How bad is “dirty”

I need some advice on how bad this is. To me it’s “three star” rating. Let me explain.

I own a three bedroom house that sleeps seven located in a resort town in Maryland. Our trash picks up once a week so when we miss it, it can impact the next renters stay. The trash must be placed in bear-proof containers and there are two very large containers.

The house rules state that trash must be removed from the house and placed in the trash bins upon checking out.

My most recent guests failed to take out the trash on Sunday so when the cleaning crew came in on Tuesday, it was too late to have the trash removed.

The family left dirty dishes, orange grease in the sink and lettuce and cashews all over the floors. The photos don’t reflect the food on the floors well because it was little pieces through out.

Our home is in the woods, so we are always fighting the mice. :mouse: luckily they only had munchies for a few days.

Nothing was broken or missing so that’s all good. Would I rent to them again? I don’t know. Maybe if I was desperate.

Another point to add, we live three hours away and rely on the cleaning service, which costs nearly $200 each time. I realize that people may have the opinion that since they pay a good amount for cleaning, then the cleaners should clean!

Just looking for thoughts on this matter before I review.

I would call it 4 stars for cleanliness. It’s not 5 stars, but it’s not that bad.

The only reason this is a problem is because of your cleaning schedule, your remote location, and your critter situation. So really, the issue is that your place has unique constraints… and that’s why you have house rules. I think this guest should be dinged on house rules, not on cleanliness.


Do you charge a cleaning fee? That’s not that bad in my experience. A couple of dishes? I assume you clean the floors between guests anyway, so, how does some cashews on the floor change anything? Looks like a normal cleaning to me.

As for the trash, if you know it has to go out on a certain day, why did the cleaners not show up until Tuesday? That’s on you to make sure its put out on time.


We too have a whole house rental but we don’t expect the guests to put the bins out on the curb for grabage pick up. We have a neighbor that helps us out with that when we’re not available to do it ourselves.

The floors don’t look too bad just normal day by day messes, especially if they had kids. The sink looks nasty! Based on that I would give them a 4 unless I saw some nastiness else where in the house, then a solid 3.

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You guys are too kind! I’d give that at best 2 stars for cleanliness – just for the nasty sink. That’s just unacceptable!!!

I don’t care where the place is, or the trash schedule. Maybe you need another bear-proof trash can.


The bin weren’t even used. They just left the trash!

To me, if it is something I am going to clean anyway, it doesn’t matter if it’s dirty- for instance, the floors need to vacuumed and washed anyway, the sink needs to be cleaned regardless of whether the guests left it dirty or not. If the dirty dishes shown are all that they left, it looks like just a few breakfast dishes, so no biggy. However, it does show a basic lack of respect to leave a place looking like that.

As far as the garbage is concerned, while it’s certainly something many hosts ask guests to deal with in a certain way, I don’t think it’s anything a host can really depend on guests doing.

If you mention the need to not leave any food remnants around because of the remoteness and the wildlife, and to wash the dishes, i.e. those are house rules for check-out, then I would give them a 2 or 3 star rating for House Rules, and 3-4 stars for cleanliness. But a $200 cleaning fee is likely to encourage lots of guests to assume they don’t have to do any clean-up.

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No. These people are disgusting and as a Florida host, I understand battling the critters. Nope. 1 star. Did not follow HR (bears and mice!!), left place disgustingly dirty, poor communication. Would not host again.

I can only imagine how gross they were during their stay. Ugh.

I’m over dealing with guests who just think that a place can be trashed and house rules ignored due to entitlement.

Also, you may want to think about getting rid of your cleaning fee and roll it into your nightly rates. Guests who see hefty fees tend to be messier.


+1. you’re going to vacuum, you’re going to clean out the sink. Personally i prefer to wash dishes than have guests do a poor job, which the next guests will NOT appreciate. the sink would clean up in about 20seconds, it’s not an issue. Anything that requires extra effort, elbow grease and a 1hour soak is when i ding people for cleanliness. Yes, it’s rude of them, some guests are rude, some parents are terrible. That’s life in hospo.

The trash thing is another issue, and perhaps here you can ding them for not following the rules, I’m assuming these rules are clearly explained.

I’d do 4* cleanliness and 4* on house rules.



You want “dirty” …



We gave these guests 1 star for cleanliness … because we could not rate them any lower. I guess I am agreeing that your guests deserve no worse than 2 or 3 stars for cleanliness. But I would also ping them for not obeying house rules :frowning:


I have just seen how little a hosts rating review affects a guests rating. Every rule break and mistreatment of my homes are getting 1 star!

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Good gracious! Glad they didn’t come to my house! :joy:

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What always amazes me is that people would feel comfortable living in a mess like that, even for a few hours. I have been really lucky, in that I get quite clean and tidy guests in my private room. They often leave their door open, and as I pass by, I can see that they keep it clean and tidy while they are in residence, not just clean up before they leave. They don’t like living in a mess.


I wish AirBnb would just ELIMINATE the field for a cleaning fee, guests hate them and feel entitled to leave a mess. My experiences have been so much better since I dropped the cleaning fee. I am thinking I should change my header to NO CLEANING FEE and see if I get more bookings.


Edited to add, I just added no cleaning fee to my header I will report back


I have really never fully understood the whole cleaning fee thing. It makes sense for a guest to able to see a breakdown of what the total price covers, so they can understand what the price encompasses and that it isn’t all going into a host’s pocket, it may be taxes, what they have to pay a cleaner, and service fees. Just as I am shown a total price for an airline ticket, but can click on “details” and see how much of that is taxes and fees, airport improvement tax, etc.

That a guest would arrive to a clean unit, however, seems like part and parcel of hospitality. It’s a normal expectation, not something a guest sees as “extra”, just as they would expect there to be a bed and a bathroom.

While I only have a private room/private bath listing, and do my own cleaning, I am a really thorough, detail-oriented cleaner and it takes me an hour and a half to clean and set the space. I wouldn’t want to do that for a 1 night stay, so I just set a 3 day minimum stay from the time I started hosting.

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It makes sense to me. We rent cabins, and the cost to clean a cabin is pretty much the same whether a guest stays a night or a week or a month - you pretty much have to do the same amount of work after each stay, no matter how short or long. If we tried to roll the cleaning fee into the nightly rate, we would be charging way too much for any stay longer than a day, and would get few bookings.

Yes, I get that part. And I’m aware that some slob guests can manage to trash a place out in 24 hours, while others can stay for a week and leave it clean and tidy. I know it’s been suggested that it should be called something else-, like a “turnover” fee. It’s just that guests tend to find high cleaning fees a turn-off and plenty of hosts have experienced that many guests think they can leave a mess behind them if they were charged a cleaning fee.

And it seems that hosts could roll it into their nightly rate if they averaged it out. Most hosts tend to get either short 1 or a few nighters or week or more bookings. For instance, I have a 3 night minimum, which doesn’t affect booking rate as I live in a vacation destination town, where most guests fly in. They don’t come for 1 or two nights- my average booking is 10 days. I sometimes get 2 week bookings, and occasionally 3-5 nighters if they are nationals. So if I had to pay a cleaner, rather than cleaning myself as I do, I could average the cleaning fee out for a week or 10 days and roll it into the nightly rate. Short bookings would be a bit more expensive for guests, and longer bookings would be paying a bit less.

Does that make sense?

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Yes, it makes sense. But the other reason we do it the way we do (i.e. via a cleaning fee rather than a nightly fee) is that our bookings are generally short - 2 or 3 nights - and we need to be very competitive with the others in the area to get these bookings. But we are trying to encourage longer bookings, and if you book for a week then our rates are cheaper than the alternatives.

Still, I have to admit that this strategy is not working so far! :slight_smile:

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You may just be in an area where people tend to book short stays, just as I live in an area where people book longer stays.

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I’d give them a 4 for cleanliness . Just for the sink . The floor doesn’t really matter since the floors have to be vacuumed / mopped anyway. This isn’t noteworthy filthy IMHO. Filthy in my book is when you’re getting stains out of things , whipping out a wet vac , bleaching things not normally bleached, or taking significant extra time to clean something up. The dishes suck because we do ask guests to leave them running in the dishwasher but we wouldn’t ding them if they left grease in the sink. I expect my crews to clean and disinfect all surfaces anyway.

Now the trash - I’d ding them for that too. But we have bears where we are and there are no outdoor trash receptacles allowed. There’s a trash center that people can drop trash off at but I didn’t want to rely on guests forgetting , or putting it outside so we just have the cleaning crews take trash and that’s part of the fee. We provide multiple trash cans inside the property so they shouldn’t run out.

While I’d love every guest to leave the place spotless - if the cleaning fee is $150 up - I take the amount of cleaning I expect a guest to do with a grain of salt. My only ask is to throw linens to the floor and to run dishes.

Finally - just a thought on cleaning services. Aside from cleans - since mine operates near the property - I can sometimes pay them extra to do things . Sometimes it’s shipping something to replace in the cabin, dropping off linens , replacing something that broke for a guest , grabbing trash etc. You might want to ask your cleaning crew what the price is for a trash run - and if it’s reasonable - factor that into your pricing. It’s a little more $$ for them and it may give you peace of mind on this issue.

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