Technology

Airbnb bans “party houses”, updates policies in wake of Halloween murders

As the festive season kicks off, Airbnb has banned “party houses” and “open invite” events.

Airbnb said in a statement it is expecting a record 4.5 million guest stays on New Year’s Eve in listings all over the world, which is more than twice the number registered three years ago.

The crackdown comes a month after five people were shot dead at a Halloween party in San Francisco that was hosted at an Airbnb property.

In the past few weeks, the platform has committed $150 million US ($218,070,000 AUD) to new policies, protections and tools to improve safety for guests, hosts and neighbours.

As part of the platform’s crackdown on party houses, Airbnb has promised to have dozens of specially trained agents to shut down unauthorised parties and provide rapid response to its online and telephone channels for “urgent neighbourhood issues”.

The new policies and tools include a Neighbourhood Support Page and phoneline, manual review of high-risk reservations in the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, updated guest refund policies, opportunities to purchase noise detectors and a new feature on the app for contacting local authorities in the event of an emergency.

To see the full list of updates, go here.

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