Airbnb officially bans all “open-invite” parties and events as it cleans up its act

Airbnb has instituted some major changes to its rules and regulations in the wake of a tragic Halloween house party shooting which took place at a property listed on the site.
Airbnb property
Airbnb’s new rules are designed to make its listings safer and more friendly for the community. Photo: Airbnb

Yesterday Airbnb officially unveiled its new policy update regarding so-called “open-invite” party houses.

From now on, Airbnb will implement a blanket ban on all party house listings which are opened for members of the public to attend. The move comes after a mass shooting at an open-invite Halloween house party hosted in Orinda, California left five people dead.

Airbnb’s new party house policy

Airbnb’s new policy update covers a number of different aspects of the site’s property listing, guest application and official contact processes.

But the most notable policy change is the ban on all “open-invite” party houses. These are effectively houses which are rented out specifically for the purpose of partying and then opened up for any member of the public to attend.

While there still appears to be some room for interpretation of the new party house policy, Airbnb has made it clear that authorized parties and events in Airbnb properties are still allowed.

Airbnb property
City officials will now be able to contact Airbnb directly. Photo: Airbnb

Airbnb says that any hosts who attempt to get around this ban by allowing guests to throw open invite parties will face consequences.

Additionally, parties and events in Airbnb properties situated in shared residences, such as apartment buildings, will also be banned.

Airbnb will be notifying hosts whose properties do not meet these new requirements.

Additional policy updates

Party houses are not the only topic covered by the new Airbnb policy update. There are also a number of new guest standards which should help prevent bad behaviour. Often, unruly guests cause problems for hosts and their neighbours.

Airbnb says these new guest standards will come into force in early 2020, but it has released the five scenarios they will cover:

1.     Excessive noise

2.     Unauthorized guests

3.     Unauthorized parking

4.     Unauthorized smoking

5.     Major cleanliness concerns requiring excessive cleaning after checkout

These new guest standards lay out a clear set of expectations which, if violated, will result in negative consequences for guests.

Airbnb property
Open-invite party houses are now banned. Photo: Airbnb

According to Airbnb’s blog post on the new policy update, violations of guest standards will result in the following action:

“The first violation will result in a warning and required education on Airbnb rules. Further violations may result in account suspension or removal.”

Additionally, Airbnb will be opening dedicated communication lines for city officials to contact the company about issues and problems relating to Airbnb properties.

The Halloween house party shooting

There have been calls for increased regulation of Airbnb listings for a while. Allegations of fraud were recently uncovered by Vice.

But October’s Halloween house party shooting proved the shock Airbnb needed to tighten its regulations.

The shooting happened at an Airbnb property in Orinda, California, which had been rented out for a 12-person family reunion.

The property owner had forbidden the renter from throwing a house party, but more than 100 people ended up at the property after the party was advertised on social media. In the end five people were killed and a further four were injured.

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