Returning the cleaning fee to the guest due to Cleaning Lady doing a bad job

I recently had to return the cleaning fee to the guest due to my cleaner not doing a very good job. They had to re-wash the linens. They found dog bones and hair on the floor from the previous guest and the toilets were not clean. It was very upsetting. The guest even sent pictures and it was confirmed that the place had not been cleaned properly at all! I need advice…Do I still have to pay my cleaning lady her charge of $100??? Not only did I refund the guest the cleaning fee…but, I refunded 1 nights stay. Please help!!!

I think you need a new cleaner!

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Absolutely not, don’t pay that person! Sounds like they didn’t show up to clean and thought you wouldn’t notice. You are a remote host?

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Yes…I am a remote host. I absolutely depend on this cleaner to do an excellent job. I am completely dependent on her. At this time…I don’t have another cleaner. She has always been really good. All 5 star reviews. I don’t want to pay her…but, feel that if I piss her off…I’m SOL. Thoughts???

No clue… get a co host? Try talking to her? You cannot be dependent on someone who is ripping you off. Sounds like she didn’t clean at all. Don’t let her hold you hostage. One of the cons of remote hosting.


Yes. Agreed. I have a “snow bird” coming for over a month. This will give me time to get additional help. Maybe a co-host like you suggest. It would be good to have someone check the place before each check in. Thanks for helping!!!

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Get rid of her now! I’ve been there before multiple times and it never gets better. Once she sees there’s an opening for this type of behaviour it’ll repeat itself.


You know…I’ve been thinking about that. It should never happen even once. Not once! We “away” hosts absolutely rely on these people to have the place perfect for each guest. Thanks!

If I were in this situation, I would sit down with the cleaner, explain how much her lack of cleaning affected your business and ask her why the house wasn’t cleaned properly, let her know how much upfront this cost you and how the negative review will affect your business.Then ask her what she thinks would be fair to do in regard to her pay.

I recently fired my house cleaner of the past 8 months. She kept missing the same thing, over and over again even after countless conversations. The straw that broke the camels back was that after she cleaned while I was in the Caribbean for a few weeks, she left the front door of my home unlocked for a week! Buh bye!!


You’re right! But it has to do with the person you trust, not us. What can we do? My rental is in an area that is very hard to find professionals that show up on time on even just… show up. Money is not even the issue. It’s a patterns I’ve seen with multiple cleaners in the area.

Unfortunately, I’ve given away the cleaning fee at least 5 times in the past 3 years.

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Is it possible that she messed up the dates and that’s why she didn’t clean? This can happen, particularly if she is cleaning several properties. I helped out a host one time because her cleaner (super reliable normally) had put wrong dates in her calendar.

She didn’t mess up the dates. Unfortunately. She had a few days before the next guests checked in as well. Plenty of time to get it right. I have a feeling she had somebody else do the work and didn’t tell me. Whoever cleaned, or I should say… didn’t clean, just thought they could get away with it. It was clearly a rush job. The guests just kept sending me pictures, after pictures, after horrible pictures of how dirty the place was. It was so upsetting. Obviously, it looked clean at a glance…but, then they just finding really gross stuff.

I like the idea of telling her how much it cost me. I did tell her that I count on 5 star reviews to get bookings and all that really falls on her shoulders. I’ll then ask her what she thinks is fair pay for the incident. That makes sense.

I have spent most of my day interviewing other cleaners and believe that I have some other options. Feeling a bit better about the situation. I now have options.

Don’t forget to send your cleaner (using that word loosely) pics of what you received and ask her if she can explain what happened. I’m not sure I would even leave it open for her to tell you what fair payment would be because the only fair thing is for her not to receive payment for that job.

Also, with such a serious neglect of her duties, I would definitely secure a replacement. By the same token, you need to be there and train the newbie as to what your standards are for prepping your rental. You can’t trust someone to know what you expect just because they know how to clean.

A cleaner can make or break your business.

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I have told my cleaning team many, many times that their job is not respected enough. If we don’t have cleaners the world stops! lol at New York with the garbage strike.

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Thanks Sandy Toes! You are right! A cleaner can MAKE or BREAK your business. I did send the cleaner all the pics, including the couples paragraphs and paragraphs of text messages of what was wrong. After my “snow birds” are out at the end of February, I will be training a new cleaning lady. I agree…you can’t trust someone to know what to expect. I will have a checklist and my expectations in writing this time. This cleaner will KNOW that if I get a complaint…no payment will be received.

Btw…after I showed the cleaner the pictures and text messages from the guest. All she replied back with was…“I’ll take care of it.” That’s it! No…sorry…no nothing. She didn’t even say that I didn’t have to pay her…even though I told her I had to refund the couple their money. I do agree that the only FAIR thing is for her not to receive payment.

If I were the cleaner…I would have apologized profusely! Told the host to not to pay me…and, then explain what happened and tell the host it would never happen again. I got none of that. I’ve definitely decided to secure a replacement. Meeting her after the “snow birds” leave at the end of February. Keeping my fingers crossed! I also pay way above average for the area due to my dependence on these cleaners. My old cleaner had a good gig.

Thanks for your help!!!


It’s a tricky one. One time I received “feedback” about the cleaning that I had paid $85 for. Not happy, not sure I will use them again… Better yet, will just close it the heck down when I am not here in the future. Not worth the headaches.

This! If you’re a remote host, your cleaner is not just someone who scrubs the toilet and makes the beds etc. S/he is a vital component in your business. Unless you have someone else on hand to manage the property (general maintenance etc) and external laundry arrangements? In which case they should have caught this? If not, then your ‘cleaner’ is a lot more than that and should be paid accordingly.

I have had the same cleaner almost since day one and she does immaculate work for the most part except when it comes to replacing the décor items on table tops, shelves, etc. She would always pull the tall floor vase with the dried reeds a couple inches farther from the wall than I wanted and turn the 3-foot tall wood giraffe at the entry to face forward rather than at an angle…stuff like that.

I finally decided to apply some craft adhesive dots to the base of each item I wanted positioned just-so, to hold it in place. I told my cleaner not to try and move them because even dust can’t get underneath.

It was possible to pry them up though difficult and the stick-ums didn’t mark or do damage. It worked great for a while until the one guest who was a clean-freak moved each of the items to clean under them.

My cleaner and I had a good laugh because the guest must have really put some muscle into lifting the items from the sticky glue dots. She replaced everything…but not exaa-ctly as I had them.

OCD reigns, I’m afraid .

Sounds like you need someone on the ground to manage, relying on a cleaner except in fairly unusual conditions is unlikely to work out.