One of the huge (I know that sounds silly) debates regarding Airbnb hosts is that most charge a cleaning fee. Crazy, eh?

“Hotels don’t charge a cleaning fee” say grumpy guests. “My cleaning fee doesn’t even cover the cost of my cleaner” say disgruntled hosts.

Some hosts have even said that they’ve had guests who have left the place a dump after their stay because ‘they’d paid the cleaning fee” so saw no reason to be clean and tidy.

Well, my answer to that is that the fee is actually a preparation fee’ to get the place ready for you, Mr Grumpy guest. But truly, in all the years I’ve been hosting, I’ve only had one guest ever – one –  mention the cleaning fee. And it’s such an easy matter to deal with that I admit I’m surprised by the way that hosts get so upset about it.

Here’s how the conversation with the guest went:

Mr Grumpy Guest: I expect that you want us to clean up before we leave? That’s not very fair when we’ve already paid the cleaning fee for you to see to all that.

Me (Sweetly): Ah I so wish that Airbnb would stop calling it a cleaning fee and explain properly. You see, it’s really a preparation fee. That means that it covered the lovely sparkling white linens and towels you had when you arrived, the fresh flowers, the lovely soft bathrobes and slippers, the arrival basket with those tasty snacks the fresh fruit and the bottle of wine.

Me (Continued): Then there were those large bottles of quality mineral water, the breakfast basket with the croissants and yogurts and preserves. Oh and the gorgeous toiletries and soaps in the bathroom. So much – and of course, a beautiful sparkling clean apartment with a lovely view…

Mr Grumpy Gurest: Hmm. But we’d have done without the wine and the croissants and the fresh flowers and some of the other stuff … if we’d known we were paying for it…

Me: (Sympathetically) I know. That’s the thing these days, isn’t it? Look here’s an idea. When you come to stay with us next time, I’ll waive the cleaning fee just for you, Or, here’s my card – if you want to book directly with me you’ll be able to save some additional fees too! Now, when do you think you’ll be coming again? We’re pretty booked up but I try to accommodate my favorite previous guests as much as I can…”

I know, smarmy. Too sickly sweet, But those guests have been here once a year for several years now. AND they’ve left the place in immaculate condition.

Everyone’s happy.




JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.

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