New renter-What is covered under "cleaning fee"

We just used Air BnB for the first time last week and honestly were shocked at what was expected of us cleaning wise after paying an almost $300 cleaning fee for 4 nights in a 2 bedroom 1.5 bath guest house. So I guess I am curious, what do you typically consider “covered” under your cleaning fee? And what do you expect your guests to do prior to departure?

Please keep in mind we are not messy people by any means and left the house in very good condition yet our host has left us a negative review. We did the basic cleaning (trash, wash the dishes, hung up towels, made the bed) but we left the CLEAN dishes drying on the counter, apparently we missed a tissue in the bathroom and there were some coffee grounds on the counter. Are were we unreasonable to have thought little things like that would be covered in a $300 cleaning fee?

You have reached a forum of hosts, not guests. We are also not affiliated with Airbnb whatsoever, so you may be in the wrong place with your complaint.

1 Like

You pay the cleaning fee regardless of how clean you leave the place. The host is able to price their rental based on the number of nights, the number of guests, and a fixed fee to cover overheads described as a “cleaning fee”.
At our rental we actually prefer it if our guests don’t try and clean, because we have to do it anyway, and dealing with their attempts at cleaning can actually slow us down.

1 Like

As guests, most places we have stayed at ask that we strip the bed and start a load of laundry and a load in the dishwasher.

However, as hosts, our caretaker asks that people not strip the beds because he wants to check for stains that could be hidden or set in.

Our cleaning fee for a 1900 sqft house is $100 ($20/hr). Our caretaker usually comes in around that, but for the ones that go over, I don’t give a negative review or less stars, and I wouldn’t unless he remarked something was out of the ordinary.

So far, I’ve only given one group a negative for cleanliness and that guest was a nightmare, already posted here, and they also got a police report and a swift kick in the buns from ABB :joy:Thankfully, they were a one-off from what I have seen so far.

1 Like

I just ask that guests clean their own spills/messes and to leave everything else to me. Sounds like your host is bit niggling… but you have to read the entire listing description. Maybe you missed some key details if you’re finding yourself surprised?

My cleaning fee is $75 for a 2 BR 1 bathroom entire house (1200 ft2)… but I’m sure it varies regionally

What do you mean? Did you get a thumbs down? Stars deducted on your cleanliness rating? Or a written review that slams you? Would you care to share the wording of the negative review?

One thing about Airbnb is that each one is different. Each host has their own fees and expectations. Some hosts host their home and feel that if it’s not exactly like you found it after check out you’ve disrespected “their home,” even if they’ve never lived there. Others will host you and leave you a good review regardless of how clean you left it. (like our own @jaquo)

The rules in the listing should be clear and you should make sure that the listing you chose meets your needs in terms of price and what you are expected to do.

To answer the question, I don’t charge a cleaning fee. I have lots of one night guests and I just consider it included in my rate. Adding a cleaning fee is one way for hosts to, in effect, lower the price for a longer stay. But I don’t want to encourage longer stays so I don’t have a fee.

1 Like

If I paid a $300 cleaning fee, I wouldn’t expect to do anything but get the trash in the bin and lock the door on the way out. I charge $25 for cleaning a 2 bedroom 1 bath suite with no kitchen and that is my expectation.


I only charge $65 cleaning fee for an entire house. I only ask them to clean up after themselves when using the kitchen and to take the trash out. Initially, I was not charging a cleaning fee but after a guest left the kitchen a mess (grease all over the oven, dirty pots in the fridge, etc.) I started to charge. I would suggest that you look at other rentals in the area and see how much they’re charging their guests. It does vary from region to region. Best of luck.

I share with guests and only expect they clean their poo stains. I have stayed in holiday homes and would not be required to do any cleaning nor pay cleaning fee( ireland) I always leave everything clean as thats the type of person i am. I think if you are paying a large cleaning fee for a full house, a bit of mess is part of the hospitality and would not expect the guest to do a deep clean.

I saw a review by a host complaining about a hair left in the bath left by the guest, and an empty toilet roll left on a shelf in the bathroom, felt sorry for the guest and would not stay with a host who publically moaned about a hair.


Each host sets their own cleaning fee and expectations for what should be done at checkout, so there’s no universal “cleaning fee covers this”.

Some hosts just want you to put garbage in bins and lock the door while others have extensive cleaning tasks so the place is practically ready for the next guests. It’s less about the “cleaning fee” (which is often just used to subsidize the cost of shorter stays) and more about if you did what was expected of you. If your host had a big ask of cleaning, it should have been well communicated, so check the listing and house rules.

Just curious …how much was the nightly rate and where? With such a high cleaning rate it must have been super upscale, but then …those that can afford it … won’t be keen on cleaning it themselves to the same exact standards.

Many hosts here consider the cleaning charge merely a ‘get the place ready for your stay’ charge.

Did the host include those details in the public part of the review? They should be out of guests soon …


I think that is unusually high for AirBnB though places, prices and what is expected varies widely. Personally I ding people a star on cleanliness if they don’t dry the plates and put them away as I am disabled and carrying a couple of plates or cups at a time, which is all I can handle, is a complete pain and actually dangerous. And I ask them to do this 3 times in the listing and pre-arrival email. And most have met me so they know I am on crutches. Still some people do it, probably the people who don’t dry their dishes at home either (a decades long debate in my own extended family). But I don’t charge for cleaning, let alone $300, and if I did I wouldn’t expect guests to lift a finger apart from binning food scraps and cleaning the loo bowl. $300 sounds like they get professional cleaners in each time though I once had a pro cleaner for my flat and they made it clear what they would and wouldn’t do and one of the would-not-dos was dishes left in the sink.

But without seeing the review it is hard to know if this is what the host is really dinging you on or if you just assume that.

1 Like

I charge £100 for a 3 bed 2 bath cottage. Most of my guests stay for a full 7 nights. £300 sounds incredibly high to me. I do not expect guests to do anything. I only ask that they turn on the dishwasher before they check out if it is loaded with dirty dishes. This is only in case they check out before my changeover day to avoid having them sit.

I wish I got paid by the hair left in the bath! I clean and double check later too. There are those things I call the “eww” factor like dirty bath and toilet and stained linens that cannot be. I try to get all the dusty corners and often learn a new spot to watch for dirt.


We don’t expect our guests to clean anything other than the dishes really. We take care of the trash, we launder the bedding after each group and I sanitize the bathroom/vacuum the house. The cleaning fee ($40) covers it. The only time I charge extra is if something is damaged like sheets that are stained beyond repair or spills on carpets.

I dont expect my guests to be too disgusting and I also consider myself cleaning the room for cirka 5 bucks (5euros) but Ive noticed in Copenhagen they are charging rediculous amounts as cleaning fees. Ten times my amount and more than what the room costs.