Vacation Rental Cleaning Contracts: What You Need to Know

Organizing vacation rental cleaning services without a contract can result in mix-ups and missed cleaning jobs for property owners, as well as unclear expectations and payment issues for cleaning companies.

Fortunately, cleaning contracts are simple to develop and put into place, providing clarity for all parties involved and avoiding conflicts and unmet expectations.

This article will take you through why cleaning contracts are important and what they should include. Then, we’ll conclude with an example of a vacation rental cleaning contract.

Avoid the headaches associated with vacation rental cleaning 

 Simplify and automate your cleaning and maintenance scheduling with Operto Teams.

What is a vacation rental cleaning contract?

A vacation rental cleaning contract is an agreement between a cleaning company and a short-term rental owner or property management company (PMC). Once signed by both parties, it becomes a legally binding agreement that details the specific cleaning services a cleaning company will deliver in exchange for payment.

Vacation rental cleaning contracts are essential whether you rent out an Airbnb or have a large-scale vacation rental company.

Why you need a contract for vacation rental cleaning services

Software like Operto Teams make it easy to communicate with your cleaning team and keep your vacation rental clean and guest-ready.

Establish expectations

Like all contracts, vacation rental cleaning contracts are vital because they put agreements in writing and describe how they’ll be carried out in real life. A thorough cleaning contract won’t leave any room for interpretation or confusion, so both parties will know exactly what’s expected of them.

For example, different cleaning companies have different policies when it comes to last-minute cleans. Some have specific notice periods and others increase their rates. Forgetting to come to an agreement about these kinds of situations can result in frustrated property managers paying unexpectedly high rates or having to delay check-ins due to unclean rooms.

Both property managers and cleaning companies should have their expectations accounted for in their cleaning contracts. Property managers expect their cleaning service to complete all their tasks and leave the property spotless. Meanwhile, cleaning companies expect clear communications, supplies like brooms and mops, and timely payment.

Formalize systems and processes

Relying on casual cleaning agreements can make sense for vacation rental owners who only manage a unit or two. However, when more properties come into the picture and vacation rental businesses grow, informal agreements become unsustainable.

When scaling your property management business, you won’t have time to oversee all your rentals and manage their maintenance. This makes establishing cleaning contracts essential to make sure tasks get done while protecting both your business’s reputation and your peace of mind.

Great vacation rental cleaning contracts account for how things will work on a daily basis. They’ll go a step further than establishing expectations and detail the systems and processes that make sure all services get delivered consistently and smoothly.

Be sure to decide how you will assign cleaning tasks to your cleaning service and outline it in your contract. For instance, you may want to use housekeeping software like Operto Teams that allows for the scheduling of cleaning services. If that’s the case, describe the platform and how you plan to use it in your cleaning contract.

It’s also a good idea to explain processes for last-minute and weekend or holiday cleaning services to make sure everything is clear and agreed on by both parties.

Provide both parties with protection

Vacation rental cleaning contracts offer security in two ways:

  • Contracts are written records. Should any disputes arise, both parties can refer back to the contract to verify what was initially agreed upon. Some contracts even account for appropriate courses of action for disagreements.
  • Contracts protect both parties. Vacation rentals should always be insured, but cleaning contracts should outline who is liable for what in the event of any accidents. In addition, they should account for any major, pre-existing property damages so there’s no room for confusion.

What should a vacation rental cleaning contract include?

Your vacation rental cleaning contract should outline all the elements of your cleaning services agreement. It’s important not to forget any details as a comprehensive contract will reduce miscommunication and ensure that everything runs smoothly.

For instance, forgetting to specify who will bring cleaning supplies and equipment could result in no one bringing it. Unfortunately, that kind of situation leads to wasted time, uncleaned rooms, and frustration all-around.

Be sure to include the following:

Business details

Essentials like your business names, registered addresses, contact people, and contact information.

Responsibilities of the cleaning company

While many cleaning contracts focus on protections and exclusions, some companies choose to include a section that describes cleaning tasks and services in more detail. Categorize them however makes sense to you, for example:

  • By room
  • By amenity
  • By vacation rental property

If you use Operto Teams to manage your housekeeping services, you can include specific cleaning company checklists within calendar tasks rather than including them in your contract. This makes them easier for employees to access on-demand and while they’re working.

Responsibilities of the client

Outline everything the client needs to deliver to keep up their end of the contract. Some common points include:

  • When and how payments will be made
  • How much notice is required when booking new cleaning services
  • If you’re using a scheduling software for cleaning business and communications, how you’ll use the tool, and your associated responsibilities

Standard Property Appearance document

A Standard Property Appearance document shows exactly how your vacation rental should look under ideal circumstances. Sharing it with your cleaning company provides them with a great reference point, making sure they leave everything just as it should be after their services.

Standard Property Appearance documents often include:

  • Images and videos that show expected levels of cleanliness and organization
  • Up-close photos of where furniture, appliances, linens, and other household items should be placed
  • Instructions that detail bed making, linen folding, remote control storage, blinds positioning, and towel placement preferences
  • When new guests are going to check in shortly, temperature control (either thermostat or air conditioning)

Monitor this crucial vacation rental quality control step with Operto Teams. Cleaners and property owners can seamlessly exchange images and videos, making sure that no detail is ever missed.

Cleaning supplies and equipment

Decide whether the vacation rental owner or the cleaning company is responsible for providing all necessary supplies. 

In most cases, both parties provide supplies and equipment. For example, the cleaning staff brings most of the detergents, bleaches, sponges, and clothes and the property management company supplies larger equipment like brooms, mops, and vacuum cleaners.

Whatever you decide, be sure to describe exactly who’s bringing what and what to do when supplies run out in this section.

Scheduling and operational processes

Here, establish your vacation rental cleaning schedule. You may require daily cleaning, weekly cleaning, sporadic deep cleaning, check-out-based cleaning, or some other custom arrangement.

This section is particularly important because vacation rental cleaning is rarely predictable. The frequency will vary depending on guest requirements, season, and the number of bookings you have. In addition, vacation rental cleaners may require more or less time to clean depending on the condition of the property after each booking.

Owing to this, you’ll also have to account for how changes to scheduling, emergency call-outs, and additional requests are handled here.

Using software like Operto Teams can make scheduling vacation rental cleans a great deal easier. Simply automate and track cleaning services and view cleaning and inspection reports within your dashboard.

Invoices and payments

Outline all the financial aspects of your vacation rental cleaning contract here. It’s vital to put this information in writing for future reference. Namely:

  • Detail precise cleaning rates and fees, whether you’ve decided on a flat rate per property or an hourly rate (including applicable discounts and taxes). You can also account for additional costs like deep cleans and seasonal furniture set-ups.

  • Identify who is responsible for less-frequent expenses, like maintenance and replacements. Tools like Operto Teams have payment processing integrations like Quickbooks that make it easy to charge and pay for these kinds of costs as they come up.

  • Be specific about days, seasons, or circumstances where rates may increase or decrease as well as the protocol for additional charges.

  • Include both parties’ payment details.

  • Outline both parties’ preferred way of receiving and making payments.

  • Establish invoicing and payment deadlines.

Contract termination information

Be sure to detail exactly what should happen if either party wants to terminate the vacation rental cleaning contract. To avoid any tension or misunderstandings, outline:

  • How contract termination should be communicated

  • Who contract termination should be directed to

  • The agreed-upon notice period for contract termination (normally at least a month long)

  • The process to go through should contract termination be initiated

It’s also a good idea to account for contract breach in this section. Basically, if either party isn’t fulfilling their responsibilities, what procedure is followed to address and resolve the breach. When a breach can’t be resolved, it’s usually grounds for early contract termination.

Avoid the headaches associated with vacation rental cleaning.

Simplify and automate your cleaning and maintenance scheduling with Operto Teams

A sample vacation rental cleaning services contract 

As we’re not lawyers, please note this should not be constituted as legal advice. If you would like to use this contract for your own purposes, please have it revised by a lawyer first.

Vacation Rental Cleaning Services Contract

Vacation rental cleaning services contract (the “Contract”) entered into on [insert date]


(Cleaning company business name) located at (registered address) with contact person (insert name), phone number (insert number), and email address (insert email address)

(the “Cleaning Company”)


(Property management company business name) located at (registered address) with contact person (insert name), phone number (insert number), and email address (insert email address)

(the “Client”)

Together, (“the Parties”)

1. Responsibilities of the Cleaning Company:

The Cleaning Company will provide cleaning services to five of the Client’s vacation rental properties each week. All units will be cleaned in accordance with the Standard Property Appearance document (Annex A).

Cleaning checklist

  • Vacuum and mop all floors

  • Clean all windows

  • Wash sheets and linens

  • Make beds in accordance with Standard Property Appearance guidelines

  • Etc.

2. Responsibilities of the Client:

The Client will use the software Operto Teams for all business communications related to the cleaning services outlined in the Contract.

The Client will check Operto Teams regularly during the working week so the Cleaning Company can ask questions and send updates.

The Client will pay for their monthly cleaning services on the last day of each month. For example, all March’s cleaning services would be paid for on March 31st. 

Should the Client require any cleaning services that are not included within the scope of this Contract, they must submit their request with at least one week’s notice.

3. Standard Property Appearance Document:

(See Annex A)

4. Cleaning Supplies and Equipment:

The Cleaning Company will provide all cleaning supplies including but not limited to liquids, detergents, bleaches, etc. as well as sponges, towels, etc.

The Client will provide all equipment including but not limited to vacuum cleaners, mops, brooms, etc.

5. Scheduling and Operational Processes:

The Cleaning Company will provide cleaning services to five of the Client’s vacation rental properties each week. The times and dates will depend on guest bookings, so the specifics will be communicated with Operto Teams at least 24 hours in advance.

Should there be any changes to this schedule, the Client will communicate with the Cleaning Company over Operto Teams giving at least one week’s notice.

Should emergency cleans or additional requests be required, the Cleaning Company will do its best to accommodate them. However, if less than 2 days' notice or given no guarantees can be made.

6. Invoices and Payments:

The Client will pay the Cleaning Company $_____________ monthly for the services provided within the scope of this Contract. 

Both parties have agreed on this flat rate, other than high season months (June-September) where the Cleaning Company’s rate will be $_______________ monthly.

Should any out-of-scope payments need to be added to any monthly invoice, the amount agreed upon by both Parties will be added to one of the amounts above.

The Cleaning Company prefers that the payments be made as follows (include bank details):

The payment deadline for each monthly invoice is the last day of the current month.

7. Contract Termination:

If either one of the Parties wants to terminate this Contract, a full month’s notice is required. For example, to terminate the Contract on June 1st, a Party would have to provide notice on May 1st.

A contract termination request should be communicated with the contact information (either telephone or email) outlined at the beginning of this Contract. Once the other Party reponds, the termination notice period begins.

If either Party breaches the terms outlined in this Contract and doesn’t resolve the problem within 30 days, it will also be considered grounds for contract termination. 

In witness whereof the Cleaning Company and the Client have entered into this Contract on the date first indicated above.

Cleaning Company: (Signature)
Printed name:

Client: (Signature)
Printed name:

(Annex A)

Vacation rental cleaning contracts: Key takeaways

Automatically scheduling cleaning and maintenance reduces mistakes and makes sure no tasks fall through the cracks.

All in all, cleaning contracts are an essential part of doing business in the vacation rental industry. 

Not only do they formalize agreements, but they also set the stage for thorough communication, help property managers scale their businesses, establish expectations, outline processes, and provide protection for all parties involved.

Best of all, software like Operto Teams helps you organize and carry out all the services detailed in your cleaning contract clearly and efficiently. It’ll support your vacation rental operations day in and day out and help you reach new levels of professionalism and success.

Avoid the headaches associated with vacation rental cleaning.

Simplify and automate your cleaning and maintenance scheduling with Operto Teams

Vacation rental cleaning contract FAQs

Why do vacation rentals need cleaning contracts?

Every vacation rental business needs a cleaning contract to create an optimal experience for both property owners and cleaning companies.

By establishing expectations, formalizing processes, protecting all parties involved, and putting all the nitty-gritty details of cleaning services into writing, property owners and cleaning companies achieve their goals. The property owner and manager get squeaky clean properties for guests to enjoy amazing vacation experiences, while the cleaning company gets steady work, clear communications, and timely payments.

What should a vacation rental cleaning contract include?

Vacation rental cleaning contracts are flexible and include different information depending on the situation. Nevertheless, the following elements are relevant in most contexts:

  • Business details
  • Cleaning supplies & equipment
  • Details regarding schedules and the general cleaning process
  • Responsibilities of the cleaning company
  • Responsibilities of the client
  • A Standard Property Appearance document
  • Details about invoices and payments
  • Contract termination information

What kind of vacation rental needs a cleaning contract?

You need a cleaning contract whether you’re a property management company that oversees hundreds of vacation rental homes or an Airbnb host. It will make your life easier, ensure that all your properties get cleaned thoroughly and on time, and foster a great working relationship with your cleaning company of choice.

Of course, the more properties you manage, the more necessary a solid cleaning contract becomes. It’s difficult to stay on top of tons of different rentals and you don’t want any cleans to fall through the cracks and impact the guest experience. 

Software like Operto Teams can also help streamline your vacation rental operations and keep all your important information in one place.