An Airbnb cleaning fee is arguably one of the most important aspects of short-term rentals that hosts need to consider.
A cleaning fee will not only keep your rental spotless, but it can also prevent guests from booking shorter stays.
Below, we explain everything there is to know about the cleaning fee, what you should be charging, and how it will impact your listing - for better or for worse.
What is an Airbnb cleaning fee - (and is it worth it)?
An Airbnb cleaning fee is a once-off, non-refundable fee charged by hosts (not Airbnb). This fee helps hosts cover expenses they incur when getting their place ready for guests to arrive or after they leave.
Usually, a cleaning fee is an extra amount on top of the nightly rate when you book a listing, although some hosts might decide to incorporate it into their nightly rate. It is important to note that not all hosts charge this fee as it is up to their discretion.
This fee is particularly valuable when guests leave your home in poor conditions, and a host has a new booking on the same day as the mess-makers check out. Getting your home back to a 5-star level in only a few hours means you’ll need the extra help.
What is included in the Airbnb cleaning fee?
The Airbnb cleaning fee typically includes the cost of the following:
- Cleaning the room/rooms
- Changing bed sheets and linen used
- Cleaning supplies
- Washing dishes
- Cleaning the cupboards and the fridge
- Time spent cleaning
- Restocking general house supplies
How should I calculate my Airbnb’s cleaning fee?
Deciding on an Airbnb cleaning fee for your listing can be intimidating if it is your first time as a host. Remember, it is important to note that you don't need to charge a cleaning fee for your listing - it depends entirely on your discretion. However, most hosts choose to include the Airbnb cleaning charge as part of their overall booking fee to cover the expenses of preparing the property for their guest’s arrival.
For those hosts who prefer to do their own cleaning, the average cleaning fee on Airbnb is around AU$ 90 per booking. For larger properties or hosts who hire cleaning services, this cost increases to roughly AU$ 140. During the off-season when you are experiencing lower bookings, you can choose to lower your cleaning fee to encourage more bookings.
Below are some criteria to keep in mind when determining your own cleaning fee:
Type of property and size
If your rental is luxury accommodation, then including a cleaning fee can help you meet your costs and maintain the advertised living expectations from guests. On the other hand, if your listing is a single room in your house or a studio apartment, then including a high cleaning fee is not necessary and might deter guests.
Choosing a Cleaning Service
Hiring professional cleaning service can be a significant expense, depending on the location or size of your listing. Have a think about whether it’s worth hiring professional cleaners or if you are able to get the job done on your own.
Your Ideal Guests
Have you identified your ideal target market? Having a strong vision of your ‘dream guest’ can help you decide on a fee for your listing. If you want your listing to be the preferred property for backpackers, then keeping a higher cleaning fee is not going to align well with your target market and their needs. On the other hand, if your target audience involves guests who expect luxury during their stay, then they will be more accepting of higher costs in return for excellent services.
Do pet-friendly rentals increase the cleaning fee?
Bringing your pet with you on vacation can increase the likelihood of mess and damage can lead to additional cleaning costs and maintenance. You can choose to add a separate pet fee instead of a higher cleaning fee to better accommodate those guests who don’t bring pets.
We’ve found that the majority of our guests who have travelled with their pets understand their needs and behaviour and know how to navigate potential accidents.