Airbnb has a plan to fix cleaning fees

Airbnb is set to roll out big changes that won’t end cleaning fees but could make them more transparent for customers and incentivise hosts. [iStockphoto]

Pretty much everyone hates Airbnb cleaning fees - those pesky charges tacked on to your vacation rental bill that supposedly cover the costs to get the place ready for the next visitors.

Travelers don’t like the expense, and hosts don’t like charging them, either. Dennis Shirshikov, an Airbnb host who owns a rental property in upstate New York, says cleaning fees are the most common complaint he gets from customers.

“We are strongly considering cutting them off,” he says.

And Shirshikov might get his way. Airbnb is set to roll out big changes that won’t end cleaning fees but could make them more transparent for customers and incentivise hosts to reduce or forgo them altogether.

Airbnb cleaning fees are a one-time charge pocketed by hosts to cover costs such as doing laundry or scrubbing toilets between guest stays. They’re separate from the base price and are in addition to service fees or charges for optional add-ons.

A June 2022 NerdWallet analysis of 1,000 US 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 (Sh9,075).

But cleaning fees vary widely. An Airbnb spokesperson told NerdWallet that cleaning fees are on average less than 10 per cent of the total reservation cost at properties that charge them.

Meanwhile, NerdWallet’s analysis found that cleaning fees amounted to about 25 per cent of the total price paid.

In fact, almost 40 per cent of listings had cleaning fees from 20 per cent to 29.9 per cent of list price.

 

By Agencies Jan. 27, 2023
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