Airbnb is taking steps to crack down on house parties during the pandemic, starting with prohibiting one-night rentals over Halloween weekend.
“In the midst of a generational crisis, all of us have a role to play in protecting public health and slowing the spread of COVID-19,” according to a statement released yesterday.
The San Francisco-based company said it will ban single-night rentals of entire homes in the U.S. and Canada on October 30 or October 31, which fall on a Friday and Saturday, respectively. Airbnb is automatically canceling all previously booked one-night rentals and offering refunds, while also ensuring that the hosts of affected rentals will still receive payment.
In addition, the rental platform is adding restrictions on local and last-minute bookings by guests “without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb” for two- and three-night reservations over Halloween.
This set of Halloween restrictions is the latest in a series of actions to crack down on parties. Last November, the company began manually reviewing suspicious local rentals in the U.S. and Canada. In July, Airbnb banned folks under age 25 with fewer than three positive reviews from booking entire homes close to where they live. That policy started in North America and was later expanded to the United Kingdom, Spain and France. Finally, in August, Airbnb banned parties worldwide and limited occupancy to 16 people per rental.
As a reminder, guests will now be required to attest that they understand that they may be subject to removal from Airbnb or legal action if they violate Airbnb’s rules on parties. “In case any individuals are able to avoid Airbnb’s defenses and host parties, trained agents from Airbnb’s neighborhood support line will be on call throughout the weekend to quickly respond to issues raised by neighbors,” per the company’s statement.
Notably, the company appears to be willing to enforce its rules. In August, for the first time, Airbnb started legal proceedings against a guest who held an unauthorized house party in Sacramento, California.
Also in August, Airbnb filed for an initial public stock offering with the SEC.