Vrbo Cleaning Fee: A Quick Guide for Hosts

December 7, 2022

Running a Vrbo rental can be an excellent way to earn extra money on the side — with enough business, you could even turn it into a day job. But what goes into this process? In addition to setting up your Vrbo listing and staying on top of marketing your rental, keeping it clean is essential. Let’s go over how to set your cleaning fee as a Vrbo host, what goes into creating a Vrbo cleaning policy, and what you need to know about the Vrbo cleaning process.

What Exactly Is the Vrbo Cleaning Fee?

A Vrbo cleaning services fee is the additional fee guests pay to cover the cleaning costs of their stays. After each guest stays at a Vrbo rental, hosts must thoroughly clean their properties so that they're ready for the next guest to arrive, just as if it were a hotel room. Vrbo hosts may decide to clean and maintain their properties themselves, or they might hire outside cleaning services. With either option, hosts then calculate the costs of cleaning and add it as an additional fee on their Vrbo listing. This way, hosts don’t lose money by paying for the high costs of cleaning themselves.

Cleaning fees can differ drastically between each Vrbo, as cleaning service costs, square footage, and locations will vary. Cleaning fees may cost anywhere from $40 to $150 for the total stay, often depending on how large the rental property is. This fee is factored into guests’ costs when booking their stays through Vrbo.

Is It Worth Adding A Fee For Cleaning Your Rental Property?

Adding a cleaning fee helps hosts by covering the costs of cleaning, but it can also deter potential guests from booking stays. In addition to the extra cleaning fee, other costs like the booking fee, service fees, additional guest fees, and damage waiver add up when a customer goes to checkout. This can deter them from booking altogether, leading them to search for a cheaper rental with fewer fees. At the same time, properties with positive reviews in terms of cleanliness can greatly increase your chances of booking.

Thus, whether you should include a cleaning fee depends on:

  • How much your cleaning costs are
  • What your local competitors are charging
  • Whether you want to attract more short-term or long-term guests
  • Who your audience (and their budget) is

If your competitors are charging cleaning fees, and you prefer guests with longer stays, then it should be worth it to add an extra charge. Additionally, if your Vrbo is marketed as high-end, then your customers likely won’t mind paying an additional fee. Cleaning can get expensive, especially when hiring outside services to get the job done. Thus, it is common practice for Vrbo hosts to include cleaning fees, and it shouldn’t hurt so long as it’s not an outrageous price.

Pricing Your Vrbo Cleaning Service Fee

While you may know that you want to cover the costs of cleaning by adding a cleaning fee, deciding how much to charge can be tricky. Let’s go over how you can determine the pricing for your Vrbo rental cleaning fee.

Factor In Cleaning Supply Costs

The most basic step in determining your cleaning fee is to factor in the cost of cleaning supplies. This includes equipment, cleaning solutions, trash services, laundry, and anything else the property owners use to clean the vacation rental. If you decide to do the basic cleaning of your Vrbo rental yourself, then the cost of supplies is all that needs to be factored into the cleaning fee.

Compare Cleaning Service Rates

If you're using a professional cleaning service to clean your vacation rental after each use, then this cost should also be added to the cleaning fee. Make sure to compare rates between cleaning services to decide the best one for you. This also gives you an idea of how much you will spend on the cleaning fee, as we often set up Vrbo listings before purchasing an outside cleaning service. Additionally, make sure to compare cleaning service rates between local competitors on Vrbo. This way, you can ensure your rate falls within the right range for guests looking to book stays in your area.

How To Create a Vrbo Cleaning Policy

As a host, you should create a Vrbo cleaning policy for both guests and cleaners to follow. First and foremost, your cleaning policy should follow Vrbo’s suggested cleaning measures.

Some guidelines to consider following and including in your own cleaning policy are:

  • Clean thoroughly with cleaning supplies, leaving no dirt, food, stains, or smudges
  • Clean with disinfectant, particularly for high-touch surfaces
  • Set a number of days between each stay
  • Have contact-free check-in and checkout
  • Launder bedding and towels at 140ºF
  • Remove all trash and replace trash bags
  • Tidy the cleaned room (i.e. make the bed, arrange provided toiletries, fold towels)

Make sure to list the required steps for outside cleaners tailored to your individual property. In addition, you can provide your cleaning policy on your Vrbo listing to demonstrate the level of cleanliness your guests can expect.

In addition to the vacation rental owner’s responsibilities, make sure to include the guest’s responsibilities in your cleaning policy. For example, perhaps they're required to remove bedding, wash dishes, and remove trash upon checkout. Whatever works best for your space, detail the steps guests should take to be respectful to your rental.

Understanding the Vrbo Cleaning Fee Refund

The Vrbo cleaning fee might be refunded under certain circumstances, so make sure to keep this in mind when managing your Vrbo. Typically, there's a window of time when guests can cancel their stays and receive a full refund. In this instance, that refund would include the cleaning fee and any other additional fee they paid when booking their stay. However, if a guest cancels too close to the start of their stay, or during their stay, they will likely not receive a refund of the cleaning fee.

Hosts are able to establish their own cancellation policies, but they typically adopt one of the following options:

  • No refund policy — The booking is fully non-refundable.
  • 60-day refund policy — Guests can receive a refund up to 60 days before their stays.
  • 60/30-day refund policy — Guests can receive a 100% refund 60 days before their stays, and a 50% refund 30 days before their stays, but no refund after 30 days before check-in.
  • 30/14-day refund policy — Guests can receive a 100% refund 30 days before their stays, and a 50% refund 14 days before their stays, but no refund after 14 days before check-in.

Optimize Your Vrbo Cleaning Fee and Scale Rental Maintenance With Software

While managing your Vrbo rental can get complicated fast, there is an easier way. Partnering with a property management software provider like Tidy helps to optimize your entire Vrbo maintenance process. This includes managing your cleaning services and costs from one, integrated platform. With Tidy, maintaining your Vrbo property is earlier than ever. Get started with Tidy today to start streamlining your Vrbo management process.

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