Chinese tourist asked to clean Airbnb or lose $700 deposit

By Linh Le   February 25, 2024 | 09:35 pm PT
A Chinese tourist and her family were asked to either clean the bathroom and other areas of their Airbnb rental or risk losing their 5,000 yuan (US$695) deposit.
A woman with gloves cleaning floor. Illustration photo by Freepik

A woman with gloves cleaning floor. Illustration photo by Freepik

According to AsiaOne, the tourist, surnamed Yang, shared in a video on Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, that she had booked a 280-square-meter property on Haihua Island in China’s southernmost province of Hainan for her family. She added that her family paid 20,000 yuan for a one-month stay, yet left after only two weeks.

The property’s agent informed her upon her family’s departure that their 5,000 yuan security deposit would be withheld. The reason given was that the cleanliness of the toilet did not meet the standards required for the next guest to "directly move in," as per the South China Morning Post.

The agent also listed additional reasons for withholding the deposit, including the family’s failure to adequately clean the floors and refrigerator, and not making the beds as neatly as they were upon arrival.

Yang lodged a complaint with the authorities, who on Feb. 16 stated they had demanded that the rental agency refund the deposit and advised it to improve its business practices.

Reports indicate that Yang subsequently received a refund of her deposit.

Her incident resonated with online users, who, after viewing her Douyin video, commented that the accommodation appeared clean and argued that ensuring the property’s cleanliness for the next guest should be the agency’s responsibility.

Online observers also likened the agency’s demands to unreasonable expectations, with one Douyin user comparing it to "a restaurant asking me to clean the dishes after finishing my meal."

"Hainan is the most popular tourist resort with the best winter climate in China, but the agent provided the lowest-quality service," another user remarked.

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