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The pros and cons of charging a cleaning fee


Whether to charge a cleaning fee for your short-term rental depends on various factors.


Ultimately, the decision depends on your specific circumstances, market trends, and guest expectations. Consider researching what other hosts in your area are doing and test different approaches to see what works best for your property and target audience. If you decide to charge a cleaning fee, be transparent about it in your listing, and clearly outline what it covers to manage guest expectations.


Here are some considerations to help you decide:


Reasons to charge a cleaning fee


Transparency


A cleaning fee allows you to be transparent about the total cost of the stay. Guests appreciate knowing the full amount they will be charged upfront, rather than having additional costs hidden in the nightly rate.


Covering expenses


Charging a cleaning fee helps cover the costs associated with preparing the property for each guest, including cleaning supplies, labour, and maintenance. This ensures that your property is well-maintained and ready for the next guest.


Flexibility in pricing


Separating the cleaning fee from the nightly rate gives you flexibility in setting competitive nightly rates. You can adjust the cleaning fee based on the size of your property, the duration of the stay, or the number of guests.


Fairness


Charging a cleaning fee can be perceived as more equitable, especially for shorter stays. Guests staying for just one or two nights may find it more reasonable to pay a separate cleaning fee rather than having the cost included in the nightly rate.


Reasons not to charge a cleaning fee


Competitive pricing


Some guests actively search for properties with no or low cleaning fees. In a competitive market, having a more attractive upfront price can make your listing more appealing.


Simplicity


Including cleaning costs in the nightly rate simplifies the booking process. Guests might prefer knowing the total cost without additional fees, making the booking experience straightforward.


Guest expectations


In some regions or for certain types of rentals, guests may expect cleaning costs to be included in the overall rate. This is common in some vacation rental markets where the norm is to offer an all-inclusive nightly rate.


Positive reviews


Charging a separate cleaning fee can sometimes lead to negative reviews if guests feel the fee is too high or if they misunderstand the pricing structure. Including cleaning costs in the nightly rate may lead to more positive reviews.


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