The end of the house party? Airbnb bans parties and events worldwide, caps occupancy at 16 guests

Airbnb announced a global ban on parties and events at Airbnb listings, with an occupancy cap of 16 people worldwide.

“This party ban applies to all future bookings on Airbnb and it will remain in effect indefinitely until further notice,” according to a company statement provided by Airbnb spokesperson Ben Breit on Thursday.

Parties have been a problem for the short-term rental company for some time, both before and during the coronavirus pandemic. One party at a New Jersey Airbnb attracted more than 700 people.

Unauthorized parties were never technically been allowed on the platform, with 73% of its listings already banning them as part of their house rules. The company laid down stricter limits last year with a ban on “party houses” worldwide, i.e. “listings that create persistent neighborhood nuisance.” It’s also done 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.

The more-than-16-people ban may come with an exception: “We are currently scoping a potential exception process for specialty and traditional hospitality venues (i.e. boutique hotels),” per the company’s statement. It adds, “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 acknowledges that 16 people is no “magic number,” saying that it will continue to enforce our party rules against groups of any size and will be taking action both on guests and listings if we receive reports from neighbors,” the statement concluded.

Airbnb on Wednesday filed preliminary paperwork for selling stock on Wall Street, undaunted by a global pandemic that has taken some wind out of its home-sharing business.

Contributing: Associated Press

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