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We have 800 sq ft on both sides of a duplex on the beach in Sanibel Island, FL.
We charge $150 if there is a small animal and $100 if not. We have not had any guest angry or voice any discourse about it. In fact, most people leave it better than when they got there. I have a booklet that tells everyone the most important things to do upon departure and ask them to treat the house like it was their own. So far -- so good. I'm also very neat and clean and make it a point to tell them that on the phone. I listen to how they talk and what things they ask before I ever make a decision about whether or not to rent to them. What kinds of questions they ask me is important so that I can intuit what they are like.
The one thing I have done differently than what I've seen on this blog is this: If a renter leaves the cottage in practically perfect condition, I refund them $75. I feel like I still have to pay my cleaning woman something to keep her yet I can also provide the renters a break. Of course, then they are very happy with it and never expected it.
It works well.
Hello all, we charge $60-75 to clean our 1500 sf cabin, depending on the number of bedrooms used. We also ask guests to place used linens either in the bathtub or in front of the washer, and the kitchen must be as it was when they arrived with the dishwasher running if it has dishes in it.
I would say that 20% of our guests do not follow these requests, but 80% leave it as nice as when they arrived. But we have had an influx of terrible renters recently and we can't figure out why. There have been losses with at least 50% of the rents for the past two months.
I think complaining about cleaning fees is a red flag. I have decided to turn down people who questions any of our rates or fees. They usually turn into head ache guests. Especially the ones looking for discounts.
I think you have a point about guests who demand discounts. They are often the most misbehaved guests... and the ones with the most complaints. Besides leaving a mess some even try to figure out a way to get a refund of some sort. We have made a point to avoid renting to underage renters. We did have one mother who wanted to pay us to rent to her spring break sons and friends because she did not want them in her cottage. She represented as if she were going to be the one to rent. We stopped renting during the spring break season altogether for awhile, just to avoid some terrible clean up situations we encountered. It pays to ask lots of questions. You begin to know when you are speaking to "trouble". Be sure to charge an adequate security deposit. JK of TC
Amen to all of that. I have regretted every discount I have given, and the ones who do not ask for discounts have caused far less problems.
Sorry to hear about the misleading renters. I often get the feeling we have inquiries that are not being completely honest. In another thread there was a question about unregistered or unexpected guests and how to deal with it. I make it clear in our ad that the bedrooms are locked and are only opened based on the number of guests that are listed on the RA. I suppose the extras can sleep on the couches, but not ideal.
I think there will always be issues with second home rentals, we just have to stay emotionally disconnected. But I know that is not easy.
As of today, we are suspending security deposits to try the PDP insurance. It's cheap, and it eliminates the hassle of returning the deposit or having to deal with the nastiness that seems to come out when people damage your property but don't want to pay for it. I am willing to give it a try and my guests have been very receptive so far.
I would never stay in a place that does not have the unit professionally cleaned after each renter checks out for two reasons. One, no one ever cleans to anyone else's standards and the chances are too good that they (guests) are not going to scrub toilets and tubs, and sweep under the furniture, and wash the linens properly, and stack firewood, and hose off the deck, and wipe ALL of the surfaces, put away the clean dishes, replace toilet paper and tissues, shake out the throw rugs, etc, etc. Two, It takes four hours to clean our cabin properly for the next guests, and I doubt anyone will spend their last morning doing all of the above and more and still be out by noon. I know I wouldn't. I go someplace to relax. Charge me a fee or hide it in the rent, I don't care, but I am not interested in cleaning before I leave. I am happy to leave the place neat and tidy.
We clean thoroughly between guests.... neat and tidy is the basic expectation of the guests. If they want to walk away without the neat and tidy component... then the charge would kick in... I agree that I want a place that has a cleaning person's attention to all the special details. But I do expect guests to treat our cottage with respect. Most want to return and they want us to invite them back. [We have had to uninvite some guests in the past.] I am likely one of the most picky cottage owners that you will meet. I want every detail perfect for new guests... We have found that if we do not expect "neat and tidy" or "basic cleaning" or whatever you call it... then we do not get a place that we want to walk in the door after renters depart... that's what I am saying.... same as you I think.
Absolutely. I think "neat and tidy" is the least the guests can do. I actually had to email the guests that just checked out last Sunday to tell them how horrified our housekeeper was when she walked into the cabin, and that they were the very first guests I have ever had to inform were not welcome back. And it was three generations of parents, kids, and grandparents. They totally tore the place up. They even left pillows leaning against an oil heater that was on! It was disgusting. Can you imagine asking them to clean before departing? lol
We have only been renting our cabin since last fall. It is going very well. But, just today I had a future renter complain about the price of cleaning. Before I even read this post, I emailed her and suggested she try a different VRBO or some other type of arrangement. So, when I read about the "price complainers" on your post I felt quite reassured I had made the right decision. Thank you so much for taking the time to post!
We do not charge a cleaning fee, however it seems there could be a tax advantage in breaking out this charge. I clean the units myself, however this cost is "built in" to the rental, so I end up paying a city/state tax on top of this fee. I am looking into creating my own cleaning company that will not be subject to the lodging tax in our area.
Treat House Vacation Rental
You'd need to check the specifics for your location, but where I am I have
to collect and pay taxes on cleaning of my cabin.
On Feb 15, 2011 4:07 PM, "vacation_rental_seattle" <email@example.com
I am afraid I am not a property owner; just someone seeking a much needed and well deserved "mini-vacation" to the sublime, beautiful beaches of Florida. I am from Louisiana and have vacationed to Destin and Sandestin every year for as long as I can remember! I have a desire to go beyond what is familiar, broaden my horizons and have found the beaches and accomodations of Panama City Beach to be ideal! This will be my first time renting a privately owned property and, to be honest I have what I feel like may be a couple of silly questions. First, how do I know that the property owner, the pricing, the description of the property, is legitimate and trustworthy? The condo I am inquiring about seems too good to be true! Also, would it be offensive if I suggested to the owner/manager that I OWN my own professional cleaning service, licensed in the state of L.A., and that I would be more than happy to thourougly clean the property myself? Before I make that move and risk insulting my host, Id like your opinions, please. Thank you all very much in advance. Stacy Marie
You should be able to ask the property anything. Remember you are the customer Check his or hers feedback on the property and ask for up dated photo’s
As for the cleaning I would also ask that you clean it as this is what you do.
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After reading your question several times, here's my take on it. I understand
the desire to save money and offer to clean the place yourself. Certainly, you
can ask any questions you like of the owner. Pricing is what it is, if you
don't like the price, I suggest, especially in a place that has many places to
choose from, pick a price that you like and go for it. I just turned down a
future client because she wanted to book 12 people in our cabin and then heckled
me on a $75 cleaning fee???? Really. And they only wanted to book 1 night. So,
ask away, just realize what goes around comes around. Be generous to others,
and they will be generous to you. Question. Do you like to lower your cleaning
Hope that helps!
Thank you for taking the time to respond, and you have settled it for me, no question. You are right in everything you said! I should have known, since I was hesitant to ask in the first place. I believe that it probably has something to do with pride; I am very good at what I do and am very proud to be a 100% chemical free cleaning service, using only powerful essential oils and a touch of aromatherapy to boot! It truly does not have much to do with the savings. Afterall, the listing, as is, is too good to be true, didnt I mention that! It was a momentary lapse in reason. I am very glad I asked. Thanks again! And thank you also to you, Mr. KarlK. I appreciate the time and thought you have given to my "silly" questions.
Warm Regards, StacyMarie
Ahh, no question is silly if asked with respect! As you did. One othe thing I
wanted to mention though, you said the place sounded to good to be true. Well,
one experience that we had sounded too good to be true but we went with it
anyway because we were in dire straights for a place to stay. We were in
Destin, FL due to a family issue with our military family member. We booked a
condo, on the beach, for an incredibly inexpensive price! We stayed 7 days.
The owner was wonderful, understood our situation and the trip was the best
ever. All except the part why we were there in the first place! hahah - That
is a story for another forum I believe!
Best of luck to you!