Airbnb, the once-beloved platform for travelers seeking unique accommodations, has found itself under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. A tide of complaints from Airbnb users have recently taken over social media, highlighting two prominent issues tarnishing its reputation: 1) bizarre and restrictive rules imposed by hosts; and 2) a complex fee structure that often leaves guests feeling overcharged and underappreciated.
Keep reading to learn more about the challenges around Airbnb rules, hidden costs, and the best kept secret in short-term housing solutions – managed corporate housing.
Let’s Talk Airbnb Rules
If you’ve explored Airbnb listings, you may have encountered properties with house rules that go beyond common-sense expectations. These rules, often imposed by hosts, can range from quirky to downright baffling. From noise restrictions that rival library standards to excessive chore lists (with fees for not completing them correctly), some Airbnb listings have made guests feel more like liabilities than vacationers. Below are just a few instances shared by Airbnb users on social media:
- One user, @cre8iv_sparq, took to Twitter to share their experience with strange appliance and climate control restrictions during a hot summer day. “My last Airbnb wouldn’t let me control my own A/C in FLORIDA! I was melting during the day. I just wanted to nap after the plane and couldn’t.”
- Another listing shared by a user on TikTok showcases an example of extensive, unreasonable rules in action. “When you check out, please take out the trash, mop the floors, wash the dishes, do all the laundry, and make the beds,” the host states. “There are cameras in the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. Check-out is at 9 a.m. sharp. If you’re here at 9:01, you will be charged an extra night.”
- Many clients have complained about rules limiting delivery to the property, as well as strange requests to keep their status as an Airbnb guest hidden. This calls to question the safety and reliability of certain listings on the platform.
Needless to say, these rules have a significant impact on guest satisfaction. Many travelers seek Airbnb for the promise of freedom and comfort. However, increasingly strict guidelines to follow can turn a relaxing getaway into an experience fraught with apprehension.
Fees: the hidden costs of Airbnb
Another aspect of the Airbnb experience that brings the platform under fire is the fee structure. While advertised prices may appear reasonable, the final bill often includes a slew of additional charges. A recent Forbes Advisor analysis shows that for summer 2023, Airbnb customers faced an average of 36% in added fees on top of the nightly rates. This lack of transparency has led many guests to feel deceived and misled.
- Cleaning fees: Airbnb’s cleaning fees are among the most notable contributors to the increased cost of a stay, with the average being a whopping $32 per night, according to a study conducted by Forbes. That’s an additional $160 for a 5-night stay! Many guests have brought these cleaning fees into question, considering they are often instructed by hosts to clean the property and leave it spotless before checking out themselves.
- Service fees: These fees are calculated as a percentage of the total reservation cost and can amount to a substantial sum depending on the total cost of the booking. While Airbnb has stated that these fees are necessary to cover their operating and service costs, many users find it challenging to understand why these fees are not more clearly presented from the outset.
For many Airbnb users, the frustration lies not just in the existence of these fees, but in the surprise factor that comes with them. Guests have complained that they are not provided with a clear breakdown of these additional charges until they are about to confirm their reservation. Sometimes the fees alone end up being higher than their nightly rate. When you’re planning a trip, the last thing you want is surprises…especially when it comes to your budget.
The alternative option you need
As the industry evolves, so do the options available to travelers, ensuring that you can find the perfect fit for your next adventure. If you’re willing to navigate through potentially confusing rules and fees, Airbnb might still be your go-to option. However, if you value a more relaxed, comfortable, home-like stay and clarity in pricing, it’s time to explore alternatives.
With corporate housing, you can enjoy the simplicity of a transparent and affordable fee structure, reliable safety and service, additional concierge-level services available at your request, and a welcoming environment that feels like a true home away from home.