4 Replies Latest reply: May 7, 2018 12:53 PM by green_mango RSS

    How do you handle excess cleaning costs?

    hawaiiparadise Contributor

      We had a recent guest who left their rental a filthy mess.  It took our cleaning crew almost double the usual time and we had to bring in a third party contractor to address some areas.  The property appears to have returned to normal condition with no lasting affects, though we're not fully sure of that yet.   At this point we are out of pocket $250.  We are debating whether to apply this against the guest's security deposit or just move on.


      Would you kindly share your policies/practices this this kind of situation?


      As additional context, this guest reported "existing" damage to the lanai slider the morning after arrival.  Despite knowing the slider was fine before their arrival, we did not charge back the repair so their holiday wouldn't start off on the wrong foot.  A week later the guest confessed they didn't know how to operate the door (hadn't read the instructions provided in their arrival notes or in the info book) and so had left it unlocked the entire time.  A brief training over the phone solved that issue, but we felt a bit unnerved - this is a very nicely furnished ground floor unit.      

        • Re: How do you handle excess cleaning costs?
          sward6880 Contributor

          Apply the security deposit  - if you are not going to do so when situations arise then there is no point in charging a security deposit! 

          • Re: How do you handle excess cleaning costs?
            psphoto Active Contributor

            Our agreement states we charge additional for extra cleaning if needed due to what we consider to be anything beyond normal cleaning to re-rent the house.

            We use the damage deposit for that...never had a problem although we've sometimes gotten some pushback until we send photos that our cleaning person sends us. Document exactly WHAT the additional time is needed for. That's what the deposit is there for.....IMHO!

            • Re: How do you handle excess cleaning costs?
              sage Senior Contributor

              I take into consideration additional factors including how much was paid for the entire stay, how much trouble the guests were, and whether I would rent to them again. And one must keep in mind that to distinguish the difference between a normal cleaning and excessive, one may need to have experience, probably at least 10 guests who have come and gone, to say what is normal.


              If the guests paid several thousand dollars I am far more likely to absorb the cost of extra cleaning than if it was under $1K.


              The issue of the lanai door is not something I would hold against the guests. Even if there are instructions provided, one needs to assume that the guests will not read the instructions and guestbook, and basic functions such as door locks need to be idiot proof. If this door requires special instructions, I would post the instructions at the door where they cannot be missed. I know that signs can be tacky and would attempt to modify the door so operation of the lock mechanism will be obvious to someone who has never seen a sliding door before.


              Probably 10% of my guests require extra cleanup time afterwards. I have always absorbed the expense. But never has the extra charge been $50, let alone $250. It sounds as if you can easily document that the cleaning time and expense were far greater than normal. You may be disinclined to rent again to someone who left your property a filthy mess. I would lean strongly toward withholding the funds from the security deposit.

              • Re: How do you handle excess cleaning costs?
                green_mango Active Contributor

                Use the security deposit - our contract says the cleaning fee of $150 includes 4 hours of cleaning and laundering of sheets, towels, and duvet covers - excess cleaning is $25/hour.  That way it's very clear what the fee covers and what the cost is for going over.