Airbnb announces measures to help ensure safe and enjoyable New Year’s Eve

As part of ongoing efforts to crack down on party houses and other disruptions, Airbnb today announced additional measures to give Australian communities added peace of mind this New Year’s Eve.

Effective today, guests who do not have a history of positive reviews on Airbnb will be prevented from booking one-night stays in entire home listings for 31 December, 2020. Meanwhile, guests who are able to successfully make bookings will be required to attest to Airbnb’s global party ban and acknowledge that violating this policy may lead to their account being removed from the platform and potentially even legal action.

Derek Nolan, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Australia, said the measures were designed to help ensure hosts, guests and the broader community could all safely enjoy New Year’s Eve.

“The vast majority of guests are considerate travellers who are respectful of their hosts’ neighbours, and treat the home in which they’re staying as if it were their own,” he said.

“These measures are about helping to ensure everyone can safely and responsibly celebrate New Year’s Eve. At the same time, they have been designed to make sure Airbnb guests with a track record of being respectful travellers can enjoy a wide range of options.

“Negative incidents are extremely rare on Airbnb – however, we continue to work diligently to make them even rarer. We want to remind both guests and hosts that bad behaviour has no place on Airbnb and those who willfully fail to adhere to our policies face removal from our platform.”

Here is how it will work over New Year’s Eve:

  • Effective today, guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb will be prohibited from making one night reservations in entire home listings on New Year’s Eve.
  • Guests who have a history of positive reviews on Airbnb will not be subject to this restriction.
  • We are allowing already booked one-night reservations to go through as planned, as our data has historically shown that one-night New Year’s Eve bookings made prior to now very rarely lead to unauthorised parties. 
  • The same measures are being implemented in a number of other countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, France, Spain and Mexico.

Here’s how we’ll complement the one night booking restrictions over New Year’s Eve:

  • As New Year’s Eve approaches, we are deploying more stringent restrictions on one and 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.
  • All guests globally with successful bookings must attest that they will not throw an unauthorised party and that they may be pursued legally by Airbnb if they break our rules on parties and events.
  • We are providing guidance to hosts in those countries on how to further reduce the likelihood of unauthorised parties, including updating and proactively communicating their house rules to guests.
  • Airbnb will be operating a virtual command center to get ahead of any issues, along with trained safety agents on call throughout New Year’s Eve.

Airbnb has carefully developed this New Year’s Eve initiative to ensure it is informed by host feedback, along with a review of our data, systems and tools. We believe this plan will help prevent large gatherings while supporting the type of safe, responsible travel that benefits guests, hosts and the neighborhoods they call home.

This latest measure follows action recently taken by Airbnb against more than 400 listings across Australia. These listings were suspended or removed from the platform for violating Airbnb policies on parties and events or for having received a number of complaints.

We also continue to encourage members of the community to make use of Airbnb’s Neighbourhood Support Page which allows anyone to submit concerns or complaints regarding specific listings. 

Additionally, we recently expanded our manual screening of high-risk reservations across the entire country to help stop parties before they start. This followed a successful pilot in Melbourne which prevented more than 1400 bookings from taking place. While no system is perfect and able to prevent issues 100% of the time, this measure is working to give hosts and local communities further peace of mind.