Ahead of the Fourth of July Weekend, Airbnb is trying to reduce unauthorized parties at its short-term rental properties by restricting guests under the age of 25 who do not have enough positive reviews from booking full homes in their local area, the company announced Thursday.
“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.”
U.S. guests under the age of 25 with less than three positive reviews now cannot book entire-home listings that are “close” to where they live. These guests can still book any type of listing outside their local area, the company stated.
Airbnb said it launched the same initiative in Canada earlier this year, and since then, the number of unauthorized parties held by guests under the age of 25 has experienced a “meaningful drop.”
All guests under the age of 25 are still free to book private rooms and hotel rooms through Airbnb, regardless of where they live.
Younger guests with at least three positive reviews and no negative reviews on Airbnb are not subject to this restriction and can continue to book entire-home listings in their local area.
Airbnb said most guests treat rental homes like they are in their own homes and neighborhoods, and 99.95% of bookings have no safety-related issues reported.
The company said there will “always be people who work to find ways around our trust and safety protections, and we know that people over the age of 24 are perfectly capable of booking a home for the wrong reasons, too.”
But the company said because of the success of the policy in Canada, this was the right action to take.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky last year banned “party houses” and instituted a 24/7 neighborhood support hotline for neighbors to flag concerns and help enforce that ban.
Last week, Airbnb announced a new compliance system to help the city of Los Angeles enforce its home-sharing ordinance and support tourism growth. The system will streamline the registration process for hosts, promote compliance and automate city enforcement.
Around midnight on Tuesday, an armed robbery occurred at an Airbnb home where people were throwing a party in the 800 block of North Orange Grove Avenue, near Fairfax Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The victims at the home were posting pictures of the event on social media when at least five armed men entered the home and took personal property, police said.
The suspects took cash, jewelry and purses from people inside the home, which was often rented out on Airbnb for parties, NBC4 reported.
A description of the suspects was not immediately available, and no injuries were reported.