Airbnb to Ban All 'Open-Invite Parties and Events' As Part of New Guidelines

Airbnb is banning all "open-invite parties and events" from being hosted at an Airbnb property as part of new guidelines set to be rolled out in 2020.

The latest regulation comes as part of the company's effort to address safety concerns after a gunman opened fire during a Halloween party hosted in an Airbnb property in California.

The new policy states that "all 'open-invite' parties and events are banned in Airbnb accommodations. This covers any event that the organizer opens up to anyone who wants to attend, such as gatherings advertised on social media. Hosts who attempt to circumvent this ban and allow guests to throw large parties will be subject to consequences," the company said in a statement on its website.

"We may reach out to hosts to ask them to update their House Rules to address these concerns. When changes to House Rules are insufficient or if the complaints persist, listings will be subject to suspension or removal," Airbnb added.

The latest announcement comes after a series of safety-related incidents that took place at an Airbnb property last month, including an armed robbery at a house party held at an Airbnb rental in Atlanta that took place just one week after the company pledged to ban party houses from its website.

About a week and a half later, a home listed on Airbnb in Australia was left with more than $30,000 worth of damage after a house party attended by dozens of youths escalated out of control.

The new policy does not apply to parties that are authorized by hosts and "convened respectfully by guests," the company noted, and all hospitality listings (such as boutique hotels and professional event venues) are entitled to operate under their own rules for open-invite parties/events and therefore not subject to the recent ban. However "even for these listings, Airbnb will monitor for any complaints and follow up with venues as necessary," the company said.

In addition, all large parties and events are banned from being held in multi-family residences (including apartment buildings and condos) listed on Airbnb, while hosts at single family residences will be left to establish their own house rules around open-invite parties/events that are most appropriate for their community.

Given the broad range of accommodation available among single family residences, Airbnb concluded "it's best to address the impact of hosting in single-family homes on a per-listing basis rather than creating a sweeping policy that would unfairly impact some hosts."

All unauthorized parties (those thrown by guests without the knowledge or consent of the host) remain prohibited.

Former national police and justice officials were said to have been consulted to develop the latest policy on parties and events, including retired police commissioner and co-chair of former President Barack Obama's Task Force on 21st century policing, Charles Ramsey, and the former director of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing's Services, Ronald Davis.

The ban joins two other initiatives from the newly introduced guidelines including "new guest standards," which attempt to clarify the expectations to be met by guests and the penalties for guests who violate regulations.

The new standards cover five scenarios (including excessive noise, unauthorized guests, unauthorized parking, unauthorized smoking and major cleanliness concerns requiring excessive cleaning after checkout) and aim to outline "a clear and actionable enforcement framework" for each scenario.

Guests will be given a warning and "required education on Airbnb rules" on the first instance of a violation of the new guest standards, while any subsequent offenses could lead to account suspension or removal.

Complaints about hosts can be filed using the Airbnb Neighbor Tool at the company's website or by phoning the Airbnb Neighbor Hotline, which was announced last month by Airbnb Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky.

"We are launching a 24/7 neighbor hotline so anyone can call us anytime, anywhere in the world and reach a real person. This hotline will be led by our rapid response team," he wrote in a post on his official Twitter account.

The company noted these new guest standards would be under a continual process of review and update with every new situation of violation that may arise in the future.

The third new initiative promised the launch of "a dedicated line where mayors and city officials can connect with appropriate Airbnb representatives about our [Airbnb's] new policies," the details of which will be unveiled in 2020.

It has yet to be determined exactly when the new guidelines will go into effect next year and how the new rules will be enforced. Newsweek has contacted Airbnb for comment.

Between August 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019, 0.05 percent of trips on Airbnb had a safety-related issue reported by a host or guest and 0.03 percent of trips on Airbnb had a significant claim paid out under the company's "Host Guarantee" policy, Airbnb noted.

"While these events are rare, we must continue to evaluate these incidents and seek new ways to prevent future occurrences to the greatest extent possible," Airbnb said.

The company also claimed it is currently in the process of proactively identifying listings around the world that may be in violation of its new rules, including in Los Angeles, Nashville, Miami Beach, London, Sydney, Montreal and elsewhere, with a goal to have hosts update their listings to comply with the party house ban policy.

Those concerned about potential party houses in their neighborhoods are advised to contact Airbnb at airbnb.com/neighbors.

Last month, the CEO announced that by December 15, 2020, all Airbnb listings would be verified for accuracy of the listing (including accuracy of photos, addresses, and listing details) and quality standards (including cleanliness, safety, and basic home amenities).

Airbnb has more than 7 million listings and has had more than half a billion guest arrivals across 191 countries, according to the company.

airbnb logo 2019
An Airbnb logo shown on a tablet in Paris on November 22, 2019. The property rental company introduced new guidelines this week in a bid to tackle recent safety concerns. Getty Images
Airbnb to Ban All 'Open-Invite Parties and Events' As Part of New Guidelines | News