Airbnb entrench party policy after two year trial during pandemic

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Airbnb has codified a global policy that prohibits guests from hosting parties or events at any of its listed properties.

The policy comes after an initial ban, announced in August of 2020, which was intended to deter guests from welcoming unauthorized gatherings that exceeded 16 people during the height of COVID-19.

“We’ve historically allowed hosts to use their best judgement and authorize small parties – such as baby showers or birthday parties – if they’re appropriate for their home and their neighbourhood,” the vacation rental company said in a 2020 news release, when the ban was first announced.

“Some have chosen to take bar and club behaviour to homes, sometimes through our platform. We think such conduct is incredibly irresponsible – we do not want that type of business.”

With the initial ban implemented to help adhere to COVID-19 public health measures, it ultimately developed into much more, Airbnb explained in a news release on Tuesday. “It developed into a bedrock community policy to support our hosts and their neighbours.”

The company says its data shows a direct correlation between the implementation of the party ban in 2020 and a 44 per cent year-over-year drop in the rate of party reports.

“We’ve seen even more success in Canada, where there’s been a 47 per cent year-over-year drop,” a spokesperson for Airbnb wrote in an email to CTVNews.ca.

The company added that it will continue to restrict guests under the age of 25 without a history of positive reviews from booking entire home listings.

“Guests are still allowed to book private room listings, where generally the host lives on site,” Airbnb explained in Tuesday’s news release.

 

Meanwhile the issue of Airbnb rentals and parties has come before Owen Sound council this month after councillor John Tamming announced two weeks ago he would bring forward a motion to ban short term accommodation rentals where the owner doesn't live on site.  

That comes after a couple of neighbours complained about one house in particular on their street - 4th Ave West - known locally as Millionaire's Drive.

At the June 27th meeting, council voted to postpone the discussion until September.  

There's already a study underway on the issues surrounding short term rentals which isn't expected to be complete until spring.  

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