Welcome to Your Airbnb, the Cleaning Fees Are $143 and You’ll Still Have to Wash the Linens | Kanebridge News
Kanebridge News
Share Button

Welcome to Your Airbnb, the Cleaning Fees Are $143 and You’ll Still Have to Wash the Linens

Growing to-do lists despite soaring charges stress travelers; ‘This kind of changes the whole vibe’

Mon, Sep 19, 2022 8:51amGrey Clock 4 min

Christina Marie spent her last vacation day fretting over finishing her chores. Vacuum? Check. Laundry? Check. Dishes? Check.

Her Airbnb in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., had an exhaustive list of cleaning requirements and she wasn’t going to let her guest rating dip over it. Cooking breakfast for her family of six would mean more cleaning, so everyone ate bananas and Pop-Tarts that morning. When one of the kids reached for a cup after she loaded the dishwasher, Ms. Marie roared: “Put the cup away. No more, no more!”

“You don’t want to wake up at 6 a.m. to do chores when you’re on vacation,” said Ms. Marie, a Sacramento school teacher. “This kind of changes the whole vibe. It’s stressful.”

Longtime Airbnb users are angry about lengthy—and, sometimes, absurd—chores set out by some Airbnb hosts. Hosts say they need guests to do more as Covid-19 has changed sanitation expectations and inflation has boosted the cost of cleaners.

Airbnbs have been in high demand so hosts are getting away with charging higher nightly rates and tacking on bigger cleaning fees. Guests have been striking back on social media, complaining about being asked to mow the lawn or feed farm animals.

Many travelers spent part of their summer breaks deep cleaning vacation rentals to avoid extra charges and bad reviews. Some are switching back to hotels to avoid the hassle and the clean-up fees that can be hundreds of dollars.

Melissa Muzyczka was planning a romantic getaway at a lakeside cottage in Canada’s Quebec province, but ended up booking a spa hotel after reading through the chores. The rental property didn’t have garbage pick-up so guests were expected to take their rubbish with them when they left.

That’s not how she wanted to spend her first vacation in two-and-half years.

“My husband and I would be freaking out, carrying trash and trying to locate dumpsters,” said Ms. Muzyczka, a 31-year-old graphic designer.

She posted a TikTok video about her experience. It went viral, drawing about 5,000 comments.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. channeled this angst in an online ad this summer with a family entering a spooky rental with a long list scrawled on the wall: “NO WHISTLING…NO FEET ON FURNITURE…NO SANDWICHES.”

“Wow, that’s a lot of rules,” says the renter in the commercial.

Guests say they are frustrated because the cleaning fee has gone up while hosts have tacked on extra chores. They say some hosts don’t list cleaning requirements online, surprising guests after they book.

Necole Kane wasn’t expecting to do a thing. Her $299 Airbnb in Sedona, Ariz., came with a $375 cleaning fee. Then the host piled on a laundry list of chores.

Ms. Kane said she spent so much time running around cleaning like a maid that she was 15 minutes late for a canyon tour.

“It was too much,” said the 41-year-old founder of a feminine wellness brand. “I wanted to leave a negative review so bad.”

She still left a five-star review because she felt bad marking down the property. Its views of the area’s famous red rocks and the visits from wild bunnies, coyotes and javelinas made her stay “magical,” she wrote on Airbnb.

Airbnb lets hosts set their cleaning fees, though the company suggests they do away with it if guests are required to run chores. “Would you like guests to load dirty dishes into the dishwasher or strip the bed linen before checkout? If so, consider charging a very minimal cleaning fee—or no fee at all,” the company advised hosts late last year.

The company said around 55% of its active listings charge a cleaning fee, which on average makes up less than 10% of the total reservation cost.

Airbnb’s cleaning fee across all U.S. properties averaged $143 as of June 30, a 44% increase from five years ago, according to market-research firm AirDNA. Coastal properties with five or more bedrooms had the highest fees, charging $420 on average.

Airbnb ratcheted up its cleaning protocols during Covid-19, with a 36-page handbook requiring that hosts wash all hard surfaces with soap and water, vacuum the floors and disinfect switches and electronics, among other things. The policy is still in effect, Airbnb said, and all hosts are required to declare that they are following them.

Hosts say that a helping hand from renters can go a long way when properties are booked back-to-back. Starting the dishwasher and laundry early means the next guests don’t have to wait even if the cleaners are running late.

“Sometimes guests are asked to do two to three things and they feel like, ‘Oh my God, I’m doing everything,’ ” said Gabby Wallace who runs Airbnbs in Maine, Austin and Kansas City. “There are close to a hundred things I have on the checklist for my cleaners,” like checking couches for lost items and picking hair out of the bathtub drain, she said.

Ms. Wallace encourages her guests to empty the trash, run the laundry and start the dishwasher, though she outlines that none of it is mandatory.

Some hosts aren’t fans of chores. Deric Tikotsky, who runs rental properties in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., tells his guests to relax and leave everything as it is when they leave. He thinks some hosts are squeezing extra labor out of their guests to cut back on the number of hours they pay cleaners.

“This chore business is giving us a bad rep and causing guests to flee to hotels,” he said.

Last month, Amanda Morari spent her sister’s bachelorette weekend at a lakefront cottage in Ontario province. The washer was out-of-order and the vacuum wouldn’t charge so the women spent their last day “wetting paper towels and wiping the floor,” she said.

The host told her not to worry about it, Ms. Morari said, but then came the unexpected: she got a three-star review because the cleaning wasn’t up to the mark. Her perfect five-star rating dipped to 4.1.

She’s booked her next trip with her boyfriend at a hotel.

“It’s 50 bucks cheaper,” she said. “And we don’t have to clean anything.”


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

Related Stories
Frank Stella’s ‘Abra I’ to Lead at Christie’s Post-War to Present Sale
By Casey Farmer 29/09/2023
Levels of wealth continue to rise for Australians
Meta Unveils New Mixed Reality Headset in Push for Traction on Metaverse
Frank Stella’s ‘Abra I’ to Lead at Christie’s Post-War to Present Sale
By Casey Farmer
Fri, Sep 29, 2023 2 min

More than 280 modern and contemporary artworks will be up for sale Friday at Christie’s Post-War to Present auction in New York.

The live sale, which will be held at Christie’s Rockefeller Center sale room, has a low estimate of more than US$27 million and will be led by Frank Stella’s Abra I, 1968, which is estimated to fetch between US$1.2 million and US$1.8 million, according to a news release from Christie’s.

Abra I is a fantastic example by Stella, a large-scale canvas from the protractor series,” says head of sale Julian Ehrlich. “It engages so many crucial aspects of his practice, including scale, geometry and colour, and has appeal to established post-war collectors and others who are just coming to historical art.”

Ehrlich, who has overseen the semiannual Post-War to Present sale since its first March 2022 auction, says his goal in curating the sale was to “assemble a thoughtful and dynamic auction” with works from both popular and lesser-known artists.

“With Post-War to Present, we really have a unique opportunity to share new artistic narratives at auction. It’s a joy to highlight new artists or artists who have been overlooked historically and be a part of that conversation in a larger art world context,” he says.

Joe Overstreet’s ‘Untitled’, 1970

Works from a number of female artists who were pioneers of post-war abstract painting, including Helen Frankenthaler, Lynne Drexler, and Hedda Sterne, will be included. The auction will also include pieces from a group of Black artists from the 1960s to present day, including Noah Purifoy, Jack Whitten, and David Hammons, in addition to a Christie’s debut from Joe Overstreet (Untitled, 1970) and an auction debut from Rick Lowe (Untitled, 2021).

“The story of art is necessarily diverse,” Ehrlich says. “The sale itself is broad, with more than 280 works this season, and it has been fun to think through artists inside and outside of the canon that we can put forward as highlights of the auction.”

In addition to Abra I, other top lots include Tom Wesselmann’s Seascape #29, 1967, (with an estimate between US$800,000 and US$1.2 million); Keith Haring’s Andy Mouse, 1986, (also with an estimate between US$800,000 and US$1.2 million); and Jack Whitten’s Garden in Bessemer, 1986 (with an estimate between US$700,000 andUS$1 million).

“I think of the Post-War to Present sale as being especially dynamic … in the best case, even for someone deeply embedded in the market, there should be works which surprise and delight and are unexpected, as well as celebrated market-darlings and art-historical greats,” Ehrlich says.


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

Related Stories
Inside Apple’s Spectacular Failure to Build a Key Part for Its New iPhones
By AARON TILLEY 22/09/2023
How Candid Can You Really Be With Your Boss?
Western Sydney’s hottest place to cool down opens
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop