What is a reasonable charge for a changeover?

Hi all and thanks to everyone who responded to my question re what is a genuine booking.

Quick question for you: I am returning to Dublin for youngest's wedding and need someone to do a changeover for me. How much is that likely to cost? As we are newbies at chambres d'hotes, I am not at all sure what would be expected. It would involve only one room with en suite, and as we will not be there, presumably it would also involve checking they had left the kitchen and living areas clean, etc. Property is tiled throughout, so no heavy vacuuming. And now that I've said all that, I'm wondering exactly what is included when you pay someone to do a changeover for you. Any ideas gratefully received. Thanks.

Good for you John.....that is plain mean....very hard work, physical and deserves a decent wage....

You're absolutely right Barbara! I used to clean out the pre-erected tents near Lake Garda and it was such hard work in that heat - and people used to leave them so minging.

Tracy in this instance it was supposed to be a favour as her husband was ill, he wasnt that ill to take the P, he suggested 8€ my wife told him 9 i told him to get out of bed and do it himself, needless to say they stopped all bookings and haven't done any since

oh Janet...if people dont like what they find..they will say or wont come back...I am a bit OTT with the cleaning...obsessive my husband says! but before our present handover people...we had a couple of complaints...one complainted of crumbs on the stairs and a spider web in the corner of the lounge...plus sand on one of the balconies....(they asked for a full refund!) and another said the floor was gritty with sand and the windows had finger marks...so I am not the only fussy one around!

John, your wife is undercharging, if she is self employed, she can not afford to pay her social charges on 9€, 15€ an hour I would suggest as the absolute minimum, as that equates to the minimum wage, holiday pay etc. It does not take into account working anti social hours and the fact that the work is seasonal and so on.

I appreciate that it depends on where you are and the demand and so on but she is seriously undervaluing herself.

that is outrageous John....I am full of praise for the couple who do our handover.. on the occasions when we want a break and I do the prep for the next guests, it takes me 9 plus hours to do everything....and they manage to clean it beautifully and have it ready for guests in a couple of hours..and its sparkling....you get what you pay for.

MY wife has always said that looking after 25 primary school children wasnt nearly as hard as change over but then again i would dissagree we are on the border of the Tarn and Aude smack in the middle of nowhere

In hot weather changeover fees should be double.

Horrid work at 30 degreesplus!

Having been providing changover services in Lanquadoc for a few years now (as a fully registered business), we know just how difficult it is to earn a basic living from this kind of work.

The SMIC minimum wage is intended for 'full-time employment'.

However, as most of our clients require 'weekend' changovers, and undertaken between 10 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. It is just not possible to take on enough hours to make anywhere near a 'full-time' living !

I used to pay about 35 euros ten years ago for changing the linens and checking over the cottage. Guests are requested to leave the cottage as found, except for linens. I would charge 80 if it involved opening or closing the cottage, which has one bedroom but a fireplace in the living room which also needed cleaning and resetting, but my neighbour started charging me 80 for all changeovers. I think it was a misunderstanding and so I just paid the 80 euros. I was charging about 500 a week for the cottage then so reckoned it was worth it and I liked the idea of someone reliable on hand in case of an emergency as I lived most of the year in New York. If the cottage is a tip, I think 60 is a fair charge as it involves at least four hours of work to ready for the next tenant.

If the current SMIC is 9.22€/hr (increasing on 1st July) and an employer pays approx the same in social charges, then I would have thought that an Autoentrepreneur could reasonably charge 15€/hr to include their transport cost and social contributions.

Hi Sheila!

As a Chambres d'Hotes (rather than a gite), technically the owner/host is supposed to be 'living on the premises'; we were advised that this could not mean 'living in the house next door'. So I wonder where that would leave you if you did not at least have someone 'living-in' to attend to guest while you are away? It could affect your insurance as well!

As to 'changeover costs', in the ten years we were in the business we did it all ourselves. The 'cost' of this appeared in the price charged (38€ per night for two people in 2010) - it did sometimes feel as if we were working for nothing! It also meant that for ten years we never had a holiday together.

Needless to say, we did have potential clients who thought that 38€ was far too ecpensive, since they did not have television or telephone in the room! One person said that since it was 'only pocket money' for us, we were overcharging.

To be honest, I would just go and have a good trip, close down while you are away, and come back fresh and raring to go!

Thanks everyone for the replies. Both ladies whom I could ask are local, i.e., live in the village. Will suggest maybe €30 because it is B&B only, and it should involve no more than changing one bed and quick clean of bathroom, plus laundering of towels and duvet covers, etc.

Well my wife charges 9€ an hour and one person we know will not pay that amount she would sooner have no bookings than pay for change over, she expects wait on table ,help prepare food and cook, clean rooms and whole house, does the word skivvy come to mind

Hi Sheila - we have a 2 bed place in Bouches-du-Rhone. We have changed our agent as per this summer - in 2010/11 our then agent who did our change-over, would charge us 200Euro + (included travel time & petrol, as she lived c 45min away) + cost of laundrette, she did the cleaning and 'meet & greet' herself.

Our new agent, who is local, will only charge us c 100.00Euro for a change-over, as above, but this time, one person is doing the cleaning, changing bedding, towel and pool towels + cost of laundrette and another person doing the 'meet & greet', but as it's our first time with her, I have asked that she let us know that we are paying her the correct money, ie should 'they' over run on time, as she needs to familiarise herself with our place, so we'll see, but as she does it because she likes it - but this time the pricing is very reasonable this time.

Good luck finding someone local, as that will make all the difference.... :)

Thanks Carol and Sue. I'd rather turn down a booking than insult either of these two friends by offering them a deal that isn't worth much! :-)

I am in the Cher where there are not many tourists and get paid €45 for a two bedroom bungalow including doing the laundry and ironing - works out at about €10 an hour plus €5 for my petrol - 20 mile round trip.

Just work out what is ok for all of you...if people stay more than one night..less work involved..our handovers are only at the end of a week..or fortnight...but if you are changing sheets daily and cleaning thats a bit different...

Hi Carol, thanks for that. I am in Languedoc in the Aude. We have just started to do B&B while we develop the painting holidays idea. We offer one room and because we will be back in Dublin for 9 days, I was going to suggest to a couple of friends here that in the event of a booking while we are away, they look after it and take half. Then it occurred to me that if they simply offered to do the changeover, they could charge xxx. If xxx is more than half the cost of the booking, it's not worth their while, if you see what I mean. We are charging €55 per room per night.