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

AlleyCats Okanagan: Pet of the week

Mort is available through AlleyCats Alliance

Okanagan College expands ‘Wellness Wednesdays’ to all students this fall

Wellness Wednesday workshops are designed to be psycho-educational

Kelowna haunted house to transition to parade-style format amid COVID-19

The Grenfell Road Haunted Parade will take place on Oct. 30 and 31 in Kelowna

Reported Kelowna Hells Angels member dies in Fraser Valley motorcycle crash

Michael “Speedy” Christiansen was found dead on Monday morning near Ruby Creek on Highway 7

Search continues for wheelchair, camera, stolen near West Kelowna

Police say the man relies on the wheelchair, as he is mobility challenged

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

Suspected human remains found in burned out vehicle on OKIB land

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP hand over investigation to Major Crimes

Kamloops RCMP search for armed robber of pizza restaurant

The incident unfolded on Monday evening at the Sahali Domino’s store

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Trial underway for Kamloops man charged with kidnapping

Michael Mathieson is charged with armed robbery, unlawful confinement and kidnapping

Dyer: Financing energy efficiency

Kristy Dyer has a background in art and physics and consulted for Silicon Valley

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Most Read