Airbnb Bans House Parties with “Global Party Ban” that Caps Occupancy to 16

On Thursday August 20, 2020 Airbnb announced a global ban on all parties and events at Airbnb listings, including a cap on occupancy at 16. This party ban applies to all future bookings on Airbnb and it will remain in effect indefinitely until further notice.

Airbnb, an online marketplace for temporary lodging, is banning house parties worldwide at its listings in response to violence at parties, and to comply with limits on gatherings during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Airbnb stated the company may pursue legal action against guests and hosts who violate the ban.

Airbnb with headquarters in San Francisco also announced company policy will limit occupancy in its rental homes to 16 people. Airbnb may offer exceptions for boutique hotels or other event venues. Unauthorized parties have always been prohibited at Airbnb listings. Airbnb stated 73 percent of listings globally already ban parties in their House Rules, and the vast majority of guests behave in manners that show respect for House Rules and for neighbors. Airbnb said historically the company has allowed hosts to use their best judgment and authorize small parties – such as baby showers or birthday parties – if they’re appropriate for their home and their neighborhood.

Airbnb: “Here’s how the ban will work”
Parties are now prohibited on all future bookings

Occupancy at Airbnb listings will be capped at 16 people. This is primarily relevant to larger homes that were previously allowed to list as able to accommodate 16+ people.

Airbnb is currently scoping a potential exception process for specialty and traditional hospitality venues (i.e. boutique hotels)

Guests will be informed about Airbnb’s party rules and informed that they may be legally pursued by Airbnb if they violate our policy. This work is currently being operationalized and will be rolled out in the near future.

— Airbnb, August 20, 2020

Airbnb stated regarding the cap that 16 is not a magic number, and issues can occur with groups of any size. To be clear, Airbnb said it is not sanctioning smaller gatherings with this policy and that all community members are expected to comply with local health restrictions on gatherings. Airbnb said capping guests at 16 in these large properties is one step amongst several, all designed to mitigate any efforts to misuse an Airbnb for a party. Airbnb said it will continue to enforce our party rules against groups of any size and will be taking action both on guests and listings when reports are received from neighbors near listings.

There was a deadly shooting at a California Airbnb rental last Halloween, the company has taken multiple steps to crack down. Recently there was a fatal shooting on March 7, 2020 in Barrington Hills at a location that was listed on an online rental marketplace, and there was a fatal shooting in Roselle at a location that was listed on an online rental marketplace

On Wednesday, August 19, 2020, Airbnb announced that the company had filed for an initial public offering. Airbnb valued at $18 billion, which was almost half the amount it was valued in 2017, according to CNBC. In May 2020, Airbnb laid off almost 1,900 employees (about 25% of the company.)

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