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...or is the airbnb host?

(121 Posts)
raisinbranwhole Sun 20-Apr-14 20:38:25

We've just got back from a two week break when we stayed in an airbnb flat. No real issues whilst we were there.

The host has sent through a payment demand for £250 (and given us a terrible review) stating that we left the flat 'filthy' and that the money is for extra cleaning (she's also claiming we stole towels and glasses which makes me furious).

We are a family of four (two under 4) and were there for two weeks so there was the usual dirt from that (toothpaste marks, crumbs in the fridge etc) but the flat was in no way 'filthy'. She claims that she does not expect to do anything more than a 'dust and a quick vacuum' when she gets the flat back. She does not pay a professional cleaning service (like all the other apartments we've used) but does it herself. She waited four days to return to the flat after we left.

We did a few quick cleans/wipe-ups whilst we were there but no deep cleaning: we wouldn't do this in a hotel and assumed that professional cleaners would be coming in before the next guests (and that we'd paid for this).

We're not sure how to respond to her demands: AIBU is refusing to pay for this? Is there any precedent/information on what airbnb expect? I can't find anything on their website - it's all related to hosts.


NotQuiteCockney Sun 20-Apr-14 20:41:36

This sounds a bit unreasonable. I normally expect to clean up after myself moderately (as in, do my own dishes) but not much more than that.

Has she sent the payment demand through airbnb? I would talk to them about it.

Blondie1984 Sun 20-Apr-14 20:43:10

Hmm this is a tricky one. The thing is, that airbnb isn't like hiring a holiday villa - and definitely not like a hotel - where a cleaner goes in after you (not as far as I'm aware anyway) so there is a greater expectation that you leave the place in a better state of cleanliness - which it doesn't sound like you have done - was there any literature in the apartment - or shared with you beforehand that set out expectations

With regards to the stolen items....did you break anything? Or could the little ones have packed something by mistake?

Winnie101 Sun 20-Apr-14 20:46:06

£250 sounds ridiculous to me, if she'd asked £50 it might be different. The owner expecting not to have to pay for a professional cleaner after having a family of four in her apartment for two weeks also sounds ridiculous. Presumably she can't make you pay the bill?

raisinbranwhole Sun 20-Apr-14 20:48:07

All her notes said was that we needed to strips the beds and take out the rubbish/recycling, both of which we did.

We didn't break anything: they were glass tumblers so we would have heard/seen it (although I guess the children could have hidden them in a random drawer somewhere...). And they were big towels which I'm sure I put into the laundry basket just before we left together with the bedsheets: in any event there's no way we would have packed them without realising it.

All previous airbnb places we've stayed in have had a professional cleaning service come in the same day and factored this into the cost of the stay.

PrimalLass Sun 20-Apr-14 20:49:47

I would tell her to do one. Part of having a holiday let is cleaning up after your guests.

raisinbranwhole Sun 20-Apr-14 20:51:59

Winnie - she has a £500 security deposit from us but to use it she has to take her case to the airbnb people and get them to resolve it. They hear both sides of the argument etc. All I can find though is that the deposit is for broken/missing items, not cleaning. The site seems to tell hosts to factor cleaning into their upfront charges.

My other concern is that the hosts for our trips later this year will see her review and cancel our reservations.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Sun 20-Apr-14 20:52:14

I'm shocked you didn't clean up after yourselves. I wouldn't expect a deep clean but toothpaste marks and crumbs? Dh and I spend the last evening in a rented holiday flat making sure it's left exactly as we found it as far as we can manage - right down to cleaning the bathroom, hoovering and stripping the beds. I would never treat it like a hotel (and even in a hotel I make sure all our rubbish is in the bin etc).

Andrewofgg Sun 20-Apr-14 20:53:11

Ignore it. There will be no come-back. It's a try-on.

Andrewofgg Sun 20-Apr-14 20:55:19

Sorry, disregard; with the deposit there you can't ignore it. Write back telling her politely why she is wrong. Offer her £100.

Blondie1984 Sun 20-Apr-14 20:58:18

So, I just had a quick look on the site and it has this advice to hosts


Showcase your space at its best. Charge a cleaning fee or hire a professional cleaning service to help keep your space spotless.
�Give your guests the ability to tidy up after themselves. Leave cleaning supplies in your listing so they can combat little spills and accidental messes.
�Squeaky-clean spaces take time. Give yourself enough time to make sure your listing looks its best before your next guest arrives.

So, based on that, I would probably offer a gesture of goodwill of �50-�100 but definitely not the whole amount

Winnie101 Sun 20-Apr-14 21:00:12

I honestly wouldn't worry about other people cancelling on you. If it was me, I wouldn't agree to pay anything, I would just dispute it and let the airbnb people get involved if she won't drop it.

JuniperHeartwand Sun 20-Apr-14 21:03:01

If she left it four days, can you politely ask for photos of the mess and evidence that no one else stayed at the property after you? Maybe her children with a key?!
Reminds me of a dodgy letting agent we had who clearly let people stay after we moved out, landlord furious with us even though we thoroughly cleaned the place!

raisinbranwhole Sun 20-Apr-14 21:04:05

Pourquoi - wow! I always put rubbish in the bin etc, but I'd never expect to actually scrub or properly clean. I figure that's included in the cost of staying there. And I also wouldn't expect paying guests to do that for me. Maybe you should stay with this host next time ;)

I feel that offering her money is giving in to her, but it feels like the whole thing is based on shaky ground: there's nothing clear about it. Giving us 'the ability' to clean up after ourselves isn't the same as obliging us to or charging us when we don't (within reason obviously).

I am however tempted to give her £50 just to stop her emails and her claims of us stealing from her...

ExitPursuedByABear Sun 20-Apr-14 21:04:06

Toothpaste marks! Just why?

redexpat Sun 20-Apr-14 21:05:04

Has she overlooked the towels because they are under the bedsheets in the laundry basket? Are the glasses back in the same cupboard?

<grasps at straws>

And porquoi having temped as a chamber maid you are a tiny tiny minority of guests.

I'd refer it back to airbnb.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sun 20-Apr-14 21:09:00

Either you thoroughly clean it so it's suitable for the next guests (not your job) or don't bother IMO. So what if they left toothpaste marks? The sink needed a thorough clean anyway so wiping of toothpaste marks is neither here not there.
IMO hosts clean themselves or pay someone and factor it into the cost. Everyone I know who rents out spaces does that. The guest does not have to prepare it for the next guest, it's not a residential letting.

ExitPursuedByABear Sun 20-Apr-14 21:14:20

Do you leave toothpaste marks on your own sink?

For how long?

raisinbranwhole Sun 20-Apr-14 21:15:05

I need to ask her about the laundry basket. The glasses may be somewhere else: I hope so. It's basically her word against ours in relation to those items, but for us to have fitted the towels into our suitcases we'd have needed to leave a lot of clothes behind!!

I'm glad that I'm not being ridiculous about this. I hate confrontation so it's really upsetting getting these emails: I feel like she's telling me that I'm disgusting (and I'm not - I'm actually really house proud!).

ExitPursuedByABear Sun 20-Apr-14 21:15:41

I am the skankiest person I know but even I do a quick swill.

DaffodilsandTruffles Sun 20-Apr-14 21:16:35

pourquoi I'm with you. I do my best to leave a place more or less as I found it. I wouldn't necessarily Hoover (unless visible mud etc on floor) but I wipe down kitchen surfaces and bathrooms, put living areas back how we found it etc.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Sun 20-Apr-14 21:18:32

I just wish I could be as bothered about cleaning up in my own house!

I rent apartments for holidays as a cheaper and more convenient alternative to hotels, so I never even thought that they would have professional cleaners etc (the last one we stayed in most definitely did NOT... ds lost a toy car under the sofa and we neeeded rubber gloves on to retrieve it, it was that bad under there).

And I also have my mum's voice in the back of my mind saying "Don't you make a show of me!!!!"

raisinbranwhole Sun 20-Apr-14 21:21:31

So interesting how people all think differently!

To those of you who would clean up properly after yourselves - if you were the host would you charge extra if someone didn't do that? Or would you just put it down to a bad experience and make your expectations clear for the next guests?

DocDaneeka Sun 20-Apr-14 21:23:46

redex I've done the chambermaid thing too. Most people are fucking shockingly messy. The more expensive the hotel the messier they are usually...

ParkingFred Sun 20-Apr-14 21:25:44

It's a difficult one. It's not like staying in a hotel, imo.

We often rent privately owned houses in the US and have to pay about $150 on top of the rental fee for cleaning.

But we always leave the houses pretty much spotless; we clean all the bathrooms, vacuum everywhere, clean out the fridge and strip all the beds. I just feel the houses are always so perfect that I can't bear to leave them looking lived in.

£250 sounds a lot though.

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