If you were looking to party this summer at your vacation rental, think again if you booked with Airbnb because those days are over.
On Tuesday, Airbnb announced that it was making its temporary ban on parties at rentals owned by its hosts a permanent feature. Under the policy, all listings for "party houses" would be strictly prohibited as well as "disruptive" events and open-invite gatherings.
For those who violate the policy, Airbnb said the users could face suspension of their account or complete removal from the platform. According to its data, about 6,600 guests were suspended last year alone for violating its party ban.
"At Airbnb, we believe the neighborhoods and communities in which we operate are as important as the Hosts and guests who use our service," the company said in its statement announcing the policy change. It acknowledged that most users and hosts behave responsibly on the platform, but added that the change was aimed at deterring the "very rare cases" of irresponsible users.
Airbnb first initiated its ban on parties and large gatherings at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In August 2020, Airbnb instituted a prohibition on all parties and events in listings globally.
Initially, the ban was not designed to be permanent, but the company began to notice a drop in complaints by neighbors over time and a positive reception from its users. The ban contributed to a 44% decline in the number of party-related incidents that were reported, according to the company.
This, in turn, also helped deal with a problem that predated the pandemic. In 2019, Airbnb tightened its measures to forbid open-invite events at properties on its platform following numerous complaints. These efforts also followed a November 2019 shooting at a California rental that left five dead. Since that incident, there have been more shootings at Airbnb rentals, including two in April.
Airbnb acknowledges that the strength of its ban is only as strong as its enforcement of it. To that end, the ban will build on other anti-partying measures implemented in recent months, including an information sharing partnership with the vacation rental site Vrbo to avoid potential offenders slipping through the cracks.