Should I clean my rental before leaving?

I only have one bad review as a guest on the Airbnb system, which after almost a decade of frequent use is probably not that bad. But it still rattles.

The apartment was in Bologna, a pretty nice place in the city center, although it had its issues – namely a large collection of cacti spread out on the floor that seemed to be custom-designed to sting the eye of anybody. -small. Oh and we were traveling with a toddler.

At least you don’t have to spend an hour cleaning the place before you can leave.

After a few trips, however, and closing a few doors, everything went well. We stayed for three nights, ate all the Bolognese stews and tortellini en brodo we could get our hands on, then packed our bags and headed for the train station.

Halfway to Rome I got a message on the Airbnb platform from our host in Bologna: “What a mess !!! No respect at all. Sorry but you were very rude.

I hope no one will treat your house like you did mine. “

I was quite surprised. We cleaned up after ourselves, left the dirty laundry in a pile in the bathroom, swept the floor. What was the problem, I asked in response?

“Dear Ben,” replied the response, “the lights were on, the kitchen table was very dirty, aluminum foil all over the place. I hope you are more respectful of my apartment, it is not a garden. ‘children or a hotel! “

And this is where my opinion differs from that of our lovely Bolognese host and our problem seems to be. As far as I’m concerned, his apartment is a hotel. Indeed, in any case. I pay a large sum of money to stay there for a few nights, then pay an additional € 30 ($ 47) “cleaning fee” to have the place settled for the next guest, and for me. if I leave the house in reasonable condition with nothing broken or needing repair, I have done my part.


There’s a meme going around on social media right now that got me thinking about my bad Airbnb review. They are two badly drawn heads, one angry, one relaxed, with captions under each.

One of them reads: “Airbnb: Noooooon !! You left the trash in the trash, you will get a one star review!” The other says, “Hotels: just make sure you leave before 11am. Otherwise, that’s not a problem. “

I mean, yeah. That is just about everything. The hotels do not make these requests. They don’t ask you to take out your garbage before you leave. They don’t require you to do the dishes. They don’t ask you to tidy your room. You’ve just checked in and gone. They’ll take care of the rest.

Home-sharing agreements – on a range of platforms, not just Airbnb – seem to operate in a different universe, where apparently the money you pay to rent a space only entitles you to the space itself; you are supposed to leave it pretty much as you found it. Even though in some cases you paid extra to have it cleaned.

Is it really fair? Is this reasonable? This varies, of course, from owner to owner, which is the root of the problem. Different hosts have different rules and different expectations. I’ve treated all Airbnb properties I’ve stayed in pretty much the same way, and only one person objected to that.

But the rules can be pretty far-fetched. I rented a house in North Victoria a few weeks ago, and the hosts – managed by a local real estate company – sent me a form asking me for my credit card details beforehand, spelling out the rules of home: “Dishes should be washed and put away before you leave; make sure all unnecessary lights and outlets are turned off when you leave” and so on. including doing the dishes or rearranging the furniture, my credit card would be charged for an unspecified amount.

Say what you like about hotels – they’re not perfect. The rooms are small, the facilities are simple, the mini bars are ridiculous. But at least you don’t have to spend an hour cleaning the place before you can leave.

I approached Airbnb for their opinion on this, and they directed me to a page on their website, advising hosts of what they consider reasonable behavior: “It’s important to manage expectations regarding what your cleaning costs include, ”he says. “Do you want guests to load dishes in the dishwasher or strip bed linens before checking out?” If this is the case, consider charging a very minimal cleaning fee or even no fee. With higher fees, customers can expect to be able to walk away from the checkout space like they would in a hotel. “

This is probably my only problem with renting a vacation home or staying in someone’s apartment. I will be respectful of your property, your home, especially if it is clear that you are actually living in the apartment when it is not rented. I will keep the place tidy and leave it with everything in good shape and undamaged.

But it won’t be perfect. It won’t be like you left it. Because you are indeed a hotel.

Do you think rental hosts have unreasonable expectations of their guests? Are you happy to wash the dishes and undress the laundry before you leave a house? Or do you think it should be included in the rental fee?

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See also: A new type of accommodation in TripAdvisor’s top 10 best

See also: Australian Hotels Claiming to be “Six Star”: Are They Really?

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