Airbnb bans party houses, says guests who violate house rules can be kicked off platform

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  • Airbnb announced new policies on Thursday in an effort to crack down on unauthorised parties and address complaints by neighbours and city officials.
  • The changes come on the heels of a deadly shooting at an Airbnb rental and concerns about fraud on the platform.
  • While certain parties preapproved by hosts will still be allowed, Airbnb is banning “open-invite” parties, including those promoted on social media.
  • Guests who violate the updated rules will be given one warning before they risk having their accounts suspended or shut down.
  • Airbnb said it also planned to open hotlines for neighbours and city officials to lodge complaints.
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Airbnb said in a blog post Thursday that, starting in early 2020, it would ban all unauthorised parties and update its guest standards in an effort to address growing trust and safety concerns surrounding the platform.

Airbnb said it hoped to crack down on party houses by prohibiting any “open-invite” parties that were not preapproved by hosts, including those promoted by guests on social media. The new policy would also ban large parties and events in multifamily residences, such as apartments and condos, but would still allow hosts with single-family homes and professional event venues to set their own rules around events.

The updated guest standards address situations involving excessive noise, major cleanliness concerns, and unauthorised guests, parking, or smoking. While Airbnb has long required guests to follow hosts’ rules, it said the new policy created a “clear and actionable enforcement framework” in situations in which guests violate those rules. First-time violations will result in a warning and “required education on Airbnb rules,” while subsequent ones could mean account suspensions or removals.

Airbnb also said it had plans to launch hotlines for neighbours and city officials to contact the company with any concerns. In a blog post last month, the company detailed the planned staffing, rollout, and structure of its neighbour hotline. Airbnb said it would have more information in 2020 about its hotline for city officials.

The company’s announcement comes in response to growing concerns about trust and safety on the platform, including a recent deadly shooting at an Airbnb property in California and an extensive scam operation uncovered by the Vice reporter Allie Conti.

In the blog post, Airbnb’s vice president of trust, Margaret Richardson, said the policy changes were “part of a continued commitment to develop technological and human interventions to prevent, detect, and respond to safety issues that undermine trust within our community.”

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