LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Airbnb announced Thursday it will ban all parties and events at its global listings, including capping capacity to 16 people, until further notice amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company, one of the largest short-term rental companies in the world, said the party ban applies to all future bookings beginning Friday.
“We are currently scoping a potential exception process for specialty and traditional hospitality venues (such as boutique hotels),” Airbnb said in a statement. “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.”
The announcement comes after city leaders have made efforts to curb party houses, and Airbnb said it is committed to working with them on this issue.
Airbnb stated the move also comes on the heels of a party house crackdown in Los Angeles earlier this year, which resulted in the suspension or removal of 28 listings in the Hollywood Hills identified by the Los Angeles Police Department as “creating a substantial neighborhood nuisance.”
“We are currently in the process of communicating this new policy to our global community. We are partners with our hosts on this important issue and we both feel the pain when an unauthorized party occurs during an Airbnb reservation,” Airbnb stated. “We believe having a simpler, global policy will allow us to better support the vast majority of hosts who already ban parties in their homes.”
Airnb stated that when the COVID-19 the pandemic was declared and social distancing became an important element in promoting public health and responsible travel, it updated its policies. At the time, most local governments were imposing strict limits on gatherings.
Some guests, however, chose to take “bar and club behavior to homes” that are sometimes rented through the platform.
“We acknowledge that there will always be those who attempt to break the rules,” Airbnb stated. “This is why we’ve implemented steep consequences for hosts or guests who try to skirt them, including bans from our community and even legal action.”
In July, Airbnb began restricting guests under the age of 25 from booking full homes in their local area in hopes to reduce unauthorized parties.
“Reducing the number of unauthorized house parties on Airbnb has always been a priority, and it’s more important now than ever,” Airbnb stated.
“With public health mandates in place throughout the country, we’re taking actions to support safe and responsible travel in the United States.”
Users under the age of 25 with less than three positive reviews were prohibited from booking entire-home listings that are “close” to where they live.
On Wednesday, Mayor Eric Garcetti authorized the city to shut off utilities to a Hollywood Hills home where several large parties were hosted despite the COVID-19 pandemic, although it’s not clear if that home was rented through Airbnb.
The full statement from Airbnb is available at airbnb.com.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)