Photo Credit: Photo by KC Welch
Airbnb Hostess Had Guests Do Chores Before Departure, Then Changed Her Policy
When you’re booking an Airbnb, you’ll notice there’s usually a cleaning fee. Since many of the homes are private residences and not hotels, this makes sense.
But one Airbnb hostess took it even further by making her guests do chores before departure.
In response to the criticism, she decided to amend her policy. Asking guests to keep the home reasonably tidy is one thing. But most would agree that expecting them to wash linens or mow the lawn is a bit much.
The hostess, Melissa Forrest, has ten homes in Southern California listed on Airbnb. In lieu of the chores, Business Insider reports “she believes in extra cleaning fees if a guest leaves a big mess.”
Forrest wrote, “asking the guest to do chores such as mow the lawn or place all linens in the washer is unreasonable and ridiculous. The host is taking advantage of the situation. When guests are asked to do chores but aren’t even provided with the supplies needed to do them, such as detergent to do laundry or wash dishes, this is even more ridiculous. These hosts should be embarrassed.”
She added: “one thing we’ve learned over time is that hospitality should always come first. When we first started five years ago, we requested that guests did certain chores — like taking out the trash and removing linens from the beds and putting them on the floor — before checking out because we learned to do this from our mentor. Now, as we’ve grown as hosts, we don’t believe chores — small or large — should be requested from guests.”
Forrest pays her cleaners according to the size of the home and how much cleaning needs to be done. If the sink is stacked full of dirty dishes, pans and pots, Forrest charges guests “an extra cleaning fee on top of our standard cleaning fee.” Guests are made aware of this rule in advance so there are no surprises.
The hostess noted that in order to avoid cleaning fees, some travelers will go the hotel route. But, she concluded, hotels also tack on fees on top of the cost of the reservation.
“A hotel will have just a bed and not charge a cleaning fee, but may charge a daily resort fee,” Forrest explained. “We don’t see the cleaning fee pushing away guests.”
She also posited that you can’t compare hotels and resorts with short- term rentals. “They are completely different products. One could see pros and cons for each product type. An Airbnb home will have a full kitchen but charge a one-time cleaning fee.”
What has been your experience with cleaning fees for Airbnb rentals?