Airbnb Cracks Down on NYE Parties

Woman on Airbnb application on tablet. | Image by Daniel Krason/Shutterstock

Airbnb is cracking down on unauthorized New Year’s Eve parties across North Texas by temporarily disabling single-night bookings on its short-term rental platform.

Following last year’s successful trial run, Airbnb announced Thursday that the home rental platform would renew its policy stance and implement heightened rules and technologies to stop unauthorized parties over New Year’s Eve 2022.

This year’s NYE crackdown will be implemented across 11 countries, encompassing the U.S. (including Puerto Rico), Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain, the UK, and — new for 2022 — Ireland, Portugal, and the Netherlands.

“Stays take place across the world each night on Airbnb, with the overwhelming majority of guests and hosts being respectful of neighbors and delivering benefits to their local community,” said Naba Banerjee, global head of product, operations and strategy for trust and safety at Airbnb.

“These proactive defenses will help to promote responsible travel and help to prevent rare instances of unwelcome behavior, and enable hosts, guests, and communities to enjoy their end-of-year celebrations with added reassurance,” Banerjee continued.

Since Airbnb rolled out its hardline NYE stance in 2020, the company’s policy has become a cornerstone for preventing “chronic party houses” and neighborhood nuisances.

In terms of the crackdown’s local effectiveness, Airbnb said the program was tested in Dallas last year, enabling the company to prevent more than 2,400 one-day bookings from taking place on NYE 2021.

On a global scale, Airbnb claimed it reduced New Year’s party incidents by 56% last year.

The policy was most recently implemented in North Texas this year over the Halloween weekend, which purportedly led to a significant drop in party-related incidents, according to the San Francisco-based short-term rental company.

Airbnb said the tighter restrictions were not designed to impact its trusted guests or hosts and are only there to prevent new and unproven guests from booking one-night reservations.

However, Airbnb said some restrictions would also be in place for those trying to book local two- and three-night reservations. These restrictions will affect guests with positive account histories as well.

The crackdown comes at a crucial time for local officials across North Texas, many of whom spent 2022 scrutinizing the efficacy of short-term rental companies like Airbnb and VRBO.

In early December, Dallas’ City Plan Commission proposed a vote to redefine short-term rentals as a form of “lodging.” Under this new classification, short-term rentals would receive the same restrictions as hotels with respect to a city’s local zoning ordinances.

Dallas City Council must vote on the proposal before any policy rules take effect. As of Thursday, the city council had not yet added the item to its agenda.

Airbnb is encouraging anyone in North Texas to use its 24/7 Neighborhood Support Line or to call local authorities if they suspect short-term renters of a neighboring residence are violating the company’s terms of service or creating a disruptive environment on New Year’s Eve.

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