Airbnb announces a permanent ban on parties

Airbnb said it would permanently ban parties at its properties around the world, nearly two years after the home-sharing service issued a temporary ban on large gatherings.

“The temporary ban has proven effective,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that “we are officially codifying the ban as our policy.” The permanent ban went into effect that day.

The move comes after Airbnb in 2019 banned “open invite” gatherings advertised on social media, as well as “chronic party houses” that had become neighborhood nuisances. However, the 16-person occupancy limit that Airbnb adopted in the summer of 2020, when it announced a temporary ban on “all parties and events,” is lifted under the new policy, the company said.

Customers who break the rules could face consequences, such as having their accounts suspended or permanently banned from the platform. In 2021, Airbnb said it suspended more than 6,600 customers for violating the party ban.

Complaints about raucous parties at homes booked through the service accumulated over the years, culminating in the company’s temporary ban in August 2020. At the time, tenants were using these homes to congregate at large groups while restaurants and bars were closed. due to pandemic restrictions.

“Over time, the party ban became much more than a public health measure,” the company said. “It became a critical community policy to support our hosts and their neighbors.”

Airbnb said that since imposing the temporary ban, it has seen a 44 percent year-over-year drop in the rate of party reports. However, critics of the company have pointed to the decline in reporting as restrictions on gatherings in bars, restaurants and other venues have been loosened since the early months of the pandemic.

“The ban has been well received by our host community and we have received positive feedback from community leaders and elected officials,” the company said.

Covid-19 was not the only security risk at these parties. At least 27 shootings were connected to Airbnb rentals between March and October 2020 in the United States and Canada.

The meetings were also disruptive to the neighbors. In 2019, Airbnb introduced a 24-hour hotline called the Neighborhood Support Line that neighbors could use to contact the business about problematic homes or guests.

Jessica Black, a leader of the Texas Neighborhood Coalition, a group working to limit short-term rentals throughout Texas, said she was concerned that Airbnb had removed the 16-person capacity limit. Litter, noise and parking become problems, she said, when there are more people than usual in a residential neighborhood.

“Residence homes were not designed or intended to be event venues,” Ms. Black said. “It’s different than having a neighbor. They’re strangers, so you’re not going to knock on the door in the middle of the night. You don’t know who they are.

In May, Airbnb announced it would bar guests without a positive review history from making overnight reservations on holiday weekends during the summer, such as Memorial Day and Independence Day.

While “just because we don’t have reviews yet doesn’t mean a guest is trying to throw a party,” the company said in May, “this is a tradeoff we’re willing to make in the interest of trust and safety. ”

Karen Xie, a University of Denver professor who researches the short-term rental industry, said Wednesday she wasn’t surprised Airbnb made the party ban permanent. The company, Professor Xie said, is “tired of dealing with host claims and settling house party damage costs.”

“Almost all hosts who are willing to open their homes to guests hate house parties,” he said.

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