hand with glove wiping counter top with rag hand on right side holding Airbnb logo on square

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‘Cleaning fee $1,600. But please be sure to dust, vacuum, take out garbage’: People mock Airbnb ‘chore lists’ and cleaning fees

'Hotels are now my preference.'

 

Braden Bjella

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 14, 2022

When booking an Airbnb, it’s common to see a list of house rules along with the expected details about check-in times and interesting places in the area. 

Some of these rules make sense: no parties, no outside guests spending the night, etc. However, many users online claim that some Airbnb hosts go too far with their rules and asks of the guest, especially given the cleaning fees hosts are able to add.

An Airbnb spokesperson told the Daily Dot that “while Hosts maintain the ability to choose their own cleaning fees, we do offer tips to Hosts on keeping the amount reasonable, and suggest they consider not charging cleaning fees at all.”

The spokesperson claimed that 45% of hosts do not charge a cleaning fee. For those who do, the spokesperson added, “the fee on average is less than 10 percent of the total reservation cost.”

Tuesday morning, comedian Caleb Hearon (@calebsaysthings) tweeted about the expectations Airbnb hosts have for guests.

“I’m done with airbnb lmao these motherfuckers have curfews, quiet hours, and chore lists now. i will be at a HOTEL,” Hearon tweeted.

Twitter users joined in, making jokes about fees. In particular, the cleaning fee is apparently a thorn in the side of users, as many shared they had personal experience of being expected to clean the rental themselves despite paying the fee.

“AirBnB be like: $120/night, $3,245/total, (Cleaning fee $1,600. But please be sure to dust, vacuum, take out garbage, wash linens/bedding, steam clean carpet, apply fresh coat of exterior paint, and install new appliances),” Twitter user @christinaixchel joked.

Another user, @LemmonLemmony, shared they spent the morning of their check-out completing “a chore list” instead of enjoying what was left of their vacation. “Oh, and there was a cleaning fee! $330 for a TWO NIGHT stay,” the Twitter user added.

Like Hearon, @LemmonLemmony said they would now rather pay for a hotel.

Cleaning fees have reportedly gone up year over year. An article from April of this year in the Wall Street Journal shares data from analytics site AirDNA that claims “cleaning fees increased an average of 9.8% from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, and an additional 6.6% by the first quarter of 2022.” This data includes listings from Airbnb and Vrbo.

Others on Twitter shared their Airbnb horror stories, prompting “Airbnb” to become a trending topic.

“The last airbnb I was at, I caught the owner peeking through the window while I was inside,” user @audrialemnisca wrote. “I opened the door and confronted him. I actually had been sobbing inside b/c I found out my dad was dying, so I confronted him, with tears and all.Super awkward experience and I was livid.”

“The last air bnb I stayed in did not provide toilet paper and the heat was stuck on 90 and she wanted me to stay in the unit during a 5 hour window to wait for the repair guy,” user @falseroxy alleged.

Even more users took issue with Airbnb’s rules.

“…The host can cancel on you without reason up to the day before,” @Polina_Buchan wrote. “Like, what do you mean?! I’m about to arrive at the destination and now I have no place to stay? For that reason alone, hotels are now my preference.”

On its website, Airbnb notes that a host is allowed to cancel a booking within 30 days of check-in. However, if this happens, the company claims it will give customers a refund and help them find “a similar or better home to rebook.”

Cameras are also allowed in Airbnbs, though the company maintains that they are only to be used if disclosed and in common areas. 

“When I saw that hosts were permitted to have active cameras in the condos/homes to monitor you (not just at the entrance, the entire place), I noped right out of there,” user @thatupperhand explained. “With the costs attached, there is no reason to use the service unless the hotels in the area are fully booked.”

One user claimed that the problems with Airbnb go beyond simple rental annoyances.

“…It’s important to mention that in many states the amounts of Airbnb homes have skyrocketed. This has decreased the housing supply for people who actually want to live in my city,” @lmaoxdlol0 shared​. “Rents have significantly raised for this reason and now we are in a major housing crisis.”

A January 2019 report from the progressive think tank Economic Policy Institute did find that in areas where there are Airbnbs, local housing costs were raised.

Above all, the many complaints about Airbnbs have users on Twitter reconsidering hotels.

As user @thevertfraise wrote, “Hotels are FUN. Room service, bars, poolside drinks, a concierge, and no chores.  Airbnb is just housesitting for someone you don’t know and you have to pay them.”


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*First Published: Jun 14, 2022, 12:16 pm CDT