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A Look Into Why Airbnb Cleaning Fees Are On The Rise
With the Covid pandemic on its way to being under control and tourism heading back to pre-pandemic levels, travelers are seeing the cost of vacation skyrocket mainly in plane ticket fares. However, there is another issue that is concerning for those who choose to use the main short-term rental accommodations app Airbnb – it’s cleaning fees.
As the Wall Street Journal reported on April 12, relative Google search interest for “cleaning fees” raised 212% since Airbnb was founded in 2008, and currently, over 85% of US short-term rentals include those fees for their guests.
The paper said also that Airbnb cleaning fees increased 9.8% between 2020 and 2021, and then another 6.6% by 2022. The average fee for 1-bedroom properties is $73 (up from $59 in 2020), and $410 for a 5-bed coastal property, according to WSJ.
In February, a TikToker named Melissa UA went viral after reporting how expensive cleaning fees were while researching the app rental for a short vacation with her husband. In the video titled ‘$700 for two nights ≠ no chores lol’– she said that in one of her researches, the host asked for $229 per night for accommodation plus a $125 cleaning fee.
“I found this place that I liked that’s within our price range. It does have a one hundred and twenty-five dollar cleaning fee as most Airbnbs do, and I don’t have a problem with that,” Mel explained, adding that the host also asks to remove the garbage and do the dishwasher and laundry.
Surely, the recent surge in inflation, which rose by 8.5% since last year, according to the Consumer Price Index, plays an important role in this occurrence. But as WSJ suggests, the pandemic has profoundly changed the way sanitation is treated, and Airbnb has decided to implement a set of cleaning practices that all Hosts are required to follow between guest stays.
Called Airbnb’s cleaning handbook, the App establishes laws and guidelines that include the use of disinfectants approved by your local regulatory agencies for use against COVID-19, chemicals to reduce bacteria on surfaces such as doorknobs and TV remotes, and removing dust and dirt from surfaces, such as floors and countertops.
For many hosts, the costs of those requirements need to be shared with the guests.
Jamie Lane, AirDNA‘s vice president of research, told the WSJ that the rise in cleaning-fee prices is in accordance with COVID-19 protocols and increased labor costs as professional cleaning services say the cost of supplies, wages, and gas has also risen.
However, for many guests, cleaning fees are not disclosed until the final stage of booking, even though some searches use the app’s filter system to find cheap rentals. This is very frustrating as TikToker Mel revealed in the video she posted on the platform.
However, Airbnb told WSJ that the company is working to provide more transparency on its pricing system, WSJ said.