Airbnb has changed the world of holiday letting considerably over the years, offering unique and often more cost-conscious properties for travellers all over the globe. However, owning and hosting an Airbnb property can come with its trials and tribulations. After all, you are effectively letting out your property on a short-term basis to a complete stranger, usually with no or minimal checks. As a result, Airbnb properties worldwide have seen everything from hoards of extra guests, to parties and even trashed rooms that take weeks to clean up and repair and put Landlord insurance policies to the test. The latest move by Airbnb to ban parties could work in a host’s favour – here’s what we know.
The 2020 Ban
In 2020, Airbnb announced a global ban on parties and events at Airbnb listings as well as an occupancy cap of 16. This ban was introduced with Airbnb claiming that “instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest in public health” following changing rules surrounding the pandemic and public health mandates that put bans on public gatherings.
In a statement released on the Airbnb website, they claimed that:
Unauthorised parties have always been prohibited at Airbnb listings… we’ve historically allowed hosts to use their best judgement and authorise small parties. Last year, we began imposing much stricter limits – starting with a global ban on “party houses” – meaning listings that create persistent neighbourhood nuisance.
These changes, along with the launch of their 24/7 neighbourhood support hotline and a ban on whole-property rental for under 25s, were designed to stop unauthorised parties and help to promote public health and responsible travel.
The changes were brought about to tackle “some [who] have chosen to take bar and club behaviour to homes, sometimes rented through our platform” during the pandemic at a point in which Covid cases were high and jurisdictions were imposing gathering bans across the globe. They also stated “We think such conduct is incredibly irresponsible – we do not want that type of business, and anyone engaged in or allowing that behaviour does not belong on our platform. Based on these developments, instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest of public health.
Airbnb lists the ban as including:
- All parties being banned from all future bookings
- Occupancy at listings will be capped at 16 people
- Guests will be informed about the party rules with information about legal pursuits by Airbnb themselves if the policy is violated.
- Potential for future Airbnb hospitality venues
Why Are The Bans Becoming Permanent?
On June 28th this year, Airbnb announced that they were officially codifying the ban, making it a permanent part of their policy. The codification is touted to be part of their focus to deter irresponsible Hosts and thoughtless guests from throwing or hosting parties that are unauthorised or likely to lead to damage or neighbourhood disturbance.
In a statement released on their website, Airbnb claimed:
Historically, we allowed Hosts to use their best judgement and authorise parties when appropriate for their home and neighbourhood… When the pandemic hit, as many bars and clubs closed or restricted their occupancy, we began to see some people taking partying behaviour to rented homes, including through Airbnb. This was concerning to us due to both the disruptive nature of unauthorised parties and the risk of such gatherings spreading the virus. As such, we announced the party ban to our community as being “in the best interest of public health.” Over time, the party ban became much more than a public health measure. It developed into a bedrock community policy to support our Hosts and their neighbours. Moreover, it’s been working.
Airbnb reports a correlation between the policy first being implemented in August 2020 and a significant 44% drop in party reports. While it hasn’t eradicated the problem completely, it has offered neighbourhoods and landlords a solid footing from which to prevent parties and disruption.
Airbnb stated that:
The ban has been well received by our Host community and we’ve received positive feedback from community leaders and elected officials.
Penalties for breaking this now concrete policy include account suspension or full removal from the platform, both as a host and as a guard. Plans are also still thought to be under construction for potential party and event-specific venues.
What This Means For Landlords and Hosts
For landlords and hosts, these rules have proven to be helpful in eradicating unauthorised and often disruptive parties within their properties. This could help reduce the amount of damage that may occur in your holiday let, however, it’s not foolproof. While penalties are in place for those that don’t follow the rules, having a good holiday home and Airbnb insurance policy in place should still be considered to help protect you in case of claims. It can provide financial support for repairs, rebuilds or legal fees when needed.
Providing that you follow the rules as a Host and have a good insurance policy in place, the codification of this particular rule could work in the landlord’s favour. If you want more information about these rules or how our insurance can help you in light of these changes, get in touch with Ashburnham Insurance on FREEPHONE 0800 1696137.