One Couple Was Charged $10 Every Time They Locked A Room, And 10 More Hidden Airbnb Fee Stories

Yesterday, Airbnb announced that starting in December, they'll make the total rental cost for properties, including fees, clearer to customers as they search for places to stay.

  Jeremy Poland / Getty Images
Jeremy Poland / Getty Images

This news comes shortly after an Airbnb host recently went viral for complaining about low bookings over the last few months. In response, many users online came ready to share a plethora of reasons why some hosts may be struggling to find guests, which largely included issues they've encountered with hidden fees and long lists of chores required by various hosts on the site.

When reporting on this, we asked the BuzzFeed Community to share the most outlandish charges, hidden fees, and requests they've received from Airbnb hosts. Here's what they said:

Note: Some responses have been edited for length/clarity. 

1."At the last Airbnb we went to with [my husband's] family, [the host] wanted an additional $5 per person for hot tub use and they had cameras in the back."

"No one used the hot tub while we were there, AT ALL, and a $40 hot tub usage charge showed up on the tab. Oh, my uncle was pissed and he fought it and won. They claimed someone 'sat on the stairs for 3+ hours' and that justified the charge. WHAT?"



2."My family stayed at an Airbnb and, after we booked it, the host sent me an email with 3 pages of detailed instructions on what to do and not do. This is just a tiny bit of what it included:"

“HEAT: The fireplace is the preferred (more economical) source of heat for the house; please turn on ceiling and doorway fans to distribute heat and turn down thermostats for electric heat when using fireplace. When using the electric heat, turn up heat using controls in each room only as needed; 60-65 is usually a comfortable temperature range. Please turn off heat and close doors to bedrooms if you will not be using a room during your stay. During the day, if you will not be using either bedroom, please turn heat off and close off both until an hour or so before retiring. Also turn down heat throughout house if you plan to be out for more than a short period, and turn off fans and lights when not in use."

“Wash and fold sheets and towels (if used) and any soiled bed linens or covers. If you prefer to have us handle laundering, a minimum $15 per load laundering fee will be claimed against your security deposit."

"Take garbage and recyclables to trash facility behind Welcome Center...Trash left behind will incur a minimum $15 disposal fee. DO NOT mix recyclables with regular garbage as large fines may be imposed by the community.”

"Mind you, we PAID a cleaning and service fee! And this is just a tiny amount of the directions she gave, which sounded really smart and snippy in the email. We couldn’t even relax because we were so worried about what we were doing wrong and what extra crap we’d be charged for. It was too much, too stressful and uptight. Would much rather book a hotel."


3."I have stayed in many Airbnbs over the years, but some of the requests are getting stupid. I had a $25 charge for wearing one of the robes provided by the host."

"I only wore it for a walk between the house and the hot tub that was on the wrap-around patio. That was my bad for not reading that part of the description, but all of the laundry was to be put in the washer when we left, so I basically paid to wear a robe for a brief walk, and I had to wash it myself. My robe at home didn't cost $25."


4."At the most recent Airbnb I stayed, there were signs all over that said 'NO SHOES IN THE HOUSE' and rules that said I wasn’t to touch or use the decorative pillows on the bed or decorative towels in the bathroom, among other things."

"We had to strip the bed and take out the trash when there was an exorbitant cleaning fee. I kept thinking, if you are that protective of your home and so worried about it getting dirty, why TF are you renting it out? And how are you enforcing these rules? How about you just don’t put out those pillows or towels? Oh, and I wasn’t supposed to close the blinds. Jesus."


5."I stayed at a large house last summer with friends. We are all in our 40s with small children, so I assure you the rowdiest we got was a few beers on the back porch after we put the kids down. There was a charge for using the fireplace, a charge for using the hot tub (which we never used), a charge for a spoon that somehow went missing (yes, they counted the spoons), and — the part I still can’t wrap my head around — they accused the adults of bleeding in all of the beds."

"What really happened was that the washing machine was old and left rust stains on all of the sheets when *we* washed them at the end of our stay. She really thought that we had managed to bleed on four different beds. The mice in the kitchen were fun too. … That was my last Airbnb for the foreseeable future."


6."The last time I stayed in an Airbnb was four years ago and I had to pay $10 if I wanted to be able to lock my room (in a house shared entirely with other Airbnb guests) while I was out.

"That was enough for me, and as the predatory nature of its hosts has become more obvious, I will never go back."


7."We stayed at a lovely place on the coast of northern California with a killer view and an exorbitant cleaning fee of nearly $500 for a two-night stay. We get there and the checkout list is a laminated page with tasks you have to complete that were not listed in the AirBnB listing itself:"

"Stripping the sheets and towels, running the dryer when we leave, taking out all trash and recycling, washing the dishes and putting them away, cleaning the coffee maker, wiping down all surfaces and sweeping the floors, and some minimal bathroom cleaning were all required."

"Also the washer and dryer could only be used for the sole purpose of check-out laundry, not personal laundry, and they had a note about checking their water gauge and charging a fee for those who used it for personal items (yes really).

"With a 10 a.m. check out, this list required a ton of coordination. Also, what on Earth is someone doing with the $500 cleaning fee?"


8."We stayed in one place that required us to wash all the sheets when we left. We were sleeping on those sheets, had to get up at 6:30 a.m. to do all the cleaning, laundry, and vacuuming to be out by 10:30 am. And they charged a $500 cleaning crew fee."

"We got docked $30 from our deposit once because there were crumbs on the kitchen counter from the toast we had that morning. Crumbs. Why are we paying $500 to clean a place that won't wipe up crumbs."


9."We had a pool usage fee that was $50 a night."


10."Last time we stayed at an Airbnb we were asked to simply 'take the trash out.' So we emptied the trash from the kitchen and put it in the garbage bins outside. Apparently, they meant 'take the trash to the local garbage disposal facility on your way out of town' and we were charged an extra $150."

"Might as well get a nice hotel where you don’t have to clean the whole house before you leave."


11."A host requested we water his ivy plants plants daily."

"He requested we use buckets of water and dump them over the deck onto the plants. It took over five buckets of water to water them all."


Now I'm curious: What's the wildest requirement a rental host has had for you? Let us know in the comments.