What Are Your Duties On Checkout Of A Holiday Rental

Jacques du Rand 2022-12-02

With summer nearly firmly nestled in, with days becoming warmer and holiday season approaching, holiday rentals are preparing for a busy season of holiday makers.

There are so many various getaways across our glorious country to choose from and as holiday makers we know what we expect from places, but do you know what is expected of you when checking out?

Airbnb Changed Everything

In 2008 a new company changed the face of holiday rentals forever with their new dual review system. Guests not only reviewed their accommodation and hosts, but were also reviewed in turn. Since then a few more companies, including Uber, used the same methodology for their business models.

Being reviewed as a holiday maker was a first though and to this day people are unsure of what exactly their responsibilities are when they check-out. After all, most listings charge a cleaning fee.

So does that mean you can simply pack up your bags and belongings and leave the place without cleaning up? The short answer is no.

South Africans Have A General Feeling Of Responsibility

After travelling all over the world, in general, I feel that we, as South Africans, have this built-in feeling of responsibility. It’s something you don’t really see in other cultures around the world.

Maybe it’s how we grew up. Always having a clean house, needing to tidy up before visitors and especially family members visit. My grandmother used this saying “deur ´n naald getrek” - “pulled through the eye of a needle” - which means that it has to be spotless and perfect - and I think that just stuck with my generation at least. And that also translates into tidying up wherever you go. You leave it like you found it.

Where Do You Draw The Line With Cleaning Though?

Platforms like Airbnb changed the way we travel, but have things gotten out of hand? Knowing that there is a rating both ways some hosts do take it a little too far and can be quite venomous with their rating if you haven’t left the place spotless, despite charging a cleaning fee.

It got so bad that Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky recently had to respond to complaints about house cleaning chores!

“Cleaning fees have gone up 44% in five years, per research firm AirDNA.” - yet check-out chores have increased. And some places give guests a check-out list that includes taking out the trash, stripping beds, putting the laundry on, and vacuuming.

Starting out as a platform that was meant to be cheaper than staying in hotels, it has gotten so bad that people seem to be returning to hotels!

What Are Your Responsibilities When Duties On Checkout Of A Holiday Rental?

Contrary to some, there are some basic responsibilities when checking out of your holiday rental. Superficial cleaning is definitely your responsibility, but certainly not a deep-clean!

Superficial cleaning on check-out includes things like:

  • General tiding - Packing glasses, crockery and so on by the kitchen sink, or in the dishwasher. Cleaning up spills or messed food.
  • Doing the dishes - has become a bit of a grey area. Some guests opt to do it, or just pack it in the dishwasher if one is available.
  • Wipe surfaces - Wipe down any kitchen counter surfaces.
  • Unpack the fridge - Take your food from the fridge, unless you leave left-overs for the cleaners - but do make sure you tell them it is there for them!
  • Pack games away - If you used any games (if they were provided), be sure to pack them back in their space.
  • Braai - Unless otherwise stated it is not necessary to throw your ashes away or clean the grid. Where a bin is provided for the ashes it is considered best practice to throw your used ashes (cold) away. If hot, leave them where they are.
  • Trash - General etiquette is to throw all your trash in the bin and tie up the bag.
  • Doggy Doos - General etiquette also dictates that you should clean up after your pooch.

Nice to dos:

  • Bathroom - Try to clean up any toothpaste stains and any hair left in the shower.
  • Patio furniture - If it was inside when you arrived, pack them where you found them.
  • Clean kitchen utilities - If you used things like a snackwich maker, juicer or coffee machine - it’s also considered good to clean those up before you depart.

In general, if in doubt, try to tidy up what you can.

Alternative Booking Platforms In South Africa For Your December Holiday

The first place most people turn is usually Airbnb. One of the best things about the dual review system is that you can see what other guests thought of the place and how accurate the description and photos are - so you always know what to expect. Plus the search works so well, filtering down to the smallest detail to give you exactly what you’re looking for.

Many other booking platforms might not always have the latest photos or most accurate description, and could be difficult to navigate or know if the vacancies are up to date.

These are alternatives to Airbnb to consider for your getaways in South Africa:

One of the items frequently searched for when it comes to holiday getaways is the internet and “WiFi” availability. If you’re unsure, but want to make certain you have reliable internet on your holiday, check out our LTE mobile internet options.