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Airbnb makes major rule change for listings worldwide: 'Time is right'

Airbnb has moved to make a permanent change on listings worldwide after trialling a ban on parties and events during the pandemic.

The company first announced the change in August 2020 in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing efforts, but due to its effectiveness, the change will be permanent, it was announced on Tuesday.

"Over time, the party ban became much more than a public health measure," the company said in a statement on its website.

"It developed into a bedrock community policy to support our Hosts and their neighbours."

Airbnb booking on phone
Thousands of Aussies were misled by booking site Airbnb leaving them out of pocket more than they should have been. Source: Getty

The company revealed the number of complaints from hosts about parties dropped by 44 per cent since the measure was first introduced.

"The ban has been well received by our Host community and we’ve received positive feedback from community leaders and elected officials," the statement read.

"As we build on this momentum, we believe the time is right to codify this policy."

Cap on people allowed in property removed

The 2020 ban also included a limit on how many guests were allowed to be in a rental property, but this cap has been removed.

It previously imposed a 16 person limit to occupants because of concerns over the spread of Covid-19, but larger properties that "comfortably and safely" house large groups will be allowed to do so.

"Amazing properties like [castles and vineyards] thrive on hosting multi-generational family trips and larger groups, and removing this cap is meant to allow those Hosts to responsibly utilize the space in their homes while still complying with our ban on disruptive parties," the statement read.

The 16 person limit on some properties has been lifted, which was introduced during the pandemic. Source: getty
The 16 person limit on some properties has been lifted, which was introduced during the pandemic. Source: getty

'Serious consequences' for violations

Airbnb said there will be "serious consequences" for anyone who attempts to violate these rules, "varying from account suspension to full removal from the platform".

In 2021, over 6,600 guests were suspended from Airbnb for attempting to violate the party ban.

The crackdown on parties began prior to 2020 and in late 2019, measures were introduced to prohibit "open-invite” parties" and "chronic party houses".

In 2021, a Neighbourhood Support Line was launched in Australia for neighbours to communicate concerns directly to the company.

When the pandemic hit, and due to bars and clubs being closed, Airbnb "began to see some people taking partying behaviour to rented homes," it said.

"This was concerning to us due to both the disruptive nature of unauthorized parties and the risk of such gatherings spreading the virus," the statement read.

"This new and long-term policy was enacted to help encourage and support community safety.

"We look forward to sharing updates in the coming weeks and months on our efforts to complement our community policies on parties".

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