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Airbnb is permanently banning house parties

Airbnb has prohibited ‘open-invite’ house parties since late 2019.

airbnb logo and blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

Airbnb is permanently banning parties across its properties, the company announced earlier this week. On top of that, they recently introduced ‘anti-party’ predictive analytics tools.

The San Francisco-based platform had previously allowed hosts to decide whether to allow parties or not. That policy ended in August 2020, as the company sought to curb the spread of COVID-19.

During the earliest months of the pandemic, a period defined by the widespread closures of bars and non-essential leisure facilities, people turned to Airbnb as a place to socialize and intermingle.

In 2021, Airbnb suspended over 6,600 accounts for violating its party ban. The company claimed this resulted in a 44 percent drop in reported parties.

In a statement, Airbnb said: “In August 2020 we announced a temporary ban on all parties and events in listings globally — which at the time was in effect ‘until further notice.’ The temporary ban has proved effective, and today we are officially codifying the ban as our policy.”

“The policy will continue to include serious consequences for guests who attempt to violate these rules, varying from account suspension to full removal from the platform,” it added.

Previous action from Airbnb

house party in cabin
Who HASN’T been to a party where someone is waving around boxed water? (Image: Unsplash)

Airbnb has prohibited “open-invite” house parties since late 2019, following the tragic shooting at a Halloween party in Orinda, California.

Five attendees died at the event, which was advertised on Facebook, with a further four reported injured. According to the owner of the mansion, the renter falsely claimed they were seeking refuge for their family from wildfires.

The shooting also prompted Airbnb to ban “party houses.” These are properties advertised explicitly as a place to hold gatherings, often to the chagrin of the surrounding community.

Reassuring hosts and communities

As Airbnb has emerged as a mainstream element in the travel industry, the company has sought to reassure hosts and communities.

In recent years, Airbnb has expanded its insurance coverage for hosts, and provided a dedicated helpline for both property owners and their surrounding communities.

The company has also taken preventative measures during peak holiday seasons, when house parties are most likely to occur.

These have included blocking reservations for guests without a history of positive reviews, and restricting last-minute and local bookings. Would-be renters would also have to agree to an explicit no-party policy.

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Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Past work can be found on The Register, Reason, The Next Web, and Wired.

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