Buoyed by increasing media coverage, a growing number of travellers are choosing to book accommodation in residential properties through rental platforms. The platforms do, indeed, offer an interesting alternative to hotels, but travellers using their service should be aware that service fees are often added to the daily rate.

Airbnb, Homeaway and Canadastays are three of the world's best-known rental platforms. Below, we've put together a quick overview to help you sort out the various fees (which can affect both the traveller and the property owner) associated with each of the platforms.

Renters: Renting on Airbnb incurs fees ranging from 6 to 12% of the reservation subtotal. The bigger the total amount, the smaller the percentage charged.

Owners: Hosts pay Airbnb a 3% service fee (calculated on the subtotal) that covers the payment fees involved with the reservation.

Renters: Travellers using the Homeaway platform cover all of the service fees themselves, a total of about 6% of the rental cost (not including the security deposit and taxes).

Owners: Once a reservation is confirmed, owners must pay a service fee of at least 8% of the total reservation amount to the platform. Owners can opt for a yearly membership for $349 which provides an unlimited number of reservations, but they will still have to pay a fee of about 2–3% for each reservation.

Renters: When using the Canadastays platform, service fees are calculated as a percentage of the reservation's partial total (including taxes, but excluding the security deposit). The actual percentage charged per reservation is not listed on the platform and varies greatly from one reservation to another.

Owners: Owners can choose to pay on a per reservation basis. There is, therefore, no need to sign up. Owners must, however, pay a 10% commission fee on the reservation as well as cover the 3% credit card processing fee.
So, in reality, what does it mean for the traveller? How much must one pay? Here is a chart that compares the fees involved in a reservation of about $1,500 for a six-night stay in the same area, for the same period.

Rental Platforms and Their Service Fees

Plateform Rental cost % guest Guest Cost % Owner Owner Total
RSVPcottages 1 500$ 0% 0,00$ 0% 0,00$ 0,00$
Airbnb 1 500$ 6% @ 12% 120,00$ 3% @ 5% 60,00$ 180,00$
Homeaway 1 500$ 6% @ 9% 120,00$ 6% @ 10% 120,00$ 240,00$
Canadastays 1 500$ 8% 120,00$ 13% 195,00$ 315,00$
Tripadvisor 1 500$ 5% @ 15% 150,00$ 3% 45,00$ 195,00$

*Taxes and cleaning fees are usually extra.

When it comes to service fees, it pays to know. RSVPcottages offers a variety of packages from bronze to gold that suit the owner's various needs. There are no other costs involved. There are also no service fees charged for using the platform, so renters come out ahead too.

On which platform(s) did you book accommodation in the past?
Did you know about the fees incurred for renting through the platform?

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