Understanding Airbnb Host Fees: Service Fee vs. Cleaning Fee Explained



The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
December 27, 2022

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Understanding Airbnb Host Fees: Service Fee vs. Cleaning Fee Explained

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want my team to just manage your Airbnb for you, click here.

Airbnb Management Services by Houst | Short-Term Rental Experts

About Houst

Houst is a leading property management company specialising in short-term and medium-term bookings in eight countries. With over 7 years of experience and managing over 300,000 bookings, we help homeowners make the most of their properties.

Learn More

When listing your property on Airbnb, it's important to understand the host fees involved. Airbnb charges hosts two separate fees: the service fee and the cleaning fee.

In this article, we delve into the differences between these fees and their significance for hosts. We explore the purpose and calculation of each fee, along with strategies for setting your own service fee.

By gaining a comprehensive understanding of Airbnb host fees, you can optimise your earnings and effectively manage your hosting business on the platform.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Host Service Fee on Airbnb

Airbnb's host fees are broken down into two separate charges: the service fee and the cleaning fee.

While you might think these are the same, they're two different things. The service fee is what it sounds like: it is your portion of Airbnb's revenue from each transaction on your home listing. This includes commissions for all transactions made through your account (ex: bookings) and any marketing or promotional campaigns you may have run through Airbnb (like sending out emails).

The cleaning fee happens when someone stays at your place during an Airbnb stay—it covers things like housekeeping services and any additional supplies needed to ensure everything is clean before guests arrive. 

What is host service fee?

A Host Service Fee is a fee you pay to list your property on Airbnb's platform. It's a percentage of the total booking price and is calculated based on how many nights guests book, how much they spend per night and the price of your listings.

Exploring the Different Types of Host Fees

There are two types of host fees, which vary based on whether or not you use Airbnb's cleaning service.

  • Service Fee: This is the money that Airbnb takes out-of-pocket when you list your property on their platform, as well as any additional fees that may apply to your reservation, such as cancellation or damage deposits. The service fee is paid by hosts to list their properties on Airbnb's platform (which includes all listing photos and descriptions), so it's important to note this amount clearly in your listing description. Hence, potential guests know what they're getting into when booking through Airbnb!
  • Cleaning Fee: Guests paying for this service will cover costs associated with booking a stay at an Airbnb property, such as cleaning bedding/towels after each guest leaves (or sooner if requested). Depending on where you live and how often people stay at your place(s) during different seasons of the year—and even if there are pets present—this can run anywhere from $10-$50 per night, depending upon how often guests book over several months/years worth of stays!

The Significance of Airbnb's Service Fee for Hosts

The service fee is a charge the hosts pay to list on Airbnb's platform. It's not an additional cost but rather an amount Airbnb charges monthly to maintain your listing and keep it up-to-date.

The host pays the service fee monthly, who will receive this payment directly from Airbnb on their bank account or credit card statement when their hosting period expires.

Managing the Monthly Payment of Airbnb's Service Fee

The cleaning fee is a charge that the hosts can pass down to guests to cover the cost of cleaning items like bedding and towels.

The cleaning fee is not a mandatory charge, but it is something that you can choose to include as part of your listing.

The Cleaning Fee: Covering the Cost of Cleaning for Guests

Airbnb charges hosts a service fee and a cleaning fee, which can be passed on to guests.

The service fee is the same as what you'd pay if you booked your own home or apartment through Airbnb. It's usually around $1 per day, but it varies by city and season: The average cost per night in New York City is $2.86; Los Angeles averages $2.70; Chicago averages $2.35; San Francisco averages $2.50 (all figures are based on travel dates in October 2017).

The cleaning fee depends on how much time you want your home or apartment cleaned before or after their stay—and whether or not they book with Airbnb Rewards points instead of cash back rewards like Cash Back Guarantee (CAG). If they use CAG points instead of cash-back rewards, there's no additional charge for having their place cleaned before or after their stay because that would already be included in what it costs them through CAG points earned from other users who have also booked through this program!

Effective Pricing Tools and Strategies for Hosts

Airbnb has a pricing tool that allows you to set your fee.

You can also set a minimum fee, meaning that if your guest cancels and doesn't pay the full amount of their reservation, Airbnb will not charge you anything.

If you're using their app instead of the website, this is even easier: just tap on "More" (or something similar) in the bottom right corner of your screen and select "Fees." There are two types of host fees: one for listings where guests need to book directly through Airbnb; and another for those who book through third-party sites like Kayak or Expedia (where we recommend setting up an account).

Setting Your Own Service Fee: A Host's Guide

You can set your service fee when you create your listing or change it at any time. If you already have a listing and want to add a new service fee, go ahead!

  • Minimum: Set the minimum amount of money you'd like guests to pay for the services of this host. The minimum must be greater than or equal to zero (0).
  • Maximum: Set the maximum amount of money guests will pay for these services. The maximum must be less than or equal to $$$$$$$ (so long as it's within reason).
  • Fixed Service Fee: Set an exact dollar figure for how much Airbnb will take out from each reservation made by one guest through Airbnb's website and mobile app.* Fixed Percentage of Booking Amount(s): This option allows hosts who use multiple booking amounts per reservation—for example, two types of rooms available on their listing—to set different percentages based upon which type they choose.* Percentage Of Booking Amounts - Add another percentage to each booking amount so that if someone books both types, they are paying more than if they only booked one type at once!"

Exploring the Minimum Fee Requirement for Hosts

The minimum fee is the lowest you can charge for your service fee. It's a percentage of the total booking price, calculated based on how many nights guests stay with you. For example, if guest books a one-night stay through Airbnb and pays $100 per night (a total of $200), then their host would be required to pay at least $25 in hosting fees.

In most cases, hosts have no choice but to charge higher rates than they would like—but there are exceptions!

Understanding Airbnb's Policy on Guest Cancellations

Does Airbnb charge you when your guest cancels?

Yes, Airbnb charges you a cancellation fee.

The cancellation fee is calculated using the same formula as your service fee:

  • The number of days in advance that you cancel will trigger a higher fee (e.g., if you cancel with less than 24 hours' notice, you'll pay more than if your booking was made three weeks ago).
  • You can't change or modify any aspect of your reservation once it's been accepted by Airbnb—including its price and duration—so be sure to read through everything carefully before agreeing with a host!

Maximising Returns: Setting the Right Service Fee for Your Investment

Make sure you set your service fee right to get the most out of your Airbnb investment.

Setting a service fee is one of your most important decisions when managing your Airbnb listing. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of being an Airbnb host and forget there's more to running your business than just making money.

Figuring out how much money you can make with each guest night is important, but it's also important not to overdo it—you don't want any guests thinking their stay at your home isn't worth what they paid! So before setting up any pricing structure or fees, take some time to consider whether these things are fair for both parties involved: do I want my guests paying too high? Do they need full refunds? Are there other ways I can reduce my costs so I can offer better deals without sacrificing quality control over my listings?

Once you've figured all this out, set up regular meetings with yourself so that everyone knows what kind of services each party expects from one another during their stay at an Airbnb listing (for example: do we expect cleanliness?).

Continue reading: Airbnb Resolution Centre: All You Need to Know as a Host

Summary and Key Takeaways

The key takeaway is that Airbnb's host fees are not set in stone. There is flexibility for hosts to charge different amounts, depending on their particular situation and how much they want to make from the platform. If you want more information about how these fees work or need help setting up your service fee, contact us today!

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

Pricing From

of your
rental revenue
The commission depends on
the property profile and location
free estimate

Complete property management services

We streamline the process of short-term lets and assist in maximising your rental revenue in London.

Listing Management

  • Multi-platform listings
  • Professional photography
  • Listing creation
  • Price optimisation

Guest Management

  • Guest vetting
  • Guest check-ins
  • Linen and toiletries
  • Guest communications

Property Management

  • Cleaning and housekeeping
  • Property maintenance
  • Property insurance
  • Property management software
I hope you enjoy reading this blog post!
If you want my team to just manage your Airbnb for you, just book a call.
Book a call
Click here to Get More Bookings!
See How Houst Can Elevate Your Airbnb’s Visibility
  • Listing Optimisation – Maximise your listing’s potential. Experience tangible growth.
  • Professional Photography – Captivating visuals that instantly attract guests.
  • Guest Screening – Ensuring only the best and safest guests for your property.

We hope you enjoy our blog!

If you would like to find out more about how our team can help you get the most of your Airbnb, just book a call with us.

Thank you for providing your contact information!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
J’espère que vous apprécierez la lecture de cet article de blog !
Si vous souhaitez que mon équipe gère simplement votre Airbnb pour vous, réservez simplement un appel.
Cliquez ici pour obtenir plus de réservations !
Découvrez comment Houst peut améliorer la visibilité de votre Airbnb
  • Optimisation des annonces – Maximisez le potentiel de votre annonce. Faites l’expérience d’une croissance tangible.
  • Photographie professionnelle – Des visuels captivants qui attirent instantanément les invités.
  • Filtrage des invités – Garantir uniquement les invités les meilleurs et les plus sûrs pour votre propriété.
Looking to scale your serviced accommodation?
Join Houst’s partnership program — book a call for details.
Starting your Airbnb business?
Houst can help you get started in the serviced accommodation sector:
  • Fastracked growth: Quick portfolio expansion and up to 20% booking commission for property managers.
  • Guest Support and Tech: 24/7 support and tech streamlined operations, enhancing occupancy and guest service delivery.
  • Pricing Optimisation: Increased earnings with algorithm-based pricing strategies.