Airbnb Garbage Removal Rules

Airbnb Garbage Removal: Best Practices (Free Letter for Guests)

No matter what kind of property you rent, garbage removal is an inevitable part of hosting guests. But how much of the responsibility falls on the guests and what do you need to handle yourself? What is Airbnb’s policy regarding garbage removal? It’s not always as straightforward as it seems! We’re here to help you understand the best practices when getting rid of vacation rental trash by answering your most common questions.

At the end of the article, we’ll also provide you with a downloadable trash removal letter to help you clearly communicate your expectations with your guests.

Don’t see the form to download our garbage removal letter? Click here.

Disclaimer: Lodgify is an Airbnb Preferred Software Partner. This post, including any claims or statements within, is solely from Lodgify and is not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, authorized, or sponsored by Airbnb in any way.

Best practices for vacation rental trash removal

Keeping your property tidy is essential to giving your guests the best possible travel experience. There is nothing worse than booking an Airbnb and walking into a home that doesn’t feel clean. Having a guest who leaves the house extremely messy makes your job of keeping the place in great condition a lot harder, especially when you have back-to-back bookings. Therefore, letting guests know what you expect of them regarding garbage disposal and making it an easy process is really important. These are our top tips when it comes to Airbnb garbage removal:

Have waste bins in every room

Make it easy for your guests to clean up after themselves. By leaving a waste bin in each space of the property, you leave no room for excuses. And they don’t have to be an eyesore! You can pick up some inexpensive waste bins that work well with the decor and blend right in. Just make sure to let your cleaning team know where all of the bins are located so they don’t forget to empty one. You definitely don’t want a guest to find a half-full waste bin the first night of their stay.

Airbnb garbage bins in the bathroom

Leave extra trash bags

You could have a group of six that creates almost no trash and then a couple that goes through five rolls of toilet paper in two days. There is just no way to know how much garbage a group will accumulate during their stay. For this reason, you should leave lots of extra trash bags at the property and let guests know where to find them. It’s all about making it as easy as possible for guests to take good care of your property!

Give clear directions to dumpsters

Does your property have dumpsters nearby where guests can leave their trash? More often than not, dumpsters are tucked away so no one has to look at them…but it can make it challenging for guests to find them. Give your guests clear, detailed directions to the dumpsters so there is no confusion about what is expected of them.

What’s the Airbnb policy regarding garbage removal?

Under Guest Reliability Standards, Airbnb states “Guests should not leave the listing in a state that requires excessive or deep cleaning (ex: with soiled carpet, moldy dishes, excessive trash, etc.). Cleaning fees are only meant to cover the cost of standard cleaning between reservations (ex: laundry, vacuuming, etc.).”

This explanation is a bit subjective because “excessive trash” could mean something different for each property and property manager. So it’s up to you to define and communicate what is acceptable. Generally speaking, it’s reasonable to expect your housecleaner to dispose of any garbage in waste bins inside the house (as part of the Airbnb cleaning fee).

Anything on top of that, like cardboard boxes or bottles, should be handled by the guests because it is considered an “excessive” amount of trash – in which case you should explain where guests can dispose of and/or recycle those types of items.

Who is responsible for taking out the trash?

First, you have to consider how trash removal works in your area. Is there a waste collection company that picks up trash once a week? Are there dumpsters accessible to guests 24/7? Simply put…you can’t expect guests to take out the trash if there isn’t a clear and easy way to do it.

On the other hand, if there is a super simple way to dispose of garbage (like dumpsters outside the house), then it’s reasonable to ask guests to handle their own garbage. House Rules is where you can lay out exactly how trash should be handled and how much your guests are responsible for versus what will be taken care of under the cleaning fee.

Recycling Airbnb Garbage

On top of listing your policy under House Rules, we recommend leaving a letter for each guest explaining how your vacation rental trash removal is handled. Don’t know how to start? Don’t worry! At the end of this article, you’ll find our free editable garbage removal instructions letter. If you have a welcome book with information about the property, you should also outline it there.

FAQs about Airbnb garbage removal

Airbnb garbage removal does not have to be complicated. By outlining your Airbnb garbage rules, you ensure that everyone (you, your guests, and your housecleaner) is on the same page. Let’s cover a few of the most frequently asked questions about vacation rental trash removal.

Should housecleaners take the trash for vacation rentals?

When you are calculating how much to charge for the cleaning fee, you’ll have to decide whether or not you want the housecleaners to take out the trash. Of course, there are pros and cons either way. The pro to having your housecleaners take out the trash is that you don’t have to trust that your guests will do it every time. Which takes some pressure off of the guests. Let’s face it: who really wants to worry about taking out the trash while on vacation?

The con is, depending on your house cleaner, you might have to charge a higher cleaning fee to cover the cost of trash removal. You may be able to find a nice middle ground between the two like asking guests to leave their trash bags at the door. That way it isn’t overly difficult for the guest but it makes the housecleaner’s job a little easier.

Dumptser for vacation rental trash

Remember, you have to factor in how trash removal is handled in your area and if it’s even possible for guests to do it themselves. Taking their bags to the dumpster at check out is a fair request. Asking them to take your trash cans to the curb Thursday night and then take them back Friday morning? Maybe not.

Is it reasonable to ask guests to take out the trash?

It totally depends on how easy or difficult it is to dispose of garbage at the property. If it’s as simple as tossing their garbage bags into a dumpster on their way out, it’s not a big deal. If it would require them to really go out of their way to dispose of the garbage, then you risk frustrating your guests and possibly getting a bad review. Try putting yourself in the guest’s shoes. If you were staying at an Airbnb property with the same garbage disposal policy as your current property, would you think it was reasonable or be annoyed?

How to write an Airbnb review if a guest left garbage?

You should be writing a review after every guest stays, positive or negative. If you haven’t already gotten into this habit, you should definitely start now. Reviews give other hosts an idea of who will be staying at their property and what to expect. No matter what you have to say about the guest, keep it professional. Be honest without getting too emotionally involved. You want to state exactly what happened with this guest and why you would or wouldn’t recommend them to other hosts without making it personal.

As part of the review process, Airbnb will ask you to give a starred review of the guest in three categories: Cleanliness, Communication, and Observance of House Rules. If the guest left a lot of trash at the property, you should consider giving them a low score in the “Cleanliness” category. Plus, if trash removal is outlined in your House Rules, you should dock them points there as well.

Airbnb Garbage Removal

Then, Airbnb will ask you to write a public review of up to 1000 words. It is shown on the guest’s Airbnb profile and can be read by other hosts. This is where you want to be honest but professional. For example, if a guest left a lot of trash at the property you could say something like “The guest left a large amount of trash at the property after check out, despite it being outlined in the House Rules that guests must take all trash to the dumpster.” It’s honest and to the point without being harsh or rude.

After the public review, you have the option to write a private note. This goes straight to the guest and is not required. If you want to bring something up with the guest personally without publishing it on their profile, this is the place to do it. Finally, Airbnb will ask you if you would host the guest again or not.

Download our free trash removal letter for guests

There you have them: our best tips regarding Airbnb garbage removal. And remember, in order to avoid confusion and streamline the garbage removal process in your vacation rental, consider leaving your guests a trash removal letter outlining your expectations.

Download our free editable template below and avoid any misunderstandings. We’ve already done all the work for you!

Don’t see the form to download our garbage removal letter? Click here.

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