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Left Luggage – What To Do With it?

Guests left luggage after late Airbnb checkout – what now? Are there standard house rules for left luggage? Is the house cleaner or maid in charge of it? Do you suspend Airbnb cleaning or turnover service until the guest is gone?

Should you move the left luggage before the next guests arrive or should you contact the #VacationRental host?

And do you hold luggage for guests who can’t get an early check-in?

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Listen: Left Luggage After Late Airbnb Checkout

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Watch: Left Luggage After Late Airbnb Checkout

Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.


What Do You Do About Left Luggage?

Left Luggage - Vacation Rental Mailbag, Luggage in HousePeople leaving luggage in an Airbnb happens all the time and it is a real issue. In order to optimize your guests’ experience and make your life as a host easier, you need a plan.

What happens when you have a quick turn? You go in as the house cleaner, and you’re supposed to clean the place. There’s luggage left behind from the last people. What do you do?

The guest is out shopping. They’ve already checked out for the day, but they left their luggage behind. Are you supposed to ship it back to them? Or what? This is a more common occurrence for Airbnb hosts and house cleaners than you might think.

Schedules Vary

Left Luggage - Vacation Rental Mailbag, Woman Waving Her Arm in RoadPeople will catch the first flight of the morning. They fly into the city, and they’re in town by 9:00 in the morning. They don’t have anywhere for their luggage.

Sometimes they don’t catch the red-eye until later that night. But they had to check out at 11:00 am.

So, there’s a little bit of a problem. If they’re out sightseeing and they’re in a cab, you don’t want them to have to schlep their luggage all around town. Is it the house cleaner’s responsibility? The host should address it.

Left Luggage is NOT the House Cleaners Job

Left Luggage - Vacation Rental Mailbag, Woman on Phone in Laundry RoomIt is not the house cleaner’s responsibility. Here’s the reason why. House cleaners have one job. They might actually have two or three or five jobs, depending on how the Airbnb is set up.

So, if you are the house cleaner and you’re going to clean and do the turnover service, you’ll be doing the laundry. There will be restocking and photos to file.  You are not able to have eyes on their luggage. So, if someone comes in and steals the luggage, you wouldn’t be responsible. So, it is not your job. It is the job of the owner or management company.

Contact the Host

Now, contact the host and find out how they want to deal with this. Now, if you are the host, this for you. There are three ways of dealing with it in a professional manner.  According to sources in the industry, here are the most common three ways.

Three Options to Deal with Left Luggage

Left Luggage - Vacation Rental Mailbag, Traveling Men Drinking Coffee with LuggageOkay, the first way is you say,

1.) “We do not manage early luggage, before or after your booking. We are not responsible for luggage that arrives early or luggage that they leave late. We’re not equipped to do that. Sorry, we can’t help you.”

And there are situations like that because it’s offsite.

It’s not an Airbnb where somebody lives at the house that could watch it for you, and so they’re not going to be there. No one’s going to be there, and people check-in with a lockbox.

When they leave, they lock up again. So, if you have left luggage you would be intruding on someone else that is now staying there.

Other Problems with Left Luggage

Left Luggage - Vacation Rental Mailbag, Man Sleeping in BedOther problems have been when people come back for their luggage, they cause a ruckus, they want to use the bathroom.

“Oh, the rooms aren’t made up yet? I think I’ll take a quick nap.” Things like that. Once you’ve checked out, you’ve checked out. Okay? So, then the luggage that’s left behind needs to be offsite.

Another Way to Deal with Left Luggage

Left Luggage - Vacation Rental Mailbag, Woman Mopping Luggage by Backdoor2.) So, the next way people deal with this is that, if this Airbnb is your home, a lot of people will say, “Hey, it’s no big deal.

I’m at home anyway. I’m going to be here cleaning and doing the turnover service and my kids live here. So, yeah, we’ll hang on to your luggage and it’s not a problem.” But either way, you need to specify, so there are no surprises.

3.) Now, the third way serves both of those: “No, we’re not able to do it,” and, “Yes, we’re happy to do it.”

And it deals with the idea that you may not be present when they need to pick up their left luggage. This is a realistic and professional way to set some rules that leave no question as to your expectation.

Use a Local Shipping Store for Left Luggage

Left Luggage - Vacation Rental Mailbag, UPS StoreThere are lots of these little mom and pop shops that do shipping, and you may already have an agreement with them.

if you are an Airbnb because sometimes, people leave things behind and you have to send those valuables back to them. So, there’s a UPS store, or a FedEx store, or a postal store. It’s not a regular federal post office, but it’s like a shop that then serves the post office. Does that make sense?

So, you make an agreement with them, where the guest can park their luggage and pay the store a direct fee for storage.

The store lets you off the hook for the responsibility of the left luggage. And the place to store the luggage serves the Airbnb or VRBO guest.


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