If you were banking on having a rager at your next Airbnb rental, you might want to think again. Today, Aug. 20, the San Francisco-based company announced an indefinite ban on parties, applicable to its more than 6 million listings around the globe. The ban goes into effect for all bookings made on or after August 20 and also caps gatherings to 16 people, a limitation that is specifically geared toward larger properties.
In addition to limiting guests, Airbnb has also banned any parties or events not previously authorized by the host and "open-invite" parties that don't have a fixed guest list and are often advertised on social media.
For “multi-family complexes” like a apartment buildings or condos, large gatherings (wedding, baby shower, etc.) are not permitted, even with a host's permission. However, guests can book small gatherings that fall in line with local health guidelines.
While some travelers use Airbnb rentals as a more comfortable, socially distanced alternative to hotels in light of COVID-19, Airbnb listings have also become prime real estate for gatherings that defy social distancing.
"Some have chosen to take bar and club behavior to homes, sometimes rented through our platform. We think such conduct is incredibly irresponsible—we do not want that type of business, and anyone engaged in or allowing that behavior does not belong on our platform," Airbnb said in a statement. "Based on these developments, instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest of public health."
This global ban should come as no surprise as Airbnb banned open-invite parties not approved by hosts at the end of 2019. This came shortly after five people were killed at a California rental that became the site of a surprise 100-person Halloween party.
Also, earlier in August, Airbnb suspended or removed more than 30 listings in New Jersey that ignored social distancing guidelines, with one party having 700 guests.
Airbnb says those who violate the ban will face "steep consequences.” Guests who throw unauthorized parties may be suspended or completely removed from the platform, and repercussions are even deeper for those open-invite gatherings—both guests and hosts may have their accounts removed.
While being banned from Airbnb can be a major inconvenience for guests and a loss of income for hosts, it doesn’t end there. The company has stated they may even pursue the matter legally. Just last week the company announced they’re taking actions against a guest who threw an unauthorized party where three people were shot.
Airbnb's Neighborhood Support, launched in 2019, makes it easy for those living near a known Airbnb listing to report any noise disturbances or large gatherings. Neighbors can submit a claim online, whether they have a link to the actual Airbnb listing or not, or even call a hotline for parties that are in progress.
Airbnb. "Airbnb Announces Global Party Ban." Aug. 20, 2020