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Should Airbnb guests be expected to perform chores?

If you stay at an Airbnb rental, should you have to do chores?

That’s the interesting buzz on social media after the Wall Street Journal reported that Airbnb hosts are charging higher cleaning fees and some are demanding that guests also mow the lawn, do the laundry and perform other tasks.

“If I’m paying $229 a night to stay somewhere plus a $125 cleaning fee, I’m not doing any laundry,” one TikToker said in a video that’s since been taken down.

“I know it’s like one load of laundry and it’ll take me two minutes to do, but it’s the principle that really bothers me.”

Some Airbnb hosts are reportedly requiring that guests perform household chores on top of cleaning fees that could run as high as $375.

“Guests say they are frustrated because the cleaning fee has gone up while hosts have tacked on extra chores,” the Journal reported. “They say some hosts don’t list cleaning requirements online, surprising guests after they book.”

Some guests have complained online “about being asked to mow the lawn or feed farm animals.”

As a result, some people who might have preferred an Airbnb rental are turning instead to hotels, where you typically won’t be expected to wash the sheets (or feed the cow) before you check out.

“Would you like guests to load dirty dishes into the dishwasher or strip the bed linen before checkout? If so, consider charging a very minimal cleaning fee — or no fee at all,” Airbnb advises hosts.

“With a higher fee, guests may expect to just walk away from your space at checkout as they would a hotel room.”

These are growing pains for a relatively young industry. But they’re also a reflection of the fact that property owners and visitors are still coming to terms with shared responsibilities.

Many hosts reasonably expect guests to leave properties largely as they found them.

Many guests reasonably believe they should have the same treatment as hotel patrons.

Bottom line: Make sure you clarify up front what the cleaning fee is is what additional duties are expected of you.

Some cleanup is to be expected.

Me, I draw the line at lawn mowing.

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