INDUSTRY NEWSNationalReal Estate News

Airbnb promotes party prevention

Short-term rental platform Airbnb is encouraging its hosts to use third-party surveillance devices in a bid to cut down on disruptive behaviour.

Airbnb came under fire last year for incidents in the US where guests have damaged properties and thrown wild parties – and now the company is taking a stance.

Brian Chesky, co-founder, CEO, and Head of Community at Airbnb outlined three key issues on Twitter. He said Airbnb would:

  • Expand screening of high-risk reservations
  • Implement a dedicated “party house” rapid response team
  • Take immediate action against users who violate the new guest policies (including removal)

Manual screening technology is already used by the platform to score reservations for risk before they are confirmed.

According to its website, there are additional protection measures including “party prevention” devices which can be fitted to the ceiling or wall-mounted and range in price from $150 to $250 (USD).

The devices are designed to alert hosts when there’s an irregular level of noise in their homes but don’t record sounds.

However, Airbnb does require its hosts to make guests aware that their homes are equipped with these noise surveillance devices.

But to the company’s website, real-time party detection is now a necessary step to appease angry neighbours and even councils.

“We want to help you protect your space, maintain the privacy of your guests, and preserve your relationship with neighbours,” the company says on its website. 

“This means helping you detect issues in real-time.” 

The company does not endorse any of the devices but does offer customer endorsements.

Airbnb’s policy on cameras states that a host must “disclose all surveillance devices in their listings”, and that hosts are required to “disclose if an active recording is taking place”.

In a listing that has a surveillance device, it is required to be mentioned in the features of the property, but can be as simple as stating, “Surveillance or recording devices on property”.

The terms and conditions also say Airbnb “prohibits any surveillance devices that are in or that observe the interior of certain private spaces (such as bedrooms and bathrooms) regardless of whether they’ve been disclosed”.

Show More

Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.