Airbnb. (Pixabay)

Airbnb bans house parties worldwide, citing coronavirus mandates

Airbnb said it plans to expand a hotline for neighbours to report unauthorized parties

Airbnb is banning house parties worldwide as it tries to clean up its reputation and comply with coronavirus-related limits on gatherings.

The San Francisco-based home sharing company said it will limit occupancy in its rental homes to 16 people. It may offer exceptions for boutique hotels or other event venues.

Airbnb said it may pursue legal action against guests and hosts who violate the ban. Last week, for the first time, Airbnb took legal action against a guest who held an unauthorized party in Sacramento County, California.

Airbnb has always prohibited unauthorized parties, and the company said nearly 75% of its listings explicitly ban parties.

But after a deadly shooting at a California Airbnb rental last Halloween, the company has taken multiple steps to crack down on parties. Five people were killed in the shooting, which happened during an unauthorized party.

Last November, Airbnb started manually reviewing U.S. and Canadian reservations to weed out suspicious rentals, like a guest who booked a one-night stay close to their home. It expanded that program to Australia last week.

In July, Airbnb banned U.S. and Canadian guests under age 25 with fewer than three positive reviews from booking entire homes close to where they live. It expanded that policy to the United Kingdom, Spain and France last week.

Airbnb said it also plans to expand a hotline for neighbours to report unauthorized parties.

Airbnb — which has more than 7 million listings — offers hundreds of homes that can accommodate 16 people. There are at least 53 in London, 277 in Beijing, 170 in New York and 116 in Los Angeles, according to the company’s website.

Twelve-year-old Airbnb has been trying to shed its couch-surfing image and appeal to more types of travellers ahead of its initial public offering, which could happen later this year. Last year it announced an effort to verify all of its properties, for example.

The company also said it wants to make sure it’s complying with public health mandates. Los Angeles County has a ban on gatherings of people from different households, for example.

Airbnb said the coronavirus-related closure of bars and nightclubs has led to an increase in big house parties, sometimes at its rentals.

“We do not want that type of business, and anyone engaged in or allowing that behaviour does not belong on our platform,” Airbnb said in a post on its website.

READ MORE: B.C. sets limits on number of guests, visitors in vacation rentals, houseboats

Dee-Ann Durbin, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

AirbnbCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City reintroduces online tool to Vernon in new video

New video highlights benefits and features of MyCity

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

BC VOTES 2020: Vernon nurse running for NDP

Harwinder Sandhu, who ran for NDP in 2019 federal vote, is declared Vernon-Monashee candidate

More victims possible in Vernon assault case

Police have a man in custody but feel there could be more victims in the case

North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse hosting skills camp

With social distancing rules in effect, camp runs Wednesdays through to Oct. 7 for all age groups

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Motorcycle rider identified following fatal crash in Peachland

Michael Odenbach died in a motorcycle collision on Sept. 27

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Shuswap BC SPCA launches spay/neuter program for low-income residents

Program available to low-income residents in the region

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Known Kelowna Hells Angels associate to face trial in October

Colin Michael Bayley is set to stand trial next month for an alleged aggravated assault

Most Read