Imagine renting your beautiful home to a few guests, only to be woken up in the middle of the night by phone calls and a knock on your door. The couple who rented from you is throwing a massive party without your knowledge or consent. Tap or click here for how to find the worst Airbnb scams.
Unfortunately, that scenario isn’t far from the truth. During the COVID pandemic, several homeowners got into trouble with local authorities over parties thrown by guests.
Read on for the changes that Airbnb is making permanent and how they can benefit you when renting your home.
Here’s the backstory
Airbnb first introduced the ban on parties in August 2020. Before that, it allowed homeowners to use their best judgment to authorize parties on their property.
But as COVID forced many bars and clubs to shut their doors, people were looking elsewhere for a good night out. The company noticed that some people were “taking partying behavior to rented homes, including through Airbnb.”
So, “in the best interest of public health,” Airbnb instituted a party ban for all listings globally. Initially, the ban was temporary. But it has been so successful in keeping neighborhoods quiet and relatively COVID-free that it’s now permanently part of the policy.
What you can do about it
Since the implementation of the party ban, Airbnb has seen a 44% reduction in the rate of party reports. The permanent ban is good news for hosts and the neighborhoods the rentals are located. In addition, properties listed as a “party house” are strictly prohibited.
In a blog post, Airbnb explains that it will lift the occupancy cap of 16 people only if the property can “house above 16 people comfortably.” Otherwise, the cap stays in place.
If you think you can skirt the rules, think again. Airbnb promises “serious consequences” for guests who violate the policy, varying from account suspension to complete removal from the platform. The company suspended 6,600 guests last year for breaching the party ban.
Enforcing the rules
What happens when guests break the rules and damage property besides suspensions? The platform has property damage protection through AirCover for Hosts.
Damage protection is automatically included for all hosts and covers up to $1 million in liability insurance. It also covers up to $1 million in damage protection and it will compensate guests for damage done by pets.
Even if you aren’t a host, there are still some steps that you can take. When the initial ban took effect, Airbnb set up a Neighborhood Support Line where people could report parties.
Also, through a partnership with the rental company Vrbo, Airbnb created the Community Integrity Program. It serves as a single platform where the rental industry can share data about repeat offenders or uncooperative hosts.
The program will get off the ground in the U.S. in the coming months. The two rental giants will “work with a trusted third-party intermediary to develop a process that identifies properties that have been permanently removed from each platform.”
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