If you’re thinking of renting an Airbnb to throw a New Year’s Eve party, you might need to think again.
Airbnb announced new measures Thursday to prevent unauthorized house parties and large gatherings at its properties on one of the biggest party nights of the year amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
In parts of North America, Western Europe and Australia, travelers without a history of positive reviews will not be able to make one-night reservations for “entire home” listings on the platform for Dec. 31.
This isn’t the first time Airbnb has put extra crowd-control measures in place for a party holiday. Ahead of Halloween, the short-term rental service announced it would prohibit guests from booking one-night stays at entire homes on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31 in the U.S. and Canada in an attempt to stop parties before they started.
Parties have been a problem for the short-term rental company for some time, before and during the coronavirus pandemic.
The New Year’s Eve rules will take effect in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, the United Kingdom, France and Spain, though the platform said it will allow already-booked one-night reservations to continue as planned “as our data has historically shown that one-night New Year’s Eve bookings made prior to now very rarely lead to unauthorized parties,” according to a company statement provided by Airbnb spokesperson Ben Breit.
And last-minute, local bookings for two nights for those without a history of positive reviews will face an added layer of New Year’s Eve restrictions as well.
On the other hand, good behavior pays off: Customers with a history of positive reviews on the platform won’t be subject to the two-night minimum as they were for Halloween.
The New Year’s Eve restrictions are the latest in a series of actions the company has taken to curb parties at its rentals. Even before the Halloween-specific restrictions, Airbnb announced in August a global ban on parties and events at its listings, with an occupancy cap of 16 people worldwide. Weeks later, it rolled out an initiative in the U.S., Canada and Australia that blocks guests from booking homes on short notice in cities where they live.
Unauthorized parties were never technically allowed on the platform. The company laid down stricter limits last year with a ban on party houses worldwide. Airbnb also completed manual reviews of what it considers high-risk reservations and restricted the rental permissions for guests under the age of 25 as part of its effort to get house parties under control.
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Contributing: David Oliver
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