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Airbnb tightens ‘anti-party’ rules for rentals as New Year’s Eve approaches

The platform will apply restrictions for guests without a history of positive reviews

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The Airbnb logo displayed on a smartphone
Airbnb is cracking down on New Year’s Eve parties
Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Airbnb said Monday it’s tightening its policy restrictions on New Year’s Eve parties, adding “anti-party” restrictions to some three-night rentals for guests without a history of positive reviews on the platform.

In the US, Canada, Brazil, the UK, France, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand, guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb’s platform can’t make one-night, two-night, and now three-night reservations for an entire house that “may pose heightened risks for unauthorized parties.” Airbnb said it would be focusing on local reservations.

Guests on the platform who have a history of positive reviews from Airbnb hosts won’t be subject to the restrictions, the company said.

Airbnb banned “party houses” in 2019 following a fatal shooting during a large Halloween party at a rental in California. Five people died in the shooting, and local news reports said there were more than 100 people in the house at the time. In August 2020, the company said it was adding restrictions to adhere to local health departments’ social distancing requirements for large in-person gatherings, imposing an occupancy cap of 16 people. Hosts or guests on Airbnb who try to evade the rules could be subject to a ban from the platform or even possible legal action.

During the early days of the pandemic, Airbnb put into place guidelines for hosts and guests, and its extenuating circumstances policy could be applied if a guest or host becomes infected. It’s updated those rules as pandemic conditions have warranted and added filters for guests to find listings with flexible cancellation policies. While the company hasn’t implemented any new policies amid the rapid spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19, spokesperson Ben Breit confirmed to The Verge that the guidelines from earlier in the pandemic would still apply.