Airbnb is banning house parties worldwide as it tries to clean up its reputation and comply with coronavirus-related limits on gatherings.

Airbnb has always prohibited unauthorised parties, but the latest move is part of a further crackdown.

Mr Chesky outlined three key issues on Twitter. He said Airbnb would:

  • Expand manual screening of high-risk reservations
  • Create a dedicated “party house” rapid response team
  • Take immediate action against users who violate the new guest policies (including removal)

But what does this mean?

Manual screening technology is already used by the platform to score reservations for risk before they are confirmed.

We use predictive analytics and machine learning to instantly evaluate hundreds of signals that help us flag and investigate suspicious activity before it happens,” it said.

According to Airbnb this process is going to be expanded, which means your booking will likely be scrutinised even more than it already is, particularly if it happens to be a booking for a large house for, say, one night, as it was reported.

Under their new policy, Airbnb will also suspend or remove + ban users from using their platform who breach this policy.

With an increased requirement for guest identification + facial recognition software, this ban could then mean a life-long ban.

Wait… so an Airbnb Rapid Response team could break up my party?

That doesn’t appear to be the case. So, if you’re envisioning an Airbnb team arriving on the doorstep, dragging unruly guests from properties, you’ve probably gotten a little carried away.

But Airbnb are yet to clarify exactly what this rapid response team would be responsible for. We should know more about what the response team will involve in the next week or so.

For now, the company’s working on “reviewing and accelerating the development and implementation of these new safety initiatives”, Mr Chesky explained.

Policy Update

Airbnb’s Policy for Party and Events was updated on 20th August 2020 with;

Guests who violate this policy are subject to suspension or removal from Airbnb’s platform.

We may also remove listings if we determine a host has authorised a party that violates this policy. In addition, if we receive reports that a listing is disrupting the surrounding community, we may request the host update their rules or suspend the listing.

We’re working to proactively stop unauthorised parties before they even start by strengthening our risk-detection technologies.

The San Francisco-based company will limit occupancy in its rental homes to 16 people, although this accounts for ~ 2% of listings worldwide.

Airbnb said it may pursue legal action against guests and hosts who violate the ban. Last week, for the first time, Airbnb took legal action against a guest who held an unauthorised party in Sacramento County, California.

Airbnb has always prohibited unauthorised parties and the company said nearly 75 per cent of its listings explicitly ban parties.

But after a deadly shooting at a California Airbnb rental last Halloween, the company has taken multiple steps to crack down on parties.

Five people were killed in the shooting, which happened during an unauthorised party.

Our 2 cents

SleepOver Brisbane manages many Airbnb properties across greater Brisbane, spanning from apartments to luxury homes. We have always held a strict no party policy, so it is great to see Airbnb clamping down on this behaviour.

Parties only account for a very small minority, but like our clients, we would prefer no one stays than have guests mistreat a property.

Unfortunately, Covid restrictions has led to the closure of bars and nightclubs and is leading to an increase in house parties.

We encourage home-owners to install security, motion detection cameras, so we can see guests arriving.

Then we can turn off notifications if all normal, or have security attend if the guests breach house rules (at the guests expense).

Bring on 2021 😊