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.
In turn, we focus on trying to deter the very rare cases of Hosts who do not operate responsibly, or guests who try to throw unauthorised parties. To that end, 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.”
The temporary ban has proved effective, and today we are officially codifying the ban as our policy.
How we got here
Historically, we allowed Hosts to use their best judgement and authorise parties when appropriate for their home and neighbourhood. 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 neighbourhood nuisances. At that time, we also launched our Neighbourhood Support Line – including in the UK and Ireland – as a direct line for neighbours 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 behaviour to rented homes, including through Airbnb. This was concerning to us due to both the disruptive nature of unauthorised 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 neighbours.
Moreover — it’s been working. We believe there is a direct correlation between our implementation of the policy in August 2020 and a 44% year-over-year drop in the rate of party reports globally, a 49% drop in reports in Ireland and 63% drop in the UK. The ban has been well received by our Host community and we’ve received positive feedback from community leaders and elected officials. As we build on this momentum, we believe the time is right to codify this policy.
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 Summer 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 utilise 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 unauthorised parties and chronic party houses.
These include anti-party reservation prevention, special holiday anti-party measures, a 24-hour safety line, our Neighbourhood Support Line, and a partnership with Vrbo to share information on repeat “party house” offenders in the US.
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.
“Today’s announcement makes clear that there is no place for disruptive parties on Airbnb. Since being introduced, the ban has led to a reduction in reported incidents and helped minimise the impact of noise and nuisance issues on communities. In the rare event of an issue, our Neighbourhood Support Line allows anyone with concerns in the community to contact someone at Airbnb directly so we can fully investigate.”
Amanda Cupples, General Manager for Northern Europe at Airbnb