Airbnb’s “ban on parties” is continuing into the summer months when many Americans expect to be vaccinated and ready to travel again.
The global crackdown, enacted in August 2020, effectively banned parties and events at Airbnb properties by placing a 16-person cap on the number of people allowed in one rental. Airbnb said the ban was to prevent mass gatherings – something health experts have warned can lead to spread of COVID-19.
The short-term rental company is now putting further restrictions in place through Fourth of July weekend.
“We’ve learned that July 4 is being pegged as the ‘reopening’ date in the U.S., which is great for the country as well as for the Airbnb community,” the company said in a blog post Monday.
Beginning April 12, people who want to rent an Airbnb for one night will now be blocked from booking if the renter doesn’t have a history of positive reviews from hosts, according to the company.
As the holiday weekend approaches, Airbnb said it will put in place “more stringent restrictions on one- and two-night reservations that may pose heightened risk for parties.”
Guests who violate Airbnb’s recent restrictions could be subject to removal from the platform. Airbnb did not specify what constitutes a less-than-positive review for a guest.
Airbnb said it would also subsidize the cost of smart home monitoring devices from Minut for its most active hosts. The company makes a product that tracks noise levels, motion, temperature and can detect when the number of smartphones in a property exceeds a set level, indicating a larger than acceptable gathering.
Lochwood neighbors began mobilizing in September against a new short-term rental that advertised capacity up to 22 people. Thursday, four months after “We say no to VRBO” signs began showing up in yards, the property was removed from the Airbnb and VRBO platforms.
Noisy, intrusive Airbnb rentals have become a point of ire in neighborhoods in recent years. One group, known as the Texas Neighborhoods Coalition, has been pushing for more stringent local regulations of short-term rentals listed on platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo and HomeAway.
The coalition sent a letter to Texas lawmakers earlier this year with concerns about safety and noise disturbances from parties. The letter cites the December shooting of a teen girl at a party in Mesquite that took place in a rental home.
An advocacy group for rental owners, the Dallas Short-Term Rental Alliance, formed six months ago and opposes extreme regulatory measures.
The Dallas City Council is weighing a handful of regulations for short-term rentals, including one that would effectively kill the allure of short-term rentals by requiring bookings of at least 31 days.
Dom DiFurio. Dom is a staff writer covering breaking business news. He writes about the companies and transactions that shape life in North Texas. Dom considers himself among the many transplants that moved to Texas from the crowded coasts who found more than enough reasons to call it home.