New California law regarding fee's SB-478

So I received an email from VRBO talking about the new law going into effect in CA in July, a lot has come on on my news feed mostly about how it will affect restaurants ability to add service fees, it all needs to be baked in the price going forward. I did not think it would affect me, but then it dawned on me. Pet fees, AirBnb does not calculate per night fees so I have been collecting them at check in.


My pet (1 dog only) fee is $25 a night but Air will only allow a fixed price per stay. Most of my stays are two nights so I am thinking just make it $50 and let it even out, but that seems discouraging to one nighters. I could offer a refund of half to one nighters, but likely that would get complicated.

Anyone else sorting through this?


Lots of chatter on it on a Facebook Vrbo owner forum I am part of, but I don’t think anyone has a forward plan developed. The big one in discussion is cleaning fees.

I’m taking a wait-and-see approach for now. But two things would not surprise me: 1) AirBnB uses this as the excuse to force everyone to simplified pricing, and 2) there’s a proliferation of listings (one for short stays and pets, one for long stays and pets, one for short stays no pets, one for long stays no pets).

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Yes for most hosts cleaning fee’s will be the issue, I already bake that in to the price. I am thinking, as long as it is disclosed, as it is now I should be ok. I guess the worst thing that could happen is a guest would refuse to pay but honestly my experience collecting the fee has been 99% positive. I have only been stiffed for the fee once.


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Here’s a good article on this: California Enacts New Consumer Protection Law Prohibiting ‘Drip Pricing’ and ‘Junk Fees’ | BakerHostetler

I think AirBnB is already prepared for this - it’s their “display total before taxes” option. It will probably become the default, with the average nightly rate in small print below that. Their flexible search option is also compliant since they display the dates for which the prices were calculated. Guests might still get confused, though - not all of them realize that prices aren’t the same year-round for all properties.