What do you expect a guest to do at check out? Whole home rental

I looked for a similar thread but couldn’t find one. I found a lively conversation about guests leaving dirty dishes but not what is expected at check out.

A friend recently rented a pricey whole home rental for 6. The accomodations were lovely. The kitchen was modern EXCEPT there was not a dishwasher. The rental included a $150 cleaning fee. There was neither a stopper for the kitchen sink nor a in-the-sink-plastic-tub for dishwashing. For a simple breakfast and lunch, 6 people will dirty a lot of dishes. Check out time 10 am.

Expected of guest at checkout: dishes clean & stowed, beds stripped, dirty towels & washcloths placed in washing machine & it turned on, and trash out. She felt like this was a bit excessive considering 1. $150 cleaning fee 2. No dishwasher 3. Early checkout time

Is this combination of checkout requirements the common? If you require this level of exit cleaning by the guest, do you offer a later check out?

Based upon her feedback, I’m trying to decide if what I do is reasonable.
-Noon check out.
-Guest to take out trash, place used towels in bathtub, strip beds, leave dishes clean (clean in dishwasher OK)
-I have a $50 cleaning fee.

What do you expect a guest to do at checkout?

I have a whole home rental, it sleeps 8 max. I expect the dishes to be washed properly. No dishwasher but I supply soap, scrubbers, sponges, dishpan and dish rack. They do not have to put them away. Put towels in the hamper by the back door, Trash in the trash can(s). They do not have to take it out. Put things back the way they found them. No blankets or comforters on the floor, turn off lights and heating, lock up when you leave.


Cleaning Fee is what you pay yourself (or a cleaner) to make the place ready for the next guests. What was asked was NOT “cleaning” it was simply assembly of dirty items and doing some dishes.

Cleaning is scrubbing the bathroom(s), vacuuming, mopping the floor, cleaning drapes and ceiling fans, dusting wooden surfaces and wiping countertops and sinks, cleaning all mirrors and windows.

Your friend’s “expected” list is perfectly normal, and not at all unreasonable since the details were known in advance. Not everyone has a dishwasher. I certainly grew up with a family of 5 without one.

You make it sound as if this was a major problem!! If the dinner dishes were done the night before, there would not be much breakfast dishes (and no lunch dishes at 10 AM) to do on check out morning. If your friend couldn’t make a temporary sink stopper from a wash cloth or wad of paper towels, that’s too bad. Yes the lack of a sink stopper should be mentioned in the Private part of the Review.

Each person strips his/her own bed, grabs his/er own towels etc. and dumps them in the washing machine. Elapsed time 10 minutes. One person is designated to add soap and turn the machine on. Another 10 minutes to take out the trash. If you don’t lollygag around and get up at 9:49AM that’s a simple checkout!!

Fees are up to you, but $150 seems a bit excessive, as does your $50 fee if you have only 1 bedroom. I do not, but I could get a housecleaner here in South Florida to do a 3 BR house for about $85.

We do all our own cleaning and laundry, and charge a $20 Cleaning Fee which mostly covers consumables - mini soaps, bulk shampoos, toilet paper and paper towels, chocolates, bottled water and a bottle of “3 Buck Chuck” wine. We have a 625 sq foot cabana with a single Queen bed, kitchenette (microwave, minifridge, sink, coffee/tea pots), walk in closet and two-head shower bathroom.

I expect guests to leave the bed unmade, the towels piled on the bathroom floor, trash bagged, and recyclables in the appropriate container. During their stay, I expect guests to wash their own coffee cups and silverware (I serve prepared gourmet breakfasts and do the plates/saucers/bowls in our dishwasher). Our listing takes about 2 hours to completely R&R.

Checkout is at 10. By 10:20 I have the laundry going (all in one big load), consumables replaced, trah taken out, and I’m working on the bathroom. I’m completely done cleaning and dusting, making the bed, vacuuming and mopping the tile floor, rugs beaten, by 12:30 although the laundry may not yet be dry (that’s why we have two changes of laundry for the place).


Each host does what works for them @Annet3176

You can’t compare what you do and how much you charge for cleaning with what another host does.

They maybe in a more expensive area, their place takes longer to clean, they may leave a goodie bag - as you know the ‘cleaning fee’ covers so much more than merely cleaning the listing.

I would suggest to your friend she mentions in her public feedback that the host expects guests to clean dishes (which of course is normal) but provides no dishwasher or washing up bowel, so makes this a more difficult task than it needs to be during a guest’s stay.

Having said that, as you know, if a dishwasher wasn’t listed, then she shouldn’t have expected one and should have taken into account the dishes need to be washed manually.

If I have an early check out I clean up the night before and go out for breakfast.

I wouldn’t expect guests to turn the washing machine on. I would want to check for stains and would be concerned they would put it on the wrong setting.

I don’t think the check out list is too excessive. Do you?

What do I expect guests to do when they check out - simply leave :slight_smile:

My listing is a a whole house rental and I guess on the pricy side, because of the area.
(But low-middle compared to other nearby hosts, since I‘m new-ish.)

I don‘t charge a cleaning fee, been debating whether I should.

I tell them it‘s not necessary to do the dishes, but to rinse off crumbs and food residue. I would rather do them myself, to make sure they are sanitized.

I ask for all garbage to be in the bin, and dirty towels to be in a basket I leave.

I also say it‘s not necessary to strip the bed. (Unstripped makes it easier to check for stains.)

In the house manual it mentions something like “We don’t charge a cleaning fee and would hope you would tidy up after yourselves.”

So far they have, but it’s early days.


This doesn’t address your direct question, but your friend should have known all the expectations when she booked. If she thought it was too much work for the price, she should have booked somewhere else.

The big issue there to me is that they had no way to do the dishes. That’s unreasonable.

To address your question - we don’t have them do anything. However, we’re very different than most - our home has full-time staff and our housekeeper cleans almost every day. And our nightly rate ranges from 400 to $1400 US, with a minimum of 5-7 nights.


The variety of hosting styles is all over the map! Hosts MUST outline their expectations and guests MUST read them. If both sides did their job there should be no reason for issue or complaint.

Cleaning fees are a red herring - guests pay a total amount for lodging and it comes with a set of expectations for how to leave the place. If they outline that dishes are to be done, garbage emptied and laundry started it shouldn’t matter whether they charged $600 with no extra fees or $450 +$150 cleaning fee. I can completely understand not wanting to do housework at the end of one’s vacation, but that means you keep shopping and pay $700 for the listing that has no extra cleaning requirement. (Airbnb does have a checkbox for “Cleaning before checkout” but inexplicably doesn’t include that in the filters guests can use when searching :roll_eyes:)

These are my rules for checkout. It keeps towels from developing a stink if we’re not cleaning immediately and gives a quantifiable charge if someone is extremely messy.

Before leaving put trash & dishes in their bins, hang towels, and lock the door. It isn’t necessary to strip or make beds. Cleaning in excess of 3 hours (it typically takes 2) is charged at $35/hour.

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Really? I’ve never seen that. That’s something we can check on our listing?

This is pretty much exactly what mine are as well. I have this in my welcome binder and taped to the wall right by the front door. I have a cleaning fee of $50 for my whole house rental.

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Yeah, it’s under the “Logistics” section of the amenities.

Why they ask us to fill all those out while they only present a few of them in the filters is beyond me, though!

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Cleaning fees are such a variable…I offer a 3 BR 2.5 bath 1600 sq ft townhouse.

I had a cleaner who did a reasonable job but I had to doublecheck and touch up behind her for $90 but she was unreliable.

I have a cleaner now who does as much of the laundry (wash dry fold) as she can finish while she cleans, scrubs baths, cleans kitchen, mops, vaccumns, dusts & makes beds ($120). I finish by cleaning porches, assembling snack basket, restocking supplies (soaps, paper towels, shampoo, etc.). finishing laundry, & minor routine maintenance.

I set my minimum rental at 3 nights to make sure I cover the remaining ($120-50=$70) cleaning cost in the rental.

Partly, this post is to see if my guest cleaning expectations are unreasonable. I realize we each have our own styles. I’m ok with the expectations being different but expectations must be reasonable.

Thanks @Allison_H didn’t realise that feature existed - will go and check it out.

Personally I think it’s unreasonable and rather silly to ask guests to put towels in the wash and to ask people to wash up but not provide them with a bowel.

But hey if it’s in their house rules and guests sign up to it …

I think your expectations are fine.

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@Helsi. Nurse Anne here had a nice giggle. I’m sure you meant bowl. To provide guests with a bowel would be a majestic feat.


Oh lordy fat typing fingers - think I will leave it, give others a giggle too :slight_smile:

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@Allison_H—I like your idea of charging extra if the cleaning is excessive.

My last guest had a 3 year old. Anything within his reach was sticky—kitchen cabinets, stair rail, coffee table, side tables, bedside tables, & 1/3 of the dining table had either jam or syrup left on it. It was awful & required cleaning of many surfaces that usually require only dusting.

I think anything that requires substantial effort needs to be made apparent pre-booking.

I charge a cleaning fee and ask guests to do following:

  1. take trash out to bins in garage.
  2. leave dirty towels on bathroom floor
  3. don’t make beds used
  4. run dishwasher

I don’t give guests any check out lists or instructions. But because they are normally civilised human beings, they leave the apartments clean and tidy. I don’t expect the garbage to be taken out or the bed stripped. But I certainly expect normal, polite behaviour. This includes no dirty dishes and all towels collected in one place. (In the laundry basket or in the bathtub - wherever, I don’t mind.) I also expect to find no disgustingness in the bathroom.

I don’t find the above host’s instructions in the least bit unreasonable though. And if people are so pampered that they can’t deal with dishes without a dishwasher then they can buy paper plates and cutlery. For a whole place rental (which is what ours are) I’d expect there to be a ‘starter pack’ of cleaning things such as dishsoap, paper towel etc. but as a guest, I’d expect to buy these things when I did the grocery shopping.


That’s interesting. I never noticed that there before. What does it mean, though? Does it mean that I am offering a cleaning service to the guests during their stay? Surely it doesn’t mean that I am requesting the guest to clean before leaving… or it wouldn’t be listed as an “amenity.”

@jaquo - The OP said there was no stopper for the sink and no plastic tub for the sink. I’d be uncomfortable using running water to wash the dishes made by six people - it’s very wasteful of water. I’d also assume the housekeepers know where the tub or stopper is hidden, and I’d leave a written apology for not doing the dishes with an explanation - and send a note to the host, too, about the missing stuff.

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@jkamm - I assumed that meant that WE provided cleaning during the stay (“before checkout”). We do, so I checked it. :open_mouth: