May 17, 2023 - Real Estate

Tampa Bay has some of the highest Airbnb fees in the country

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tampa Bay has some of the steepest Airbnb fees in the nation, according to a recent Forbes analysis.

Driving the news: About 45% of the cost of an Airbnb stay in Davenport is made up of fees — cleaning, service and taxes, Forbes says. That makes the Polk County city the fourth-worst on the list, likely driven by its proximity to Disney World.

  • Tampa and Sarasota ranked 16th and 17th respectively in the list of 100 cities. Their stays average 42% and 41% fees.

Why it matters: High cleaning fees, service charges and taxes could unexpectedly break hopeful travelers' budgets.

Reality check: Booking a stay in Sarasota at the average $241 per night could actually cost nearly $340 with fees. That's an extra $494 over five days in fees alone.

How it works: Forbes Advisor says it looked at 32,000 listings in the 100 most popular Airbnb markets. The analysis reviewed listings for July 2023.

  • On average, cleaning fees are 11% of the subtotal, service fees are 15% and taxes are 10%. Service fees are imposed by the platform, but cleaning and additional guest fees are imposed by hosts.

Zoom in: Florida cities have five of the top 10 highest cleaning-fee percentages in the country, according to the report, including Davenport at 19% and Sarasota at 15%.

Flashback: After customer complaints, Airbnb last December added the option for customers to see the total price before booking.

  • Now, properties will display the cost with all fees before taxes in search results, map, filter and listing page.

The latest: Indian Rocks Beach just passed an ordinance with new rules for short-term rentals after residents complained of issues like noise violations, illegal parking, strangers harassing homeowners and leaving trash.

  • "Homes not Hotels" signs can be seen in yards throughout the town.

What we're watching: The short-term rental market appears to be getting saturated as more property owners list their spaces, The Wall Street Journal reported.

  • Some owners are reporting drops in the number of nights booked at their rental properties.

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