Ruleset to account for no cleaning fee

Because of the backlash against house chores, I’m experimenting a rule set where I incorporate the cleaning cost in the per-night cost and provide a discount for longer stays. So I still get the cleaning cost from a guest and

This helps you get around the argument: I paid a cleaning fee, so why do I need to wash my dishes?

My argument to them is I don’t charge a cleaning fee, so if possible, please load and start the dishwasher, put all towels in a pile in a corner of the bathroom, and take the trash to the dumpster outside the building on their way out.

The new per night rate I charge is in this example is 600, with discounts for stays longer than 1 night, so I can get equivalent revenue as charging a per night rate plus cleaning fee.


This is a very interesting experiment.

Are you going to point out the absence of a cleaning fee in your description, and disclose the chores you are requesting?

Also are you at all concerned about refunds at cancellation? I’m not sure of the details but sometimes the host gets to keep the cleaning fee even if the guest cancels.

I guess you’ll only know if it helps by trying it out.

While many guests say “Why should I have to do any cleaning if I paid a cleaning fee?”, in my experience, both in hosting and LTR, there are the kind of people who would never walk away and leave a mess behind them, regardless of whether they were asked to clean up or not, and those who resent being asked to clean and tidy up at all and will ignore requests to do so, or make some half-assed stab at it.

I suppose there are some in the middle, who wouldn’t bother unless they were told to, and comply without complaint, but I think there are less of those types than the other two.

When guests balk at even washing their own dishes and gathering up the garbage, considering that “doing the host’s job when I already paid a cleaning fee”, that tells me they are totally clueless and would likely balk at cleaning up their personal mess regardless of whether there was a cleaning fee or not.

But it’s an interesting experiment, and do let us know the outcome.

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I no longer charge a cleaning fee. I’m back to guests do own exit cleaning & send me pictures of how they leave the condo. Cleaning expectations are clearly stated in the listing description & in the first correspondence with the guest.

I block 1 or 2 nights mid-month to check on things & do a deep clean.

This summer I had a cleaning service and it did not go as I had hoped.

I think your pricing model can work. I like you are trying to think outside of the box.

It took me a minute to correctly interpret your chart but I appreciate the concept of prorating the cleaning fee over a number of nights.

My model of “guest does exit cleaning” has been discussed extensively in other threads. It worked well for me for years. I found a cleaner who would do cleanings as needed for short stays. (most want only a set schedule such as weekly on Saturday between 10-4). I thought I would see if having a cleaning service enhanced bookings. It did not & I had problems I’ve never had before.

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While I generally don’t think guests should be expected to strip beds and wash linens, and other chores aside from tidying up their own personal mess, the way you do it isn’t something I would have any criticism of, because you make it clear in your listing and first messaging to guests. So they can choose to pass, or cancel within the free cancellation period.

But I think your approach is the exception rather than the norm. Most hosts who expect guests to do much more than be respectful in how they leave the place seem to spring the check-out chores on guests only during the stay, or have them buried in the house rules section, which many guests fail to click through to for a thorough reading. Or there is an ambiguous statement to “Leave it as you found it”.

There are places both in the US and abroad, where it has been traditional for decades for guests to bring their own linens and towels, everything, really, but furniture, and be prepared to have to clean the place when they arrive before really settling in. Guests to those kind of rentals were aware of the set-up- that they were simply renting a furnished cabin or cottage, nothing more. It may smell damp or be covered in cobwebs, with saggy, stained furniture, depending on how well the owners kept it maintained and how long it had been locked up. Guests didn’t care- they were getting a cheap roof over their heads while having a family holiday at the lake or ocean. They had no complaints because expectations were clearly set out and acknowledged from the get-go.

This happens?
We have never asked guests to wash their final batch of dishes, but every single one in seven years has just done so… I just assumed this was somehow universal.

I share my kitchen with guests and never had anyone not clean up after themselves, but I’ve seen countless host posts with photos of sinks and countertops left with mountains of filthy dishes and pots and pans, full of food remnants.

We’ve have guests leave a sink full of dishes once in 2 properties over 4 years. So it hasn’t commonly happened to us. That said, on Reddit there are folks looking for suggestions on how to rent an AirBnb to host Thanksgiving dinner so they don’t have to clean up afterwards.


Charming. Cleaning should cost triple for anyone who does that.

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Most of my stays are 2-3 nights, I do not charge a cleaning fee and I do not have any discounts set at all. I still get a few 5-7 day bookings every year but nothing longer than that which suits me.


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It’s interesting to see the variety of ways people approach this.
I clean our self catering flat myself, don’t charge a fee and I don’t ask the guests to do any chores.
(The more mess they leave, the easier it is to see what needs doing… :grin:)

I feel that if it doesn’t occur to people to be clean and tidy, asking/telling them won’t make much difference, except possibly making them resentful and souring the relationship unnecessarily.


They are called ‘chores’ by guests who were not educated in how to live a life around others. Those of us who have manners know these actions as ‘politeness’.


The chores some hosts are asking of guests include such things as stripping the beds, washing and drying the sheets, and then remaking the beds on check-out day.

Such chores go beyond normal guest etiquette in the USA and hosts need to disclose this early and often in their listing. And we would hope to see a bargain price on the listing too.

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Wanted to report back on this experiment. My listing title now says “no cleaning fees/chores”. Got some glowing reviews from guests who were so happy to not have to pay a cleaning fee. Of course, I baked the cleaning fee in the rate. For some people, it’s the principle.

The current implementation of the “show total price” is extremely poor, which is what I expect from Airbnb.


Thank you for reporting back!! This helps everyone to know what’s really happening out there.

As a recent guest (just got home Feb 15) I found the new way of searching for the total price of my stay to be excellent. It saved so much time.

Can you be more specific about what you think doesn’t work in “show total price”?

I agree. For me, the issue is that it’s a total price for the entire stay instead of a total nightly price which is how I have shopped for accommodations my entire life, by nightly price. The total price for the entire stay has always been shown (not on the map, but for each listing as you scroll through the list of listings). I really thought they were going to a total nightly price and I’ve seen a lot of others mentioning that too.

What is your disappointment about it?

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Other than what you have mentioned:

  • it still shows a breakdown of fees. I don’t think a breakdown of fees is necessary
  • does not account for hosts who have host only fees. I have created a second listing in my spouse’s account to use the host only fee to see if guests like it.
  • if I search for flexible dates, I get results for 5 or 7 nights. How do I compare them apples to apples? Per night would be great.
  • If the host does not offer non-refundable rate, you are comparing a non refundable rate from one host to a refundable one from another.
  • it’s an opt-in rather than opt out. You need to be logged in to opt in. I don’t understand why they can’t make that universal. Guests care about how much they pay in total and per night.

That was my initial impression. I may be wrong on some of the details.

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As a consumer, I like to see fee breakdowns. And when it comes to Airbnb, I think it’s important that if a host uses the split fee structure, that guests can see what Airbnb is charging them, as opposed to thinking erroneously that it all goes in the host’s pocket and I would want to see what the host was charging as a cleaning fee, because if it was high and they had those over-the-top chore lists, I would pass.

But what Airbnb is calling “total fee” on a listing, unless you enter exact dates, isn’t actually total fees at all- guests don’t see the actual total fee including the taxes until they enter dates, number of guests, pets, etc.

Absolutely. It seems odd that they would still do that while simultaneously trying to get hosts to drop cleaning fees and also pay the whole service fee. Both of those things would sort themselves out if the breakdown of the fees was eliminated.

Exactly! I tried searching using the total price toggle and it was nothing but frustrating. I understand that the nightly price will possibly change a bit depending on the length of the stay but it’s still easier to compare one place to another using a nightly price.

It’s particularly useless when combined with using one of the flexible dates options. For instance if you put in “any week in March or April for Scottsdale, AZ” they show you a variety of lengths of stay (they aren’t all one week). They show you some stays that are 5 days and some that are 7 days so if you’re using “total price” it’s completely meaningless that the 5 day stay is cheaper than the 7 day stay. They have taken a simple shopping task and turned into a calculus problem, lol.


I only care about what I pay. Gasoline has a lot of taxes baked in… it doesn’t matter to me. I believe flights sold in the USA show the total cost including taxes. I prefer that.

I know supermarkets show prices without taxes. I’d prefer to know the final price.

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