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

By PREETIKA RANA
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.”



MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

Related Stories
Lifestyle
A ‘cheeky’ seat takes out the top prize at Australia’s Next Top Designers Awards
By KANEBRIDGE NEWS 17/06/2024
Lifestyle
Aston Martin Refines Its Exotic Family Car
By Jim Motavalli 15/06/2024
Money
A Killer Golf Swing Is a Hot Job Skill Now
By CALLUM BORCHERS 14/06/2024
A ‘cheeky’ seat takes out the top prize at Australia’s Next Top Designers Awards

A cash prize from Kanebridge Quarterly magazine, offered for the first time this year, drew a record number of entries for the design competition

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Mon, Jun 17, 2024 2 min

A versatile stool with a sense of fun took out the top prize at the Australia’s Next Top Designers awards at Design Show Australia last week.

The ‘Cheeky’ stool designed by Maryam Moghadam was the unanimous winner among the judging panel, which included Kanebridge Quarterly magazine Editor in Chief, Robyn Willis, Workshopped Creative Director Olaf Sialkowski, Design Show event organiser, Andrew Vaughan and Creative Director at Flexmirror Australia, Matt Angus.

Designed as an occasional stool or side table, the Cheeky stool comes in a range of skin tones. The judges applauded its commercial applications, its flexibility to work in a range of environments, and its sense of play.

In accepting the $10,000 prize, designer Maryam Moghadam quipped she was pleased to see ‘other people find bums as funny as I do’. A finalist at last year’s awards, Moghadam will put the prize money towards bringing her product to market.

Winner Maryam Moghadam said the $10,000 prize money would be put towards developing her product further for market.

Australia’s Next Top Designers is in its fourth year, but this is the first year a cash prize has been offered. Kanebridge Quarterly magazine has put up the prize money to support the next generation of emerging industrial design talent in Australia.

Editor in Chief Robyn Willis said the cash prize offered the winner the opportunity to put the money towards whatever aspect of their business it would most benefit.

“That might be prototyping their product further, spending on marketing, or simply paying for travel or even childcare expenses to allow the designer to focus on their work and take it to the next stage,” she said. “We’re thrilled to be supporting this design program and nurturing emerging design in a very practical way.”

The Coralescence lamps from the Tide Pool series by Suzy Syme and Andrew Costa had strong commercial applications, the judges said.
The Mass lamp by Dirk Du Toit is crafted from FSC-certified oak or walnut.

Two finalists were also awarded ‘highly commended’ by the judges — Mass lamp by Dirk Du Toit and the Coralescence lights from Suzy Syme and Andrew Costa at Tide Pool Designs. The judges agreed both products were beautifully resolved from a design perspective, as well as having strong commercial applications in residential and hospitality design. 

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

Related Stories
Money
The Money Habits I Learned From My Parents—for Better or Worse
By JESSICA CHOU 16/06/2024
Lifestyle
Aston Martin Refines Its Exotic Family Car
By Jim Motavalli 15/06/2024
Money
Ozempic Fuels Hunt for Smaller Clothes
By SUZANNE KAPNER 17/06/2024
0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop