According to a recent statement from Airbnb officials, approximately 6,700 people were prevented from booking rentals in Texas over the 2021 Halloween weekend. The company said its anti-party technology was responsible for a 46% drop in unauthorized parties across Texas since 2020 and a 37% decline in the U.S. and Canada.
Beginning in 2019, Airbnb banned “open-invite” parties to address complaints from frustrated neighbors. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the closing of bars and clubs, the company saw a surge in house parties.
Last year, Airbnb launched a proprietary anti-party technology to crack down on guests who use the platform to book listings solely for partying.
“The primary objective of the anti-party software is to reduce the ability of bad actors to throw unauthorized parties which negatively impact our hosts, neighbors, and the communities we serve,” Airbnb said in a statement leading up to the Halloween weekend last year.
“It’s integral to our commitment to our host community – who respect their neighbors and want no part of the property damage and other issues that may come with unauthorized or disruptive parties,” said the San Francisco-based company.
With this year’s Halloween weekend quickly approaching, Airbnb said it would continue to “take action on certain local reservations made by guests without a history of positive reviews.”
“Besides during major holidays or sporting events like the Superbowl or NBA Playoffs, I don’t imagine parties are being thrown as frequently as Airbnb says they do,” North Texas resident Zach Brooks told The Dallas Express. “I definitely get the logic behind the rule, though. If I had a rental property, I wouldn’t want it damaged because someone wanted to throw a wild party,” Brooks said.
Airbnb provided the following anti-party restrictions in the release, noting that guests who have a history of positive reviews will not be subject to these restrictions:
For one-night reservations — guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb will be prohibited from making one-night reservations in entire home listings.
For two-night reservations — guests attempting to book entire home listings without a history of positive reviews, within a certain locale, and/or at the last minute will be redirected to listings that are not entire home listings or blocked altogether.
For all guests attempting to make local reservations during the Halloween weekend, they must affirmatively attest that they understand that Airbnb bans parties, and if they break that rule, they may be subject to legal action from the company.