The party’s officially over in Airbnb rentals

Airbnb moves to make a temporary party ban introduced amidst the Covid-19 pandemic permanent. The company has decided to codify the policy as it “proved effective”.

From a drug-fueled “orgy” to a 100-people-strong New Year’s Eve celebration leaving a one-bedroom apartment “trashed”, the internet’s full of cautionary tales by unsuspecting Airbnb hosts.

These were the days when a San Francisco-based company left it to the hosts to use their “best judgment” and authorize parties when appropriate. It did not cover the fact that hosts might have been unaware of tenant intentions. Eventually, Airbnb started taking gradual steps to curb unruly behavior in rentals offered on its marketplace. In late 2019, it banned open-invite parties that were advertised on social media and set up a direct support line for neighbors disturbed by short-term visitors next door.

Contrary to the logic, the situation got more complicated with the start of the pandemic. Even when bars and clubs closed or restricted their service, the party did not stop. Some people took it to rented homes, including through Airbnb. As the precarious summer holiday season of 2020 was about to end, the company announced a temporary party ban.

Now, able to compare the numbers of party complaints received before and after the temporary ban – with a reported year-on-year of 44% – Airbnb decided to build on the “momentum” and make it permanent.

It will, nevertheless, remove a 16-person occupancy cap introduced as part of a temporary ban, noting properties from “castles in Europe” to “beachfront villas in the Caribbean” as capable of housing more people.

It warns of consequences for guests who attempt to violate party rules, varying from account suspension (with 6,600 guests suspended in 2021) to complete removal from the platform.

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