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Finding the right balance between "hidden" fees and fair pricing

During the past few weeks an increasing number of people have been complaining online about the confusing aspect of fees added on top of monthly rent. There’s been quite a bit of unrest, with a reddit thread about the Airbnb price breakdown getting over 45k upvotes in under 24 hours.

Reddit Conversation About Service Fees

Some RoomForTea users had also been asking why a fee is added onto the price of a room... So, we listened to user feedback and made the decision to include fees in the listed price to make it a clean and simple all-in price.

For guests looking for rooms, this has 3 key benefits:

  • it makes it easier to understand the total price of renting a room
  • the price is consistent throughout the experience, from room search to booking
  • the price is cheaper as we no longer round up the price on a per night basis

The fees haven’t actually changed so hosts will receive the same rent every month and still have full control over the room pricing via their dashboard. We’ve also added a handy calculator to help hosts work out their net monthly income and what guests will pay:

Host pricing calculator

What did we change?

Prior to the change, when you viewed a RoomForTea listing, you would see the price per month + additional price per extra nights + the service fee.

We have now included the service fee in the monthly price, so that you know from the start how much you're going to pay, leaving no room for suprises. It also applies to the room search, so that you can filter rooms based on your actual budget.

In the spirit of fairness and transparency, our fees are still clearly indicated on the booking page, before and after accepting a booking:

New Booking Fees

By making it simpler to make rent payments on a pay-as-you-go basis with all bills & fees included, we believe we can meet the rapidly-growing demand for flexible housing in London (& beyond) without compromising the experience for guests and hosts.

We look forward to seeing you on, a great place to find a flexible rental at a good price :)