In August 2020 we announced a temporary ban on all parties and events in Airbnb listings globally – which at the time was in effect “until further notice” – to deter the very rare cases of Hosts who do not operate responsibly, or guests who try to throw unauthorised parties. The temporary ban has proved effective, and today we are officially codifying the ban as our policy.
At Airbnb, we believe the neighbourhoods and communities in which we operate are as important as the Hosts and guests who use our service. We know that the overwhelming majority of our Hosts share their homes responsibly, just as the overwhelming majority of guests are responsible and treat their Airbnb listings
and neighbourhoods as if they were their own.
We believe there is a direct correlation between our implementation of the policy in
August 2020 and a 35% year-over-year drop in the rate of party reports in Australia. The ban has been well received by our Host community and we’ve received positive
feedback from the community and government. As we build on this momentum, we
believe the time is right to codify this policy.
Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand
How we got here
Historically, we allowed Hosts to use their best judgment and authorize parties when appropriate for their home and neighborhood. In late 2019, we tightened our measures to prohibit both “open-invite” parties (i.e., those advertised on social media) as well as “chronic party houses” that had developed into neighborhood nuisances. At that time, we also launched our Neighborhood Support Line in a number of jurisdictions as a direct line for neighbors to communicate any concerns to Airbnb, which has helped us enforce that prohibition on party houses.
When the pandemic hit, as many bars and clubs closed or restricted their occupancy, we began to see some people taking partying behavior to rented homes, including through Airbnb. This was concerning to us due to both the disruptive nature of unauthorized parties and the risk of such gatherings spreading the virus. As such, we announced the party ban to our community as being “in the best interest of public health.”
Over time, the party ban became much more than a public health measure. It developed into a bedrock community policy to support our Hosts and their neighbors.
How the codified policy will work
Disruptive parties and events will continue to be prohibited, including open-invite gatherings. “Party house” properties will continue to be strictly prohibited as well.
The temporary party ban policy announced in summer 2020 included a 16-person occupancy cap — which was prompted primarily by COVID-19 concerns around large gatherings prior to the introduction of vaccines. As part of the updated policy, and based on feedback from a number of Hosts who have listings that can house above 16 people comfortably, we will remove this cap.
Our recent Release introduced Categories, which highlight several types of larger homes that, by definition, are capable of comfortably and safely housing more than 16 people — from castles in Europe to vineyards in the US to large beachfront villas in the Caribbean. Amazing properties like these thrive on hosting multi-generational family trips and larger groups, and removing this cap is meant to allow those Hosts to responsibly utilize the space in their homes while still complying with our ban on disruptive parties. This decision was made based on feedback from the longstanding and trusted members of our global Host community, and it will take effect in the coming months.
The policy will continue to include serious consequences for guests who attempt to violate these rules, varying from account suspension to full removal from the platform. In 2021, over 6,600 guests were suspended from Airbnb for attempting to violate our party ban. In these cases, we also work to support our Hosts with property damage protection via AirCover for Hosts.
We developed our updated policy with input from members of the new Airbnb Trust & Safety Advisory Coalition, and we will continue working to strengthen the policy based on feedback from our partners, Hosts, community leaders, policymakers and more.
In 2020 when we first announced the temporary policy, we noted plans to scope a potential exception process for specialty and traditional hospitality venues, and those plans are still under consideration.
Our ongoing commitment to fighting disruptive parties
Finally, strong policies must be complemented by strong enforcement. We’ve introduced a number of anti-party measures in recent years to enforce our policy and try, to the best of our ability, to stop both unauthorized parties and chronic party houses.
These include anti-party reservation prevention, special holiday anti-party measures, a 24-hour safety line, and our Neighbourhood Support Line. As part of our efforts to crack down on unauthorised parties and community disturbances in Australia over the recent New Year’s Eve, Airbnb prevented almost 15,000 guests from making bookings. This new and long-term policy was enacted to help encourage and support community safety. We look forward to sharing updates in the coming weeks and months on our efforts to complement our community policies on parties.