Airbnb customers are unhappy and complain about high cleaning fees

Short term vacation rentals are booming as people look to travel. They offer easy booking for customers and a plethora of options, all from a cell phone or computer. However, some travelers are making their voices heard – disappointed at the additional costs that add up – especially with Airbnb.

READ MORE: DC among most desired travel destinations for 2021 as COVID restrictions relax

For example, DC resident James Benson said he was booking an Airbnb for $ 49 a night – a good deal! However, when it got to the checkout – the total price was $ 129 – almost three times the amount for a night. In fact, the cleaning fee itself was more than the listing itself.

“I have the impression that it is not transparent when looking for accommodation with Airbnb. You do not give the full price of the residence you will be staying in. Instead, you receive a base rate and then you will find before you go that you could pay double or triple the price depending on the cleaning fee and the service charge, ”Benson said.

READ MORE: Vacation rentals sell fast, positive boom for tourism

Other travelers post on social media, also upset by the high cleaning fees and listing rules on the rental site.

One person tweeted: “We need to shut down Airbnb” – with a screenshot of a cost breakdown for a two night rental: $ 198 for the room itself, but 413.95 cents in total due to additional costs. It gained national attention and garnered over 200,000 likes with ringers.

Airbnb responded to the outcry online in this blog post which said it would review its fees and make the necessary changes. They plan to have recommendations in place by December 15. The rental website said it allows hosts to set the cleaning fee because there is a difference between cleaning a studio and a five-bedroom house. The company also makes it clear that they set their own service charges and that the occupancy tax is set by the city, county or state where a customer is staying. Hosts do not receive any of this money.

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Fox 5 has spoken to Airbnb hosts, like Elisa Cordova, who explained that they have to meet certain requirements these days with cleaning protocols due to COVID-19, making the process more expensive.

“With COVID you have to present a safe environment for people to come in and I think guests will also want to feel safe that the place has been deep cleaned and ventilated before they arrive and if that means the cost of the fee. cleaning is higher than normal, so be it – this is the world we live in during this pandemic. We are still not out of the woods, “Cordova said.

On top of that, she adds that some hosts hire a cleaning company to do the job.

“In Washington, if you hire a cleaning service for a two-bedroom apartment, it can easily cost you $ 100- $ 80 minimum, so if customers aren’t sure why the cleaning fee is so high compared to the rate at The nightly rate can be $ 60 to be competitive – you can’t find a housekeeper who will charge you $ 50 – not in Washington, maybe in a small town, which is why the cleaning can be almost twice as high, ”Cordova said.

Her # 1 tip for anyone looking to book is to add up the total price including fees and divide it by the number of nights you’ll be staying to determine if it’s affordable for your budget. Here’s another tip:

“What I like to see as a host is that it’s great if they say we’re coming for such and such a reason, we’re fully vaccinated and we follow all COVID-19 protocols – if you want us to wear a mask at home – if they refer to their security levels – me, as the host, love to see that, ”Cordova said.

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