Airbnb has announced a global ban on all parties and events at its properties to try to ensure safety by clamping down on noisy and antisocial behaviour and to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The ban includes a 16 person maximum cap on all listings, including larger homes, although the company acknowledged that “16 is not a magic number, and issues can occur with groups of any size.”
The move follows the introduction of age restrictions to curb the ability of people under the age of 25 in the UK, France and Spain from renting entire properties, in an attempt to crack down on illegal parties.
Last year, the home rental platform brought in a global ban on “party houses” — listings that created a persistent nuisance for neighbours.
Airbnb has always prohibited unauthorised parties but historically allowed hosts to rent out their homes for parties and events as long as they were “appropriate for their home and their neighbourhood.”
Some 73% of Airbnb listings across the world ban already parties in their house rules, according to the platform.
"Instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest of public health," Airbnb said, adding that the ban applies to all future bookings on Airbnb and it will remain in effect indefinitely.
As COVID-19 spread across the globe, Airbnb updated their policies to remove the “event-friendly” search filter from the platform as well as the “parties and events allowed” tag from any event-friendly listings in an attempt to tackle the spread of coronavirus and and adhere to social distancing rules.
At the time, most local governments were imposing strict limits on gatherings, which effectively created a form-fitting, patchwork ban on parties and events, the company said.
However, since the start of the UK lockdown in March several illegal parties were staged through the online rental service.
As lockdown measures have eased, Airbnb have imposed the blanket ban on all parties and events held in its listed properties.
Airbnb said they are looking at a potential exception process for specialty and traditional hospitality venues such as boutique hotels who use the platform.
The company said they have implemented “steep consequences” for hosts or guests who break the rules, including bans from the platform and even legal action.
Previously, Airbnb was pressured to limit antisocial behaviour after a string of incidents in the US and Canada saw house parties descend into violence.