Airbnb is changing its platform, eliminating ‘party houses’ after tragedy

Nov 3, 2019

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Airbnb has announced a commitment to a series of changes designed to ban “party houses” from its platform, as a response to a shooting at a crowded Halloween party that left five dead. The party, which had over 100 attendees and took place in a home meant for only 13, was rented via Airbnb by a tenant apparently looking to host a family reunion, according to Michael Wang, the home’s owner. The home, located in a wealthy suburb just outside of San Francisco, received numerous complaints from neighbors and the police had already been called to the location by the time the tragedy occurred.

The changes, which were announced on Twitter, include increased manual screenings of guests, the creation of a party house rapid response team and immediate consequences for guests who violate the new rules, including removal from the platform.

Airbnb is notorious for its lackadaisical policies, which has led to issues for thousands of customers, including fraudulent listings. While it’s nice that Airbnb is taking steps to eliminate party houses from its repertoire, it shouldn’t have taken a national tragedy to force the homeshare giant to reevaluate its policies. Hopefully, these new moves will allow both Airbnb owners and guests to remain safe in their rented homes.

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