Peerspace's Trash Removal Policy?

We host events ranging from 20 to 95 guests and strongly disagree with Peerspace’s trash removal policy that requires hosts to remove guests’ trash. Two reasons:

  1. VOLUME - Large parties generate large amounts of trash - if we had to take our dozens of garbage bags we’d have to charge a much higher cleaning fee that would be off-putting for smaller groups.

  2. CLARITY - We don’t want guests to confuse ‘cleaning team will take out your trash bags’ with ‘you can leave the place a disaster and we’ll put all your garbage in trash bags and then take them out’

Two questions:

Hosts: are you okay with being required to take out trash after every booking? Is there any advantage to hosts?

Peerspace: can you provide some insight as to why you require hosts to take out trash?

Thanks all!

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We’ve had more shoots than events at our property. I make it clear on our listing that our cleaning fee includes two large bages of trash. Additonal bags will add a charge. For events, I’ve communicated with participating vendors in advance, re: packing out their trash. For larger scale, longer shoots (Amazon here eight looong days, big team) Peerspace assigned a point person to assist with special terms ahead of booking, re: trash, clean up.
In my experience, there is often not a one size fits all quote. Peerspace is there to assist, with any unique situations. I’m still learning about clarity within my written content/communication re: expectations. I’m present for every event at my property. Generally not for the duration, but enough check ins to ensure my place is not left a disaster. In my opinion, for the revenue generated by an event or shoot, it’s well worth my time to oversee what’s going on. If I couldn’t - I’d budget in to pay someone to be there, especially towards the end of larger events.

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Great topic, thanks for kicking this off @Graham_M.

There’s a lot more to cover here, but I’ll try to be brief. Essentially, the cleaning policy which includes trash removal is a result of two insights we’ve gathered.

  1. Guest expectations and feedback: Many bookings resulted in disputes or missed expectations because of varying policies with respect to cleaning responsibility. Some hosts were providing a very hospitable experience that included full-service cleaning while others expected guests to return their space to the spotless condition it was in prior to a booking. Many hosts were charging additional cleaning fees within their listings (which we didn’t have a way to charge through the platform for at the time). There was no consistency across listings that we could use to govern disputes that came in, and collecting these additional charges after the fact for trash removal or cleaning was difficult. We received many chargebacks or stop payments from banks who believed this service should be included for companies offering event experiences (more on that next…).
  2. Competitive alternatives: We get this feedback all the time, but guests remind us that whether they are booking an offsite, event, or production, they are comparing Peerspace venues against alternatives like hotels, event venues, or co-working facilities. All these alternatives market themselves as full-service, plug and play spaces that allow guests the freedom to focus on their primary goal for their booking. This creates an expectation for full-service hospitality across the industry, and we found it very difficult to go against expectations in this regard.

When we designed the cleaning policy, we surveyed users about all aspects of the program to come up with how it works today.

It was important to us to come up with a policy that was fair for both sides of the marketplace. We found that guests expected cleaning to be the host’s responsibility, but were largely willing to pay extra for the service (which hosts can opt to include at varying prices by listing depending on the type of event). For hosts, we determined that paying for a cleaning fee did not give guests carte blanche to neglect the space. As such, we defined what the cleaning fee did and did not cover, and implemented rules to ensure guests are responsible for things like resetting furniture and removal of excess trash that would result in host hauling expenses.

You can find more information about the cleaning policy and trash removal expectations in the support article below.

We are continuously focused on improving the experience of bookings for hosts and guests and understand that not all policies will always satisfy both parties. I could see us adding more features to support excess trash removal in the future and welcome our community’s ideas.

I understand and really appreciate host’s concerns around remaining competitive on price, but do remind them the cleaning fee is there for them to use, and guests are willing to pay for that convenience.

@Matthew_B - thanks for the insights. I could be talked into agreeing that reasonable trash removal makes sense for hosts to take care of - certainly for offsites because office workers never take out their own trash so it would be odd for them to just because they had a remote meeting.

In a case where a guest leaves a space in really bad shape, I would hope Peerspace would provide hosts with recourse to cover excess cleaning fees. Everything I’ve read online under Peerspace cleaning policies indicates that guests are expected to tidy up. Most of the time that happens. However, if a guest doesn’t tidy up and it takes a host’s cleaning team excess time (and money) to clean, shouldn’t we be able to recoup that expense?

Here’s real world example:

We had a booking last month and the guest refused to tidy up at the end of the night + left two beer pong tables set-up in our space. I happened to be onsite that night, asked him to extend his booking so that his group could tidy up and take their tables with them but he just decided to walk out, leaving our space in this condition (pics attached):

mess%201 mess%202 mess%203 mess%204

Is this a case where we could charge extra fees? Or, are hosts required to clean-up after guests, at no extra charge, no matter how messy a space is left?

Thanks!

I would not find this acceptable either Graham. The best way to be able to charge for something like this is to clearly state in your rules how the space is to be left, and what the consequences are when the rules are not met. “Everything you bring into the space must leave with you. All trash must be bagged, tied, and … (removed, placed in dumpster, left by the back door, etc). Failure to do so will result in an additional $__ fee.”

If it is stated clearly beforehand, they don’t have a lot of room to argue, and Peerspace will have your back, especially if you can provide photo evidence. I think I have only charged one time, and I charged $300 (I was pissed - underage drinking, police, a mess). The guest did not contest it, and Peerspace collected the fee for me.

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@Matthew_B

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Thanks!

@Matthew_B

Still looking for guidance.

Thanks.

Hi @Graham_M. Apologies for the long delay in responding, I didn’t see this until over the weekend. Not the best steward of individual posts, I suppose.

Regarding your followup, the distinction Peerspace allows for with cleaning fees are ones that result in damages or excess garbage that would result in needing a hauling service to remove. In those instances, we can present the added costs to the guest and attempt to resolve through our dispute resolution process. This process involves collecting evidence from the host and guest in hopes that we can mediate a resolution agreeable to both parties.

While the process generally goes smoothly, I highly encourage you to make sure you charge an adequate cleaning fee for any event booking you have in your space. Assume you will need to have a cleaner come in following the booking to remove garbage and tidy up, and if you’ve had an event in your space, you can specify a cleaning fee that accommodates for larger jobs. Remember, you can charge different cleaning fees for each listing type.

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Hi and thanks for response. We’ve hosted over 400 booking and charge an adequate fee to cover the overwhelming majority of guests. What I was asking is if there are circumstances when a host could charge for excess cleaning fees (not related to damages or trash hauling).

From your response, it appears that that Peerspace doesn’t allow hosts to charge excess cleaning fees even for particularly egregious messes (like the one we experienced recently in the photos). I find it surprising and disappointing that Peerspace doesn’t offer hosts any recourse in the rare cases of really bad messes that don’t involve damages or trash hauling.

Hi @Graham_M, I understand where you’re coming from. It is difficult for Peerspace to step in mediate claims that may be considered subjective to a host or guest. That is why when we craft a policy that goes into our terms, we have to make sure the boundaries are defined as clearly as possible so we can provide support in the instance of a dispute or missed expectations.

When there is a gray area (i.e. unable to determine true cost of damages or who is liable) that makes it difficult to provide an objective decision that we can govern in accordance with our terms, we may provide hosts and guests the opportunity to arbitrate between each other with a mutual third party arbitration service. In cases like this, we can support you in the process, but cannot make a call on what excess cleaning fees should cost and force collection from a guest. So while we do have recourse for all claims made by one party, the difficulty lies in our ability to unilaterally render a decision.

I hope this clarifies our policy a little more for you, but I understand where your concern lies and hope we can create a more streamlined process in the future for these rarer circumstances.

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Hi! I work with a cleaning vendor and charge the host a standard fee. That way I know it’s going to be spotless after every event no matter what, and the host doesn’t have to worry about accessing our loading bay, or sorting recycling.

For most events like meetings, cocktail parties with caterers, etc I only require one cleaner. If it’s a wedding, bat mitzvah, birthday party, or large party in general I bump up the number of cleaners significantly along with security.

We have an exclusive vendors so the caterers we work with always leave the space “broom clean” as well, which helps! We don’t allow BYOB unless it’s a really intimate event, and even then, we will staff it with our caterers to serve and tidy.

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I didn’t read this entire thread, so it may have already been addressed. I rent my home and have very limited trash can space. Therefore, I always ask guests to take their trash with them. So far, all have been very understanding and done so. Perhaps if they read your rules it would be a problem. Therefore, I suggest you modify your rules not to include residences which have only one garbage bin and one recycling bin.