An Airbnb host photographed the checkout chore list at an Ohio VRBO she stayed in this month. It included a request to wash, dry and put away sheets and towels before leaving in the morning. The woman, who rents out her own home, said such listings could entice customers to stay at hotels. Something is loading.
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Annie is a new Airbnb host in Fairport, a village 9 miles east of Rochester, New York. During a recent stay-at-home she booked through vacation rental site VRBO in Cleveland, Ohio, she encountered a checklist of things to do before departure. She photographed the sign and shared it with other short-term rental hosts on Facebook, where her post received hundreds of comments.
Earlier this month, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky pledged to be transparent about the tasks required before guests book — and to remove listings that get low reviews for to-do lists. Yet Annie, who asked to be identified by her first name only for work reasons, reflected on her concerns that to-do lists like this could give any short-term rental hosts a bad name. .
My Airbnb rental is our primary residence as we live in our lake house in the summer. I have had five stays so far. Most of them went well. I had a guest who complained. It’s a historic house and she said it was “dated”.
We recently rented a five bedroom VRBO home in Cleveland, Ohio for my daughter’s college graduation. The place was a large cabin right next to Lake Erie, and we were staying for four days.
What really struck me was this note that asked us to wash and dry all linens and towels and fold them the morning we left.
It was not disclosed in the listing at all. It simply said, “All linens are provided.” I would have booked elsewhere if it had been on the list.
We were seven people. It would take hours to do several loads of laundry and we had to get up early the day we were leaving. I immediately decided that was unreasonable and that we weren’t going to do it.
I’m new to hosting but got caught off guard by the requests
What struck me is how it made me feel. It produced negative energy around the place. I felt like I was in conflict with people I had never met.
It made me want to look around and say, ‘Okay, what else is wrong with this place? What else will they find fault with? There was a dent on the coffee table and I quickly took a picture of it because I was like, ‘Well if we don’t do the sheets, are they going to say we’ve ruined the furniture? ?’
We stripped all the beds. We put all the laundry in the laundry room. We emptied the trash, we emptied the dishwasher, we wiped down the counters. We left the place pretty clean and tidy.
We just weren’t going to do hours and hours of laundry.
Other hosts agree it was unreasonable
I’m in a Facebook group for other short-term rental hosts, and I’m learning a lot. I thought other hosts should understand how a surprise like this can color someone’s feelings about their stay.
You know what they say: “People remember how you made them feel.
The post exploded. It has 1,500 likes on it and a ton of comments. Basically everyone agrees that was unreasonable. It is not acceptable not to disclose an expectation like this in advance.
What hosts usually do – and I know this from being in this Facebook group – is make sure you have multiple sets [of linens]. You can furnish your rental with one and send the other to the laundry.
I understand that it is impossible for a cleaning person to do hours and hours of laundry in a single day. That’s why you need to have multiple sets.
Experiences like this give all short-term rentals a bad name
Airbnb in particular – but short-term rentals in general – have had a lot of bad press lately. Part of that is due to cleaning fees and ridiculous guest expectations.
Many hosts talk about the fact that bookings are down this year. They ask themselves: “Is this a sign of the economy?
I think if that’s a sign of anything, it’s a sign that people are reacting to all this bad press and feeling like it’s just not worth staying in an Airbnb rather than ‘hotel.
It’s not like anything terrible happened to me. But it will make me more vigilant in the future to make sure I have read everything and am clear on all expectations before booking.