If you’re looking for a place to host your next party, Airbnb says you’d better look elsewhere. The vacation rental company announced today that it is putting a permanent ban on parties in the properties on their site. The announcement comes after a temporary ban was implemented nearly two years ago.
In a statement on their website, Airbnb said their new policy is meant to protect the neighborhoods and the hosts and guests who use their service.
“We know that the overwhelming majority of our Hosts share their homes responsibly, just as the overwhelming majority of guests are responsible and treat their listings and neighborhoods as if they were their own. In turn, we focus on trying to deter the very rare cases of Hosts who do not operate responsibly, or guests who try to throw unauthorized parties.”
According to the company’s Party and Events policy, which was rolled out in August 2020, gatherings of more than 16 people are prohibited at Airbnb properties, and hosts are not allowed to advertise their property as a party-friendly location. Guests at an Airbnb property who violate the policy can be either suspended or removed from Airbnb’s platform altogether. And if a host authorizes a party at their property that disturbs the surrounding community, they may be asked to remove their listing from the platform.
The company said their policy has helped a bit. Since the policy was rolled out, they have seen a 40 percent decrease in party reports.
The initial temporary ban came during the COVID-19 pandemic to help control the spread of the virus. But as people prepare to hit the road for summer vacations, safety is also a motivating factor for the company’s position. Shootings have erupted at parties on Airbnb properties, including an April 2022 incident when up to 50 shots were fired after a fight broke out at a teen’s party hosted at a Houston Airbnb property. Two teenagers were killed in a mass shooting during an unauthorized party at a Pittsburgh Airbnb on Easter.
But as the company’s new plan includes a 24-hour safety line, a Neighborhood Support Line, and a partnership with Vrbo to share information on repeat “party house” offenders in the US, one has to wonder if it will incentivize a new crop of Karens to stay perched at their windows looking for parties to break up.