Airbnb introduces new rules to control parties and inconvenience

A woman browses the site of US home sharing giant Airbnb on a tablet in Berlin

A woman browses the site of US home sharing giant Airbnb on a tablet in Berlin

The company said Thursday it's banning "open invite" parties at all of its accommodations. As the company matures and crafts its pitch to Wall Street, we can expect to see additional updates to its policy to protect hosts, guests and communities.

Airbnb says it's in the process of identifying listings globally that may be violating the party house ban, including accommodations in Los Angeles, Miami Beach, London and Montreal. The company says it is asking hosts to update their listings to comply with the "open invitation" ban.

"[If] it is determined that a guest has violated the new standards, the first violation will result in a warning and required education on Airbnb rules", writes Richardson.

Airbnb will provide a "clear and actionable enforcement framework" for scenarios, including excessive noise, major cleanliness concerns, as well as unauthorized guests, parking and smoking. Airbnb has previously banned parties that aren't sanctioned by hosts.

The new policy prohibits open-invite parties, like ones advertised on social media, and large parties in multi-family residences, such as apartment buildings and condos.

The city of Montreal recently mandated that property owners who rent their homes for fewer than 31 consecutive days purchase a permit. Hosts in those homes are invested in their communities and are more careful about which guests they accept, it said.

"The challenge for Airbnb will be enforcing these rules, though, as its enormous scale can make that hard", Guttentag said. Airbnb said it would have more information in 2020 about its hotline for city officials.

Guttentag said it could also be hard for Airbnb to determine what is "too loud" and ensure that neighbors reporting a problem aren't just trying to shut a rental down.

The company is under pressure to gain the trust of travelers, neighbors and legislators while preparing for its initial public offering scheduled for next year.

Notably, Airbnb says it will also launch a "dedicated line" for city officials to reach the company to, presumably, both discuss its new policies and complain about specific rentals that appear to be in violation of platform or city rules.

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