhost mentioned, people generally do the math and realize 1 night at our high season price with $150, $120, or $110 cleaning fee, isn’t worth it. Not to mention all of our properties have a 3 night min.

  3. Asking guests to take smelly trash our, put dishes in a sink, and leave the house in general order, is not asking to much. We do not ask people to strip beds, or anything extensive, but smelly trash needs to go out.

  4. Regardless of where I stay Hotel, Air, Friend’s house, etc I expect CLEAN and if that requires a cleaning fee so be it. Imagine the scathing reviews we would all get if guests turned up to a house the wasn’t properly cleaned, regardless of cleaning fee.

  5. This ‘Real BNB’ crap needs to stop, between you and "You aren’t a real Air BNB if you don’t serve breakfast’ guy. Air BNB was created to disrupt the hotel market and provide a different travel experience for people who don’t want to stay at hotel or traditional BNB. BNBs have existed for centuries, Air is not replacing them, it is an alternative too.

  6. Do what you want, but don’t call out the hard working hosts of this forum because YOU think you are the Air BNB GOD. Don’t charge a cleaning fee and move along.

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