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I include my cleaning fee in my rental fees, but I make it clear that my rental rate includes all charges except tax. I have found that most of the time if a rental rate is cheaper than mine, but the home comparable, the cleaning fee is not included.
I have a large home, over 8000 sq. ft., and my cleaning and laundry costs are $600 per week, so the cost is something I cannot absorb.
Included in my check out procedures list I ask my guests to remove all food and beverage items, either take with them or take out to the garbage, and to place all dirty dishes in the dishwasher and start before leaving. I also ask them to place all used towels in the tub/shower.
I don't feel that is too much to ask of guests. I don't ask them to clean anything actually, just to take with them what they brought in.
We are a cleaning business NE of Yellowstone, and clean many vacation rentals.. Not only have we cleaned them, we've also stayed in many of them prior to relocating to the area.
After having experiences with both private owners and management companies, I can say
that you get what you pay for. The cleaning fee is worth it to charge to renters, ones that don't charge a fee- the homes tend to not be as clean as the ones that do- because the cleaning charge comes out of the profit for the rental.
Especially in the larger homes. So unless the owner is cleaning it themselves, they are hiring someone per hour to do the cleaning and don't want to spend a lot of their profit on cleaning.
Cleaner homes = happy guests = return business & referrals = more $$.
The more you ask a renter to do as far as "cleaning" goes upon exit- the less jazzed they will be about paying a cleaning fee. If a cleaning fee is charged, the guests should pretty much be able to just "walk away" from the rental without having to do towels, dishes, etc.
Just my experience.
For our 1000 sf condo in North Central Washington we charge the guest $75, which is what our cleaning company charges us. The guests are required to place the soiled towels in the shower/bathtub, start the dishwasher, remove all their foodstuffs from the condo, take the garbage out and strip the slept in beds of the sheets and place the sheets on top of each bed. For the past 3 years have never had a guest balk at the cleaning fee or their duties.
If other properties in your area charge a cleaning fee then it would be logical that you charge one too.
We own/manage several properties in Cozumel Mexico and none of the properties charge an extra cleaning fee. Now an energy useage fee is another story.
We used to charge a $125 cleaning fee to all guests. Then when the economy tanked about 3 years ago the few rental requests we'd get would almost always include some kind of negaotiaion on cleaning. "Can we waive the fee if they clean themselves?" "We are only two people and won't even be using the other bedrooms." etc etc etc.
Its not that I don't try to be a fair renter, but the back and forth regarding the cleaning fee started to irk me a little bit. Renting in Hawaii, most of our rental requests are for a least 7 days, since transportation costs and travel time really make it prohibitive to stay for a much shorter period.
Looking at similar properties in the area I noticed that we were already on the low side of cleaning costs. I also noticed there were people who required a "cleaning deposit" of $350 and returned that portion that wasn't used. This seemed absurd to me since we already have a security deposit.
I decided to turn the cleaning fee into a competitive advantage. Our ratee were already on the middle-to-low side of the spectrum for homes in this area and we quote a daily, weekly, and bi-weekly rate on the site. I simply bumped up the advertised daily rate by $20/nt (more than the cleaning breaks down to), then the weekly and bi-weekly rates by the cost of the cleaning (making them apparently better deals), and explicitly advertised that we DO NOT CHARGE A CLEANING FEE.
People don't want to be nickeled and dimed when they're on vacation, especially renters who are trying to avoid pricy resort costs for just this reason. Make a sandwich here, cook a few dinners on the BBQ, and Hawaii seems affordable.
After I merged the cleaning fee into the price I instantly saw an increase in rentals, and the only time I ever needed to address it was when people asked, "is there a cleaning fee?", i could simply reply - "All of our cleaning is included. Save the money for groceries and enjoy your stay!"
From time to time I try to accommodate shorter rentals for people. Generally we stick to a 4 day minimum. For small parties 2 BR's or less I still don't ask for additional cleaning - since our cleaning service is pretty fair and less laundry, fewer days, usually means a lower bill - beside - the rest of renters over-pay us for cleaning anyway.
Please don't mistake this for dishonesty. We always treat our guests fairly and truly do appreciate their business and love to provide hospitality. I just wanted to share how we've taken what is often a sticking point, and turned it into a marketing strategy.
Now if we could just sign up for that rental insurance program and stop mailing deposits back and forth I'd barely have to lift a finger.
I do not hide my cleaning fee - I am very up front that it is being charged. In my initial response to an inquiry, I say the rental fee is $x, plus the security deposit is $x, plus the cleaning fee is $x plus the state occupancy tax is $x for a total of $x. Most people will then use the total to compare to other properties but they know "what is what" in my response. The reason I posted the original question was because someone said "that's a lot of pluses" so I then became curious as to whether others seperate the fee or just give a "lump sum" It has been interesting to see how different people do it. I do realize that different areas of the country handle things differently and also know that what each owner does needs to be comparable to what other owners are doing in their area.
I own a very popular cabin near Asheville, NC. I do charge a cleaning fee for my home which is 800 sq. ft. upstairs and 800 sf of additional space downstairs which does contain an extra bathroom but not living space. I hire the cleaning and pay $60. Until recently I charged $55 and ate the other $5. Now I charge $60. I have been extremely fortunate to almost always having guests who treat my home with care and respect. Some guests apparently feel it is their right to leave it in an untidy manner and this is not a concern. However on occassion I have had renters who left it in a disaster and I have paid my cleaner as much as $100 to clean in these instances. I feel it is straight forward to charge a fee rather than build the cost into the rent. The same amount of cleaning has to be done whether a stay lasts 1 night or 2 weeks. I have had very few people talk about the cleaning fee (I wouldn't call it complaining) and I suppose many people just don't book because they don't like the fee. The overhead in a lovely vacation home is too much to just eat the cleaning costs. I feel it is very fair.
i have a vacation house,65 qm on Rhodes island - Greece and i charge 35 Euro final cleaning fee,as this is the amount i have to pay for the cleaning lady.
greetings to all from Rhodes
As a renter, I resent extra fees - in addition to feeling "nickel-and-dime'd", I can't help but worry that there might be other hidden fees to come. I never rent a property that itemizes charges, be they for cleaning, greeting by staff, utilities, etc. Just doesn't sit well with me.
As a property owner, renting a 1,000 sq ft apartment in Paris, I build my cleaning fee of
100 euros into the price. In addition, all other fees are included. Makes guests happy and keeps my bookkeeping simple.
I do ask (and expect) my guests to leave the apartment tidied up, and have had only one unpleasant experience - rather than washing dishes, the guests simply put all of them back in the cabinets!!! Out of sight, out of mind, I guess...
We do have trough cleaning do after each tenant. We do not supply linens or towels. We however do not discount our rate it is a short season and an area in high demand. Our rentals are usually closed 6 months before the season. I agree that the better kept the product is the more your client will respect it.