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No Halloween parties allowed: Airbnb cracking down

By Natasha O’Neill

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    TORONTO (CTV Network) — Airbnb announced new policies aimed at Halloween party throwers this year.

The latest announcement comes after Airbnb updated its “Party Ban” policy and rolled out its “anti-party technology,” a system tracking bookings on Halloween weekend, and other holidays such as New Year’s Eve, that looks at a guest’s history of positive reviews, length of stay, distance to the listing, time of the week and how long the guest has been using Airbnb.

This technology is new in Canada and the U.S. as of August.

Airbnb allows people to list a room, entire home or apartment, typically for short-term rentals, as an alternative to hotels.

Penalties for those hosting “disruptive” parties over the Halloween weekend will continue to be in effect this year, which may include account suspensions or full removal from the platform.

In Canada, more than 114,000 people were deterred by its anti-party policies from booking entire homes over Halloween weekend in 2021, according to a press release from Airbnb.

Airbnb says guests with “no history of positive reviews,” including zero reviews, will not be allowed to make a one-night reservation in the entire home listings category.

Those without positive reviews who attempt to book an entire home for two nights within a certain locale, meaning guests booking within the same city they live in, or at the last minute, will be blocked, the press release states.

The company says that following the introduction of its party ban in 2020, it has seen a 44 per cent global year-over-year reduction in party reports. Specifically in Ontario, it has seen a 43 per cent year-over-year reduction in parties.

All guests booking reservations during Halloween weekend “must affirmatively attest that they understand Airbnb bans parties and if they break that rule, they may be subject to legal action from the company.”

Guests with positive reviews will not be subject to any booking bans.

“Guests who are unable to make entire home bookings due to this system will still be able to book a private room (where the host is more likely to be physically on-site) or a hotel room through Airbnb,” the Airbnb policy reads.

Airbnb announced a global temporary party ban in the summer of 2020. Once the company found the ban effective, it set that policy in stone in June of 2022.

“We continue to believe these defences help support safer travel, combat disruptive behaviours and parties while allowing guests, hosts, and neighbours to enjoy the Halloween weekend safely,” the company said.

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Sonja Puzic

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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