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Airbnb guests grow tired of 'chore lists' tied to bookings

Airbnb travelers have begun criticizing the compliancy list of chores attached to bookings they claim to be covered by cleaning fees.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Renting an Airbnb used to be a more affordable and many times roomier alternative to a hotel room. But now renters saying that burdens like extensive lists of chores and also cleaning fees are making the service much less enticing.

And Dave and Rachelle, to go through some of these things, this is, I was just looking at a Wall Street Journal article on this. They use an example of a listing in Sedona, Arizona. $299 per night for the Airbnb. The cleaning fee, $375. And the person still needed to do the laundry, to wash the dishes, to empty the trash.

I get taking out the trash. That makes a lot of sense. If you miss trash day, certainly that could pile up very quickly. But the laundry, that's something that seems like the owner should be able to do or hire a service to come in. That's what you're paying for. That's the cleaning fee.

- What's the transparency like, is my question. Now first off, Airbnb says 45% of their listings do not charge a cleaning fee. And those that do, the average is less than 10% of the total reservation cost. So that sounded like more the exception than the norm. But provided you are transparent-- and granted, I'm not doing any of that if I'm paying a cleaning fee-- as long as you check out that listing and it shows you exactly what you'll have to do, then ultimately buyer beware.


RACHELLE AKUFFO: I do think it's fair. Because obviously, if you're going in with this informed consent, you know what the price is going to be, you know what you're going to have to do. It does make me shake a little bit to know that the price of the cleaning fee is more than how much you actually pay to stay there. Then why would I bother? I could stay at a hotel and have someone else do all the cleaning. Why on earth would I put myself out there? It's not a holiday if I'm scrambling to do chores or the last day, and someone else's laundry.

The trash, I don't mind. Obviously, you don't want to leave it in a disgusting state. But things like mowing the lawn-- granted, this is the exception and not the rule-- I think you're just, you're really pushing people towards doing something else or going to a hotel. I'm not down for this at all.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, I think the transparency is the key question here. Because yes, you know the cleaning fee. But I don't know when you're going to find out the chores that you have to do. Because a lot of times when you go to an Airbnb, when you rent out a house, it comes with a list of things that you should be doing, what you should not be doing. So if these chores are catching you by surprise, then I think these renters do have a little bit of a stronger argument.

- Thankfully, in the end, you all have the power of reviews. And reviews on Airbnb and Vrbo are very powerful. That's what drives listing, largely. So if you have one of these awful experiences, you fill out a review, their rating is hurt, theoretically they will make that change or they won't have any tenants. I think. We hope, Rachelle.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: One person who said they stayed at like 100-- one person who said they stayed at about 100 Airbnbs said they had to do the cleaning but the person left no supplies. So that's not fun.