Airbnb cracks down to prevent parties Halloween weekend

U.S.

DENVER (KDVR) — Airbnb is once again banning house parties during Halloween weekend.

The company piloted the plan in October 2020 and, after positive feedback, decided to use it again.

“It’s about finding the needles in the haystack because when they occur, they can be damaging for a home or a neighborhood,” said Ben Breit, Airbnb’s head of trust and safety communications.

Airbnb party ban initiative

Here is how the policy works, according to the company’s website:

Similar to our New Year’s Eve and July 4 initiatives, effective today the following criteria will be in place for guests attempting to book reservations in the US and Canada over Halloween weekend:

For one-night reservations: Guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb will be prohibited from making one-night reservations in entire home listings.

For two-night reservations: As Halloween approaches, we will deploy more stringent restrictions on two-night reservations that may pose heightened risk for parties. For example, we will leverage our technology that restricts certain local and last-minute bookings by guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb and also block reservations within an expanded radius.

Guests who have a history of positive reviews on Airbnb will not be subject to these restrictions.

Guests making one or two-night reservations will need to attest that they understand Airbnb’s party ban and that they may be subject to legal action if that rule is broken

AIRBNB

Breit said hosts with Airbnb liked the new policy, and they estimate that the change resulted in a drop in unauthorized parties and similar problems by more than 49% for Halloween and more than 51% for New Year’s Eve in 2020.

“If I don’t have that history of positive reviews and I’m trying to make that one-night reservation in Denver, I’m going to be deterred by that; as a result, it’s not going to work,” Breit said.

During Halloween weekend in Denver in 2020, Breit said 300 reservations were deterred. He said not all 300 were people trying to host parties, but it did stop some people who were trying to.

“We have taken legal action against guests who violated those rules and thrown damaging parties. It’s just not something we are going to tolerate,” Breit said.

Candice Kingston, an Airbnb host in Denver, said she likes the policy and isn’t worried about losing guests over it. She said Airbnb has the hosts’ best interests in mind.

“You aren’t going to have a big party to clean up after. That would be a big pain,” Kingston said.

She said she has had no issues with the more than 200 guests they’ve hosted over the past four years.

“People are usually accomodating for us like we are for them, so it goes both ways,” Kingston said.   

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