✍ An update on the Cleaning fee Conundrum ✍

Beginning my home vacation rental journey in January 2014, there was no cleaning fee. Check it out: https://pineviewretreat.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/no-cleaning-fee-so-far-it-hasnt-hurt-me/

Nearing our year-and-half anniversary, I’ve changed my mind. Now there is a $50 charge — but — for 5 or more guests. “Why?” are you wondering?

Larger groups cooking and prepping a meal in our smaller, very organized kitchen can be a wee bit chaotic. It’s the only room in the house that needs half of the cleaning hours I spend to prep for guest arrival.

It’s tempting to list the typical ‘oops’ clean-up chores after a larger group has checked out. Will pass on the opportunity though, so I don’t sound like a complainer or a whiner. We’ve had family events in the house and cleaning after a larger group of guests is about the same. The only difference is that it adds another 2 hours to prep the kitchen for the next arrival. Let’s end that discussion with my saying, the $50 cleaning fee for 5+ guests is a necessary evil.

Time for my confession: Back in the day, before I knew what it was really like to run a vacation rental, I passed over vacation rentals I was considering if there was a cleaning fee. Now that is not always the case.

It’s easy to think the rental rate a host charges implies they’re making ‘money’. Consider a mortgage payment, taxes and utilities, guest and maintenance supplies, eventually replacing something worn or updating. Some hosts pay a cleaning service and the cleaning fee covers some or all of their cost. Some hosts include the cleaning cost as part of the rental rate, which might have me pass over a potential rental if the rate is higher than what I had in mind.

Now I appreciate that many vacation hosts, like me, are accruing home equity rather than gleaning a nice profit.

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