Updating Cleaning Fee and Security/Damage Deposits ---

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Hobble Inn

Feb 15, 2017
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After spending in excess of 36 hours with my brand new husband (!) cleaning up and repairing damage left by a family of five that rented the four bedroom, two bath Inn for six weeks, I am considering this change and would like the group's feedback and any other bulletproof policies you'd care to share. Here's my first draft (amounts are subject to change, depending on my mood.) :

Effective Feb 1, 2021: Cleaning Fee is $500, Damage deposit is $2000. The Fine Print: Management reserves the option to refund all or part of the cleaning fee if the property is left in essentially the same condition as it was upon your arrival. Management also reserves the right to charge any excess cleaning fees against the damage deposit.
Difficult to offer advice, we live onsite and normally wouldn't have a guest to remain for that length of time. Also don't know how those amounts differ from your current policy. I also see cleaning and damage as different items.

Cleaning, if I rented 4 plus rooms for six weeks un attended I would expect a good bit of time would be required for a deep cleaning, in my mind six weeks is more of a tenant than a guest. I've had rentals and yes some folks are messy. I think in many areas that after 30 days the guest has become a tenant. I personally prefer shorter stays, folks on holiday.

Damage, is sort of a different issue. I tend to see damage as intentional destruction rather than maintenance or wear and tear. I suppose we all get guests from time to time that we hope don't return.

I'm sorry these folks took advantage of you, has this been the only occasion? If a one time thing, how did these folks, this reservation differ from other guests? Is it a teaching moment for changing pricing and/or policies? Pricing at times is a good tool.
First, congrats on getting married!

Next, bulletproofing—are you totally absent when guests are in residence? Are they specifically renting just the space and not your services? I think the issue is, ‘we paid a bucket of money for this, who cares what we do?’

I think your deposit policy might scare some people off. But that might be a good thing. You might require a personal walk thru with the organizer of the stay both on arrival and departure. That way you canboth highlight issues. Of course, real losers will do their best to hide damage. We’ve had stories here of beds broken and artfully hidden.

Of this is more of a ‘made a complete mess of the kitchen and bathrooms and never cleaned a thing’ there are slobs in this world and getting paid for cleaning up after them makes it easier on you.

One more thought—if you throw a lot of charges at people they will decide if it’s worth paying for. IE charges for smoking. Some guests will happily pay $250 so they don’t have to get out of bed to go outside to smoke. Try to balance out laying on fees with the type of mentality that agrees to pay if they trash the place with what you really want—tidy guests. Maybe a higher rental charge would make the cleanup more palatable.
I wouldn’t rent a place that kept such a high security deposit. I’d be worried that you’d keep my money no matter how I left the place.
How about “ a cleaning or repair fee may apply to excess cleaning or unexpected damage.”

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