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Outrageous Cleaning Fees

We are looking at a 3 day trip to San Francisco and considering Airbnb both ways. I am flabbergasted that some fellow hosts charge as much for cleaning as they do for the night’s stay! When you add Airbnb’s fees, taxes, and cleaning the costs just skyrocket. For a one night stay it seems cheaper to stay in a hotel. Hotels don’t charge a cleaning fee!

There’s been several threads about the time required for the enhanced cleaning protocol. In my area a cleaning contractor charges the same for a one bedroom one bath condo that is rented for one day as rented for one week.

Sometimes a hotel stay just makes sense

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What’s the point of this thread?

To whine?

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Divide the cleaning fee by the number of nights you are staying. It is not an additional ‘nightly’ fee.

Also, OF COURSE hotels charge a cleaning fee. It is part of your bill, just not ‘broken out’. And it is part of your bill every night you stay…

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We post sometimes to do that. I have. I think the OP was just surprised/observing at what other hosts charge.

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That’s right. They don’t pay the cleaners or the maintenance people or anyone else who provides a service at the hotel… :wink:

When you stay at a hotel, the cost is less transparent. Of course they pay their cleaning staff so of course, the cost of cleaning is in the nightly rate. They might also charge you a resort fee which can be the same as the nightly fee per night.

They may also charge you to park your car or oblige you to use valet parking which attracts a fee and a tip.

If the hotel has a free pool for residents’ use, you are paying for that in the nightly fee, whether you use it or not.

Some hosts, including me, deter single-night stays but don’t have a minimum. This makes our rentals more accessible, in theory. But the cleaning fee often puts off guests who want a single night. If they are okay with it, then we’re amply compensated for the cleaning.

Yes, it often is. There are hotels near me where the nightly fee is a third or even a quarter of our nightly fee but people don’t come to us just for a place to kip for a night.

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It is what it is. In March, we spent over a week in New Orleans and had a glorious time.
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We had looked at different options and found the best one’s happened to be various hotels using BDC (booking dot com). Great rates, breakfast included, a fantastic quiet room, and the best location.
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All the Air options were much more expensive, and most with fewer amenities. Depending on area, your mileage will vary.

@cheena39 I know there are some hosts who make the nightly price low to attract views, and then, yes, the guest sees an exhorbitant cleaning fee when they go to enter the booking info and see the total price. Those hosts are essentially using the cleaning fee as a higher booking fee, and I know guests hate it. I also think it unethical. It’s basically click bait.

But depending on what kind of listings you are looking at, the cleaning fee, even though it seems quite high, may be exactly what the host is paying their cleaner. A 3 bedroom house that sleeps 6 guests takes hours to clean. And there are guests who can stay for only one night and manage to create a huge mess, while others can stay for 2 weeks and leave it immaculate. You never know what you’re going to find when you go in to clean.

Listings with super high cleaning fees may not be financially attractive to book for only a night or two. But because it’s a one time fee, if you booked for a week, it would be spread out over 7 days, so much more reasonable.

Do you think hotel cleaners get paid out of the hotel owner’s pocket? Of course hotels charge a cleaning fee. They also charge for their hotel security, their 24 hour reception, and everything else. Customers just don’t see those things as separate line items, it’s all included in the nightly rate.

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Always look at the total cost, then vote with your wallet. If a hotel provides you a better value, then stay in a hotel.

I know that hosts that are trying to attract longer stays tend to have higher cleaning fees and I generally agree with that approach.

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I do not either, I have mostly 2-3 night stays, 2 night minimum so I wrap it in the rate.

Excellent points being made here… seems we still have to educate people about these things. As long as I’ve been doing Abnb, you guys still have great info to share. There were a few things I hadn’t thought of… I’ll add that a hotel also has the ability to spread costs over many more rooms than we typically do. In addition, we often offer other things like access to a full kitchen.

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You might be able to save this by looking the owner up outside of AirBnB and booking directly. I’ve even heard some owners raise their rates on AirBnB. Might be worth a try if you found a place you really like but is a little too expensive.

I have the same rates for Airbnb on my direct site, guests still save the 12-15% airBnb fee. On booking and VRBO I pay more in fees and raise the rates to offset. Always cheaper for the guest to find me and book direct. Some do

I go back and forth on separating out the cleaning fee. I have a direct competitor that incorporate’s their fees. Our bottom line price is the same. However, I do believe it benefits both the host and guest to separate it because (1) Host: I don’t believe I am taxed on this amount (2) Guest: they don’t have the hospitality tax (local) on that amount as far as I understand AND if they have to cancel they do not have to pay that fee. I don’t think a guest should pay for cleaning we did not do. Thoughts???

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We have one fee that includes everything. If I had multiple listings and paid housekeepers, there would be a cleaning fee passed along. We travel a lot and consistently find that its cheaper to stay in a hotel for just one night. If we want to stay longer, Airbnb’s are more attractive. My listing is titled “Hill House Private Entry Suite with No Cleaning Fee” and we are booked every night available.

I don’t know that the reason you are booked every available night is simply because you don’t charge a cleaning fee. Some people are that simple, but many are knowledgeable enough to compare the total price.

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It might be regional, but cleaning fees are effectively taxed for both. Cleaning fees are consider income unless you can offset the fee with an expense, which for some hosts might be the actual cost that the cleaning crew charges, but for hosts that clean themselves, there might be some earned income in it. Cleaning fees are also subject to the hospitality tax (called transient lodging tax where I live) that is collected by Airbnb on host behalf. Like I said, it might depend on where you live, but the potential for abuse is quite high for regions that don’t tax the cleaning fee, so I’d be surprised if it’s common to not tax it.

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I agree with @PitonView. It seems that there are some hosts who don’t give guests credit for having minds of their own. Not having a cleaning fee doesn’t make any difference to occupancy as far as I’m aware. I have a pretty big cleaning fee and have full occupancy in two apartments so it’s hardly a factor.

I wouldn’t like new or potential hosts to think that a cleaning fee puts guests off.

I thought I’d add my cleaning fee details.
Since Covid hit we changed our marketing to target longer stays instead of vacation stays
Longer as in 4 to 6 weeks. I charge 100.00 cleaning fee for my trailer. No one has complained about the fee. My longer term rates are 54 to 60 a night.
This price keeps us at full occupancy for my very expensive area. We had one guest book from Air a few months ago for 30 days.
Now most of the bookings are coming from Furnished Finders.

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Me too. Like you my nightly rate is lower for longer stays. It’s kept me afloat.

Guests are expected to leave it clean, I go in after checkout & do a deeper clean. I don’t charge. Maybe I should…

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