An Airbnb host’s ‘checkout instructions’ have caused a stir after they demanded guests strip all the beds and start a load of washing before they leave.
A recent visitor to the property shared the list online while accusing Airbnb of “getting out of hand”.
“We had paid a $150 cleaning fee for them to give us these checkout instructions,” they wrote on Reddit. “I’m surprised they didn’t want us to stick around to dry the towels and remake the beds."
Beyond stripping all white linens from beds and starting a load of all white towels using bleach, guests at the home in San Antonio in Texas were asked to wash and put away all dishes and glasses, remove all food from the refrigerator, remove all trash from bathrooms and the kitchen and replace bags, as well as clean floors with a Swiffer (a type of cleaner) if needed.
“The (cleaning fee) price didn't bother me, just the fact they wanted me to do a bunch of cleaning outside of the normal common sense ones,” the guest explained. “Of course I'll wash my dishes and take out my trash, but I'm not Swiffering or doing a load of laundry with a cleaning fee.”
Airbnb losing to hotels
Social media users slammed the ‘checkout instructions’ as a joke.
“The cheek of some Airbnb hosts to even try to do this,” one person wrote, while another said it was “ridiculous to charge some absurd cleaning fee and then ask the guest to clean as well”. Someone else added that they “just don’t see the appeal of Airbnb now that they have gotten so out of control with fees”.
Others pointed out that it would be cheaper to stay at a hotel. “Airbnb used to be the popular choice because it was cheaper,” wrote one person. “Now with ‘cleaning fees’ and other miscellaneous fees out the wazoo, it does not look any more appealing than a three-four star hotel in my opinion.”
In the meantime Airbnb Australia has come out swinging against hosts leaving a list of chores for guests to complete before checking out.
“We believe guests should not have to strip the bed, do the laundry or vacuum when leaving their Airbnb,” Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb’s country manager for Australia and New Zealand, told Yahoo News Australia. “But we think it’s reasonable to ask guests to turn off the lights, throw food in the rubbish, and lock the doors – just like they would when leaving their own home.”
In May, as part of a product update, the company brought in a ‘before you leave’ section on property listings, encouraging hosts to inform potential guests of their checkout instructions before they booked with strict consequences if the chores are unreasonable.
“We updated our processes so guests can give feedback on checkout instructions, and listings with repeated low ratings from unreasonable chores will be removed from Airbnb,” Ms Wheeldon said.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.