Planning a big party? Airbnb launches technology to block this | Company

ORLANDO, Fla. — Airbnb has launched new “anti-party” technology to stop guests from hosting rowdy gatherings that have plagued some neighborhoods in central Florida and across the country.

The company revealed the automatic screening tools last week and is already using them to detect questionable bookings at places where hosts rent entire homes, said Ben Breit, safety and security spokesperson for Airbnb. The rollout of the new system follows Airbnb’s formal adoption of a no-party policy in June.

Parties at Osceola County rental properties, including Airbnbs, have posed a problem for landlords and neighbors in areas near Disney World and Kissimmee in recent years. The county sheriff’s office has launched efforts to stop these parties in 2020.

Airbnb’s technology examines factors that could be associated with an unauthorized party and prevents potential guests from making a reservation if their reservation is flagged, Breit said. They include account history, such as reviews of past stays, age of the account and age of the guest, as well as the circumstances of the reservation, such as its duration and distance from the guest’s location .

“If you’ve been using the platform for a while as a guest and have lots of positive reviews, you’re unlikely to be affected by something like this,” Breit said.

Customers that the system stops booking an entire house can still book other types of stays, such as a private room in an occupied residence or a hotel room. Private room listings are plentiful in central Florida, he said.

“If you’re trying to host an unauthorized party, you probably won’t be too thrilled about it because people usually don’t get away with unauthorized parties in a scenario where the host is right there,” said Breit.

The proprietary technology is based on years of research and pilot programs, but “no system is perfect,” Breit said. Thus, users can contact the Airbnb support team if they believe that their legitimate reservation was blocked in error.

The hosts supported the initiative, Breit said.

“They don’t want disruptive and unauthorized parties happening at their properties for many reasons, including the possibility of property damage. [and] respect for their neighbours,” he said. “The reason we invest in these technologies is, in many ways, as a service to our guests.”

The move is Airbnb’s latest to stop people using the site to rent space for parties and events.

In late 2019, the company began banning “chronic party houses” or properties listed for the purpose of hosting parties, after five people were killed during a Halloween party at a rental house in California. He also started a neighborhood hotline for neighbors to report problems directly to the company.

It temporarily banned parties and events from all listings in August 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That same year, Airbnb began limiting short-stay bookings around major holidays and preventing some guests under 25 from booking entire homes near where they lived if they had no prior history. positive reviews.

“This [new system] is really a lot more robust and a lot more sophisticated but also accurate,” Breit said.

Since Airbnb began this crackdown in 2019, it has removed “a number of listings” in central Florida and across the state where hosts rented party homes, Breit said. As a result, reported parties at Airbnb properties are down more than 70% statewide year-over-year since the 2020 ban, compared to a 44% decrease globally, it said. -he declares.

According to the company, nearly 250,000 guests checked into Airbnb Orlando rentals in the first half of 2022.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Michelle Guido said the agency hasn’t been made aware of any issues with parties at vacation rentals in recent years, outside of complaints. potential for noise.

Osceola County law enforcement experienced issues with block parties at Kissimmee vacation homes in 2020, leading the sheriff’s office to begin conducting enhanced patrols in some neighborhoods.

Agency spokeswoman Nirva Rodriguez said patrols, combined with the sheriff’s office working with homeowners, were successful in curbing those parties.

“There are still places that sometimes throw a big party in a house, however, tenants have been more aware of past issues and have put more emphasis on security and shuttle services,” Rodriguez said in a statement. communicated.

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