Whether you’re an experienced host or new to the scene, you might be unsure about setting up an Airbnb cleaning fee for your listing. Cleaning fees help hosts get their rentals cleaned and ready before guests arrive for their stay. It also protects the host from absorbing the cost of cleaning up after guests depart.
Although it’s common to see the fee on listings, there are some things to consider to avoid scaring off potential guests. This article will cover the ins and outs of knowing what to charge and how it will affect your listing.
The cleaning fee is a one-time service fee charged to guests by hosts. It covers the costs of cleaning their rentals after the guests have checked out. Not all hosts charge a cleaning fee, but many hosts do as it helps them to cover their cleaning costs.
The cleaning fee is an extra charge that is added to the total booking fee. It does not form part of a security deposit, and cannot be returned after the booking concludes. The cleaning fee stays the same regardless of how many guests book a vacation rental and how long the stay is.
Airbnb cleaning fees help hosts account for the expenses required to clean and prepare their rentals for their next guests. While there is no policy in place, guests will expect your rental to cover basic cleaning chores for them.
All-in-all, the service fee will generally cover the following:
The Airbnb cleaning service cost is set by the host. A June 2022 NerdWallet analysis of 1,000 U.S. Airbnb reservations with check-in dates in 2022 or 2023 found that the median cleaning fee per listing for a one-night stay was $75. For larger properties or hosts who hire cleaning help, this cost can increase to approximately $105.
However, this cost is affected by the type of listing you’re offering. A small studio flat’s Airbnb cleaning fee will differ largely from that of a 5-bedroom mansion. Visualize your rental size and type when working out your cleaning fee amount. You can also look at your nearby competitors to see if they charge a cleaning fee and what pricing strategy they use.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the introduction of the Enhanced Cleaning Protocol by Airbnb, hosts are taking extra measures to clean their rentals. These new cleaning measures are increasing hosts’ cleaning costs, and in turn, increasing cleaning fees. Airbnb does not set a recommended price for the enhanced cleaning fee, so hosts are allowed to determine their new fees.
Hosts don’t need to charge for cleaning, and there are no Airbnb cleaning fee rules enforced. Many hosts do choose to charge a cleaning fee, as it keeps their rentals immaculate and encourages guests to leave a 5-star review. However, not all hosts choose to charge a cleaning fee, as they feel it drives their booking price up too much. In these instances, hosts generally do their own cleaning or pay the cost themselves of hiring a cleaning company.
Before you decide whether or not to charge an Airbnb cleaning fee, take a closer look at the key features of your property and listing:
If you’re marketing your listing as a luxury stay with higher price points, it’s more likely that your guests won’t squirm at the extra fee for cleaning. Based on your property’s offering and size, you may want to include this to maintain the advertised living standards. If, on the other hand, you are renting out a room in your home, this might not be necessary.
Another great way to determine if you should increase your nightly rate to include an Airbnb cleaning fee is to look at your competitors. If your competitors are charging a cleaning fee, you should be able to as well. It will also provide an indicator of an acceptable rate for you to charge out.
Depending on your location or size of your property, professional cleaning teams can be fairly costly. You will need to decide if it’s worth hiring professional cleaners to do the job or if you can handle it on your own. Keep in mind that cleaning your vacation rental will cut into your time, and will require cleaning supplies.
If you want to discourage one-day bookings, charging a cleaning fee can help. For example, a $50 fee spread over several nights might be affordable. However, this price may seem exorbitant for a single night and may put guests off from booking a short stay.
Deciding on an Airbnb cleaning fee boils down to what works best for your listing and what will keep your guests happy. Having too high of a service fee can deter potential guests from booking with you and affect your Airbnb host reviews. You must strike a balance between reasonable pricing while striving for a well-maintained rental.
Depending on whether you want to encourage one-day bookings, charging a cleaning cost can be a deterrent.
Before finalizing your extra expenses, take into consideration the following points:
Charging a cleaning fee can help to discourage guests from booking a one night stay. For a guest booking a one or two-night stay, an extra cleaning fee of $65 might sound like a lot. However, for someone booking a stay for several nights, the fee will seem more reasonable.
In some instances, an Airbnb cleaning fee refund is possible. If a guest cancels their stay with you before the check-in time, the cleaning fee will be refunded to them in full. If a guest cancels after their booking has already begun, they will not receive a refund for the cost of the cleaning fee. This is regardless of the cancellation policy you choose for your rental.
The cleaning fee you charge will be subject to Airbnb’s service fees. The final booking cost of your rental includes the cleaning fee, so it will be affected by Airbnb service fees. The amount you will be charged for service fees can differ depending on where your property is located.
If your property is located in the United States, Canada, Mexico, The Bahamas, Argentina, Taiwan, and Uruguay, you will only be charged around 3% of your booking cost as a service fee, while guests will pay around 14%. In all other countries, hosts pay a host-only fee of around 15%, while guests do not pay a service fee.
Because each host determines their own cleaning fee, it is technically negotiable. However, it’s not a good idea to list your cleaning fee as being negotiable on your Airbnb listing. This could invite non-stop debates and bargaining from guests.
If a guest messages you privately and asks if your cleaning fee is negotiable, consider your options before answering. If it’s your low season, or bookings are slow, then you could say yes as a means of boosting your booking rate. If it’s high season and your booking rate is good, rather don’t allow guests to negotiate your fee with you. More often than not, guests who want to negotiate rates from the get-go turn out to be problematic.
Your Airbnb cleaning fee can impact your rental listing performance based on how you choose to list your rates. Hosts usually choose to either list their cleaning fee as a separate service fee or include it as part of their nightly rate. If you decide to list your cleaning fee separately as a service fee, your booking fee will not be affected. However, the service fee will be added to the total cost in the final checkout. This could potentially irritate your guests when they see a sudden price hike right before they book.
The other option is to include your cleaning fee as part of your nightly stay rate. To do this, take the cost of the cleaning fee divided by the total number of nights a guest stays. The amount will then be added to the nightly rate, bringing up the total cost. The main drawback of this method is that it increases your overall rates. Despite this, guests may appreciate knowing the total cost upfront, rather than getting a later price hike from the cleaning service.
Take the time to experiment with both methods and see which one brings you the most bookings. If you’re worried that your Airbnb cleaning fee is too high, make small adjustments to the price until you start to see an increase in your booking rate.
It’s also important to note that Airbnb is introducing a toggle so visitors may choose to have search results show the total cost, including any fees. Users will still only see nightly rates if they choose not to toggle the total price display. The new toggle is already operational in the app and will be adopted as a platform standard in the first quarter of 2023. The toggle will then automatically be set to “on,” giving consumers the option to hide the whole price if they so choose.
In November 2022, the company also modified its search algorithm to rank listings according to the best overall price rather than just taking into consideration the nightly cost, which would persuade hosts to reduce or eliminate cleaning fees.
If you would like to edit or change your cleaning fee on your listing, you can do so in your Airbnb profile.
Choosing to include an Airbnb cleaning fee is a fast and simple way to maintain your property while delighting your guests. When deciding on the final service fees, it’s best to take in all of the listed factors while keeping your intended guest in mind.
To improve cleanings even further and maintain the best service for guests, opt for automation. Vacation rental software, like iGMS, can help you automate cleanings to ensure your property is spotless for your next guests. In addition to automating your cleaning routine, iGMS allows you to:
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