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Cleanliness is one of the most important things guests look for when booking vacation accommodation and the number one cause of bad reviews! Guest expectations are higher than ever before and a clean, safe and sanitized home should be one of a property manager’s highest priorities. First impressions count! The cleanliness of your properties can make or break the guest experience, resulting in a bad review or a glowing five star review that builds your brand, increases the value of your rental and assures future guests of an enhanced guest experience.

According to a report by AirDNA, cleaning fees for short-term rentals have risen an average of 5.8% in the U.S. since 2019. There is indeed a heightened focus on cleanliness as we live through the pandemic, higher expenses with professional EPA approved disinfectants and extra time required sanitizing, laundering and preparing the property for a clean, safe and sanitized stay for the incoming guests.

Vacation rental cleans take time and cleaning fees are important to consider when pricing your vacation rentals. It’s not always easy to set a cleaning fee and they seem to be hotly contested issue in the vacation rental industry, as these fees are passed on to the guest and added to the reservation.

Cleaning fees can be listed either as a separate service fee or included in the nightly rate, but always bear in mind guests don’t like hidden or surprise fees! If you’re using dynamic pricing or the length of stay differs considerably from stay to stay, it can be difficult to build the cleaning fee into your nightly rate. If you rent on a week-by-week basis only, it’s a practical solution

Setting your Vacation Rental Cleaning Fees

Vacation rental cleans differ substantially from your typical house clean and require a higher level of service and attention. When setting your departure cleaning fee take into account the full scope of what this fee needs to cover. A departure clean includes laundering all linens, additional sanitization, tracking inventory and restocking essentials, checking smoke detectors, air filters and light bulbs, photographing and reporting damages, and staging the home for a warm welcome for the next guest.

There’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to setting a cleaning fee. Airbnb’s average cleaning fees run from $70-90 for a 1 bedroom up to $200 for a 6 bedroom, some charge $40-$60 per bedroom and others average the cleaning fee out at 10% of the reservation.

Here are some factors to consider when calculating your cleaning fees.

Cleaning Service

First establish who will be cleaning your properties, ensure they are trained in vacation rentals and fully prepared for quick turnarounds in high season. A quality housekeeping service is essential for guest satisfaction, whether you clean the homes yourself, build an efficient in-house cleaning team, use a small local business or hire a professional cleaning company. Rates can range from $25 to $75 per hour depending on the cleaning service. If you’re asking guests to empty the dishwasher, strip the beds and clean the home, your cleaning costs need to reflect this!

Type of Property

Cleaning fees vary depending on the type of listing (luxury, budget, pet-friendly), the size of the property and the guests you are marketing to. If you market your property as a high-end luxury stay, guest expectations will be higher, and the property will require more attention and staging than a budget apartment.


Is the property in a remote location that requires a drive to reach, or in a vacation destination with a higher cost of living? Cleaning fees vary from location to location so ensure your research is market specific.

Wear & Tear:

Cleaning fees are not a source of additional income and high fees can easily deter guests. While we do not suggest bumping up your fees to put a little extra money in your pocket, it’s important to factor in the high levels of wear and tear that come with a vacation rental.

The Competition:

What do your competitors charge? It’s important to know what your competitors are up to and what they are charging for similar properties to remain competitive and not price yourself out of the market. Ask property managers in your area and research the OTA sites to get a fair idea of what other hosts are charging for their cleaning fees in your specific vacation destination.

Guests don’t like hidden fees so be clear and transparent with your guests when it comes to added service fees such as cleaning fees, hot tub and pool heat fees, pet fees and damage waiver fees. Allocate a page on your website or send guests an email outlining the cleaning process and the service they can expect for the fee, ensuring a safe and sanitized stay in your properties and giving them peace of mind that the cleaning fee is worth every penny.

Find out how can help streamline your vacation rental property care process with the award-winning vacation Rental Property Care & Guest Communication Platform.

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