airbnb party ban

Airbnb bans events and caps occupancy in global COVID-19 party crackdown

Airbnb rules just got a lot stricter.

When bars and clubs around the world temporarily closed due to COVID-19, many of their customers turned to short-term rentals to keep the party going. 

With search filters such as "event friendly" and rentals suitable for large gatherings, Airbnb made it easy to find a place to host a social occasion, despite the serious pandemic gripping the world.

But today the company announced that it will no longer allow events at its rentals, as it attempts to enforce strict social-distancing policies to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

The San Francisco-based business will also implement a cap on occupancy at a maximum of 16 guests and restrict rental permissions for guests under the age of 25 as part of its effort to stop wild house parties, of which Canada has seen its fair share. 

Back in April 2019, Sean McCann, a student at Humber College, was partying with an estimated 50 to 100 other people in an Airbnb in Toronto when shots rang out.

Another party guest is said to have opened fire in the approximately $1.9 million rented house, hitting McCann without warning in the lower back and buttocks.

Hosts or guests who try to skirt the rules will face a ban or possible legal action, according to the announcement from Airbnb, which was released on Thursday. 

Airbnb notes that 73 per cent of their listings already ban parties in their house rules, although some allow small parties such as baby showers. 

"Instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest of public health," the company explained, adding that the ban will be in place for an indefinite period of time. 

Airbnb acknowledges that 16 is "no magic number" and conceded that issues can occur with groups of any size.

"We will continue to enforce our party rules against groups of any size and will be taking action both on guests and listings if we receive reports from neighbors," concluded the statement. 

The announcement comes after Airbnb cut 1,900 jobs in May as a result of huge losses in revenue during the pandemic. 

The company previously requested a number of economic supports from Canada's federal government, including tax relief for hosts and federal funding to promote travel post-pandemic.

The organization said that the handouts would support "regular Canadians who share their homes to earn extra income."

In what was probably the most pointed response in Canada's history, Parliamentary Secretary for Housing Adam Vaughan delivered the verdict in a one word Tweet.

However, Airbnb is finally beginning to see a rebound, with more than one million nights booked in a single day in July for the first time since March 3.

The company also filed to go public earlier this week. 

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