John Meussner, #MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852 (Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI)

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Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

As a vacation home owner I can say this owner in your scenario is completely out of line. The guest did all they could do and were allowed to do. The issue (at best) is with the cleaning crew, not the guest. And if that owner is the cleaning crew- then suck it up buttercup.

We have a professional crew that arrives between 10:00AM check-out and 4:00PM check-in to clean the house. Rarely could I even tell you what our home looks like post-guest, because it's clean before we see it - if we even bother visit it. Usually there's no reason to.

The owner needs to provide expectations and the tools to meet those expectations or get out of the hotel/inn business...because essentially that's what we are. Also, this is why we do not allow pets, only service dogs.

Feb 05, 2024 05:43 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

The owner said, "Pet Friendly".   How can they now complain about "dog smell"?  What did they expect?

As for the baked-on food in the pan, that should come under normal wear and tear. 

IMHO they have no right to charge (what appears to be) an excessive cleaning fee.

Feb 05, 2024 06:15 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
An offer you can't refuse!

I am right there with you... it would seem that $300 should oughta cover both the smell of wet doggie, as well as a baked-on pan.

But those short-term rental companies have very specific terms in their cleaning terms, that are spelled out.  Personally, I would protest in no uncertain terms.  Those places live and die based on their "reviews", and if you make enough noise... well, a bad review can really damage their future sales.

Feb 05, 2024 05:38 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

For Pete's sakes. I know a gal that cleans short term rentals and she sure doesn't charge anywhere near that amount.  The owners are barking up the wrong tree on this one.

Feb 05, 2024 04:09 PM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I agree, $300+ for a cleaning fee should cover that kind of stuff.

Feb 06, 2024 03:49 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

$300 is a bit steep but what they agreed to pay. That should cover it with enough excess to buy the cleaners a big breakfast and the owner should send a thank you note.

Feb 06, 2024 03:40 AM
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

I am with you $300 should cover it. However, depends on who is cleaning it if it is a professional cleaning service it can be even higher. Where we live, some cleaners charge up to $400 for a move out clean. Crazy I know. Your friend should ask to see the receipt and give them a rating that reflects how pleased they were with the place. 

Feb 05, 2024 05:48 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I have heard that those huge cleaning fees have become standard practice and a part of the income stream for the owner.

This one may have been upset to have to actually clean something for this fee.

Feb 06, 2024 01:43 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services


It depends on what the contract said and what they agreed to.  Professional cleaning companies are not cheap. Those I hire to clean my listings are licensed, bonded, and insured. That costs more than paying someone who is not a professional cash to clean a home. 

The size of the property is also a consideration. 

Feb 06, 2024 07:05 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

We stayed at a cabin up in Show Low that was pet friendly but the owner had specific policy that you signed to before you booked the cabin. You wrote a check for a $300 pet deposit. She said there were two couches and a recliner in the unit--one of the couches was leather the other two were fabric. Throw sheets over the fabric furniture and vacuum when you leave and I'll give you back your check. We did and she did with a lovely note of appreciation. I don't remember a cleaning FEE aside from that. As far as the cleaning, that's BS if you're paying a cleaning FEE, if the cleaning expense doesn't exceed it well that's what the cleaning FEE is for! Sounds like a lot wasn't disclosed up front before your friends took the unit, I'm sure if they had known they wouldn't have. Also with these VRBO etc they have ratings, did nobody else complain about this owner? I think it's excessive, yes!

Feb 06, 2024 06:31 AM
Dario Ferreira
Attleboro, MA
Internet Marketing & SEO

If you allow dogs, expect dog smells - no issue there.

No excuses for leaving dirty pans, they are not difficult to clean, baked on food, or not.

I think leaving the dirty pans precipitated the whole situation.

Feb 06, 2024 09:54 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

As an owner and operator of six high-end luxury STRs, this owner is out of line.  I would be tickled pink to only have two pots left in the sink that had to be hand washed.  If only this owner knew the absolute disasters I've had.

Feb 06, 2024 09:11 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

You are wrong.  I leave it as clean as I find it except linens and towels.

Feb 06, 2024 07:00 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

I would think that $50.00 would have covered it John Meussner so no sympathy to the AirBNB owner from me. 

Feb 06, 2024 06:38 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

I've heard that $300 is around the average cleaning fee based on others complaining. 

Feb 06, 2024 06:02 AM
Katina Hargrove 352-551-0308
Stake Your Land Realty, Inc. - Eustis, FL
Broker/Owner, SFR®, e-PRO®, GRI, AHWD, REALTOR®

John Meussner 

I do not handle rentals of any kind, but, yes the $300 should cover the cleaning fee. Specially if it was a pet friendly AirBNB!

Feb 06, 2024 08:09 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

YES, the cleaning fee covers it and personal comments from the owners or landlords are their own! Regarding pets? There will always be animals and all that comes from that. Hosing ANY animal indoors is not normal and to expect otherwise invites a type of insanity i.e. doing something & expecting a different result. 

Feb 06, 2024 06:40 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
NC Real Estate Transition & Relocation 919-602-848

Were there restrictions as to where the dog could be in the property? Was it ok for them to be on the furniture, etc.? From what I hear, $300 doesn't cover a complete cleaning which includes washing all covers, blankets, etc. 

I would challenge it if they followed all the rules. The owner is risking a bad review so its surprising they would do that.

Feb 06, 2024 11:07 AM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

I would tell them to read the contract and determine if they have any further liability.  It would also be advisable to have they get an Attorney on Speed Dial just in case it gets crazy.

Feb 11, 2024 09:48 AM