Airbnb announces permanent ban on parties

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

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

The move comes after Airbnb in 2019 banned “open invitation” 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 violate the rules could face consequences, such as having their account suspended or permanently banned from the platform. In 2021, Airbnb said it suspended more than 6,600 guests for violating the party ban.

Complaints about loud parties at homes booked through the service have piled up over the years, culminating in the temporary ban the company enforced in August 2020. At the time, tenants used these homes to congregate in large groups while restaurants and bars were closed. due to pandemic restrictions.

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

Airbnb said that since imposing the temporary ban, it has seen a 44% year-over-year drop in party reporting rates. The company’s critics, however, noted that the decrease in reports came as restrictions on gatherings in bars, restaurants and other venues have eased 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 wasn’t the only safety risk at those parties. At least 27 shoots were linked to Airbnb rentals between March and October 2020 in the United States and Canada.

The gatherings also disturbed the neighbors. In 2019, Airbnb introduced a 24-hour helpline called the Neighborhood Support Line that neighbors could use to contact the company about troublesome homes or guests.

Jessica Black, leader of the Texas Neighborhood Coalition, a group working to limit short-term rentals across Texas, said she’s worried Airbnb has lifted the 16-person capacity limit. Garbage, noise and parking all become problematic, she says, when there are more people than usual in a residential area.

“The apartment houses were not designed or intended to be event venues,” Black said. “It’s different to have a neighbor. They’re strangers, so you won’t be knocking on the door at midnight. You don’t know who they are.

In May, Airbnb announced it was banning guests without a history of positive reviews from making one-night reservations on holiday weekends during the summer, such as Memorial Day and Independence Day.

While “just not having a review yet doesn’t mean a guest is trying to host a party,” the company said in May, “it’s a compromise we’re willing to make in the interest of trust and security.”

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

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

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