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Airbnb Rolls Out Anti-Party Measures in Run-Up to Halloween

Written by Bay City NewsPublished Oct. 10, 2022 • 5:49pm
Airbnb Headquarters at 888 Brannan St. in San Francisco in June 2021 topped by a billboard celebrating progress against the Covid pandemic. | Photo courtesy of Fairshake.com, edited by Camille Cohen

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Airbnb is taking steps to deter unauthorized parties at its listings during the Halloween weekend, the home rental service announced Monday. 

The new “platform defenses and policies” come on the heels of an Oct. 1 shooting that left two teen brothers dead and two other people injured at an unauthorized party at an Airbnb home in Oakland.  

The measures prohibit people without a history of positive reviews on the platform from making one-night reservations in entire home listings. 

Also, anyone without a history of positive reviews trying to rent entire homes, rent within a certain area and/or make last-minute reservations, will be redirected to listings that are not entire home listings or blocked altogether, the company said in a news release Monday. 

People trying to make local reservations during the Halloween weekend will be required confirm they understand that Airbnb bans parties and that if they break that rule, they may be subject to legal action, the company said. 

The Halloween rules are in addition to anti-party measures Airbnb rolled out in August that track a person’s review history, the amount of time they’ve been on the platform and the type of booking they’re trying to arrange, among other things. 

The company said it used similar measures to deter more than 12,000 people from booking entire home listings in California during Halloween last year. 

People with a history of positive reviews aren’t subject to the restrictions, the company said. 

In 2020, Airbnb instituted a temporary party ban at its listings, which it made permanent in June. 

The home at which the two brothers, both Berkeley High School students, were shot and killed earlier this month, was the scene of an unauthorized party of at least 30 people in the 900 block of Apgar Street in Oakland. 

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Three suspects arrived in a vehicle a little before 10 p.m., and two opened fire inside the home at specific people, according to police. 

Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said the shooting was the result of a conflict at Berkeley High or near the campus and was not group- or gang-related.

The person who booked the home was removed from Airbnb’s platform, and the listing has been deactivated for the investigation, according to the company.

In another widely publicized case, five people were shot and killed and several others injured during an unauthorized 2019 Halloween party in Orinda at which more than 100 people had gathered. 

In the wake of that shooting, the Orinda City Council banned “non-hosted” rentals and put additional limits on “hosted” venues, as well.

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