Here's Why You May Be Hit With Unexpected Fees For Airbnb Late Check-Out Requests

Being an Airbnb host isn't exactly easy. You need to be able to predict the needs of your guests, adapt to those needs, remain available to communicate, as well as clean the property upon guest checkout to prepare for arriving guests. The turnaround time can be pretty quick. Whether you're a professional cleaning crew or a DIY housekeeper, cleaning an entire property in just a few hours is a daunting proposition for anyone.

However, as an Airbnb guest, things happen when traveling, and there may be instances in which you'd really (really) appreciate a late checkout. Whether it's because of a late night, a late flight, or another reason, having a few extra hours can sound heavenly to unhurriedly pack up, eat breakfast, call a ride, and make other arrangements. That said, given the host's responsibility to other guests, and their overall task calendar of daily life, you shouldn't be too surprised to get hit with unexpected fees. Or, you should actually expect late check-out fees in most circumstances. 

Why late check-out fees are justified

As an Airbnb host, you somewhat straddle two worlds: a regular citizen side-hustling your personal property and a hospitality professional dedicated to the satisfaction of your guests. And, in the hospitality business, it's part of the gig to satisfy unexpected and reasonable (and sometimes pretty unreasonable) requests. For a guest, a late check-out is definitely a reasonable request, but it's also unexpected for the host, which may be the biggest reason a host would charge you.

For example, if the host does need to clean the house during a quick turnover between guests, and now a late check-out halves the time for cleaning, then the host may need to hire a larger cleaning crew to prepare the property. Guess who should probably foot the bill for this larger cleaning crew? The guest. Along with calendar considerations, the host may also be paying more for the guest's power and water usage if the guest is allowed to stay for a few more hours.

What Airbnb says about late check-outs

Airbnb allows hosts to decide whether to allow late guest check-outs. However, Airbnb's terms and conditions state that guests will pay twice the amount of the daily average rate if the late check-out includes an extra night. For example, if you paid $200 per night, you'd pay $400 for the extra night, per Airbnb's terms. That's totally up to the hosts to charge double or not but don't be sticker-shocked if a host decides to stick to Airbnb's rulebook.

While you shouldn't be surprised if an Airbnb host charges for a late check-out, it doesn't hurt to ask. Many hosts simply use late check-out fees as a deterrent against guests secretly hanging around the property. A guest considering sticking around to lounge by the pool or marathon-stream their favorite TV show may think twice if there's an expensive late check-out fee.

It seems, in most instances, hosts choose to charge a late check-out fee on a case-by-case basis, so while you shouldn't be surprised to pay for a late check-out, you shouldn't be surprised if the host decides to waive the fee either. Just remember to leave your generous host an extra-good Airbnb review.