Airbnb Fees Explained
If you checked out a property on Airbnb and received an invoice for more than you expected, you’re probably on this page to understand what’s happening. As with most booking platforms and services, you will incur a service fee to use it as a host or guest, which covers the costs of operating the platform. These service fees vary for each user, and are also for each different OTA platform. On Airbnb specifically, there are a number of different fees you will incur. Let’s take a look at what this looks like.
Once you check out your accommodation on Airbnb, you will see a charge summary that looks a bit like this:
The three types of inline costs that you may encounter: Airbnb Service fees, Cleaning fees, and the nightly rate. Other costs that hopefully you will never have to look over are deposit fees. Here’s how they work.
Standard Airbnb Service Fees
The host and guest service fees are calculated from the total amount of the nightly rate and the cleaning fee. This is a percentage fee of the said subtotal that will be added to the total charge. Since Airbnb’s system only processes whole numbers, the fee will be rounded to the nearest dollar.
Airbnb charges hosts a 3% fee, which will be taken out of the reservation subtotal that the guests pay. However, if you’re hosting in Italy, or have your property set on a Super Strict Cancellation Policy, this fee may be higher.
Additionally, depending on the laws of your listing’s location, a Value-added tax (VAT), a form of consumption tax, may be added on top of the 3% service fee. The total of the service fee and VAT will be added as one inline item on your guest’s receipt, and will be automatically deducted from your next payout.
To review the service fee charged for a particular booking:
- Go to Transaction history on airbnb.com
- Next to the reservation you want to review, click the reservation code
- Under Payout, you’ll see Airbnb Service Fee
According to Airbnb, they charge a service fee ranging from 0%-20% of the booking subtotal, which includes the nightly rate plus the cleaning fee and additional guest fees (if applicable). This fee is calculated using a variety of factors including, reservation subtotal, length of stay and the characteristics of the property you’re booking.
In general, the service fee gets lower as the reservation cost gets higher. You won’t be able to see this charge on the listing page, and will only be able to view it on the checkout page before you book a reservation. If Airbnb is required to collect VAT, the service fee and VAT amounts will be combined on the checkout page, which could make the service fee appear to be higher than 20%.
The service fee will not be processed until the host accepts the booking request. Unfortunately, if you as a guest cancels the reservation, the service fee will not be refunded. However, If the host cancels the reservation, guests will be refunded fully.
Airbnb Cleaning Fee
The cleaning fee is a one-time fee that is nonrefundable to guests. On Airbnb, hosts have the option to add this fee and adjust its amount, or omit it completely. The cleaning fee is included in the price displayed in search results so that Airbnb users can get a better idea of the cost to reserve each listing.
Airbnb Nightly Rate
This is the fee that is charged per night for your booking. Depending on the Airbnb host and listing, the nightly rate is dynamic and can change depending on the date. For example, hosts may want to charge more during the summer than they do during the winter to account for demand. Additionally, hosts can also charge more on the weekends than they do for the weekdays.
However, you are unable to specifically view each nightly rate for a listing. To get a nightly rate booking total, make sure to switch on your filters and select your dates to get a more accurate total of what your booking will cost. Again, your total booking including service fees won’t be available for you until you view the checkout page to confirm the booking.
Airbnb Security Deposit
Security deposits help protect hosts from mishaps that occur during a reservation. Like the cleaning fees, they are optional on Airbnb and are set by hosts for an amount between $100 and $5,000 USD under ‘pricing settings’. This fee won’t be deducted or shown on the booking receipt, but will only be processed when a host makes a claim.
The Airbnb host has 48 hours upon the guest’s checkout to make a claim for any damages that occurred during the reservation to retrieve the deposit fee. To check out how you can claim this fee, take a look at our ‘Airbnb Resolution Centre Explained‘ blog.
As a guest, you may choose to accept or disagree with the claim and should respond to the host within 48 hours. To disagree with the claim, you should click the ‘Involve Airbnb’ button in the Resolution Center and inform Airbnb of why the claim is invalid. To make sure you’re prepared for any issues, make sure you take photos of the property upon arrival in the event that hosts try to claim this fee invalidly.
Airbnb Cleaning Fee
The cleaning fee is a one-time fee that is nonrefundable to guests. On Airbnb, hosts have the option to require one or not and choose its amount. The cleaning fee is included in the price displayed in search results so that guests can get a better idea of the cost to reserve each listing. Guests see the nightly rate and the cleaning fee listed separately before submitting a reservation request.
Avoiding Fishy Fees
Sometimes, guests or hosts can take advantage of the platform to lucratively take more money than needed. To ensure that you are not getting scammed, always pay and communicate directly through the Airbnb website or app. Airbnb assures that as long as you stay on Airbnb throughout the entire process you’re protected by their ‘multi-layer defence strategy’.
If you’re asked to pay additional invoices or pay someone directly, outside of Airbnb, it’s best to raise this issue with Airbnb’s customer service line.