Airbnb Issues Arizona Home Party Warning for Halloween Weekend | Arizona News
PHOENIX (3TV / CBS 5) – Airbnb issued a warning ahead of Halloween weekend that the holidays will be banned for listings in Arizona.
The warning reminds users that the company may take legal action against travelers who violate Airbnb’s rules against parties. Airbnb also announced that it will not allow overnight bookings during the holiday weekend at entire homes in Arizona, the United States and Canada.
The ban is indeed aimed at mitigating the spread of the coronavirus during what appears to be a spate of cases in Arizona.
“What we’re doing is we don’t allow any one-night bookings to entire accommodations. So for this weekend it’s going to be a two-night minimum,” Ben Breit said with AirBnB. “We’re doing this to try to protect public health, to do our part, to reduce as many large gatherings as possible. “
Travelers who booked two or more days this weekend should confirm that they understand they may be subject to Airbnb takedown or legal action if they violate holiday rules.
Breit says they think it’s the right thing to do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We can’t do it alone, can we? It’s not like all the big gatherings are happening on Airbnb, they are happening everywhere, but we really do believe that we have a role to play and that ‘there is a way to help and that’s it. “
Customers who booked for overnight stays over this weekend will find their plans disrupted, even if they never intended to throw a party. But Breit says those guests have been reimbursed.
“We understand this is disrupting the plans of a few of our guests, whom we all have fully reimbursed of course,” said Breit. “All of the Arizona hosts who had reservations, overnight reservations for this stretch, those reservations are canceled but they still received payment out of Airbnb’s pockets just for the inconvenience.”
Mark Beauvais, an Airbnb host who owns three properties, says he wasn’t surprised to receive this notice from the short-term rental company. In July, Airbnb suspended or removed more than 50 listings to crack down on party houses.
Police officers from three Valley departments told CBS 5 Investigates that they see short-term rentals and the parties they attract as a growing public safety concern.
“It’s kind of a painful statement of the obvious. We’ve been on the lookout for this for probably the last two weeks,” Beauvais said.
Beauvais says overnight bookings normally catch his eye.
“We’re always looking for red flags and things that would alert us to harmful activity and that’s a clear sign,” Beauvais said. “The perception that a vacation rental is a party house or a pet store just isn’t the case. I think that’s less than half of one percent of what happens in the world of vacation.”
Airbnb is also offering advice to Arizona hosts on how to protect their properties from unauthorized parties.
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