Airbnb restricts under-25s from booking entire rooms in UK, France and Spain

The company hopes to 'protect local communities' with its decision - AFP/LIONEL BONAVENTURE
The company hopes to ‘protect local communities’ with its decision – AFP/LIONEL BONAVENTURE

Airbnb has banned under-25s with repeat negative reviews from hiring local homes through its platform in an attempt to cut down on unauthorised parties.

Trialling the initiative in Britain, France and Spain, the online lettings website announced it will prohibit anyone under the age of 25, who has less than three positive ratings, from renting entire homes nearby to where they live.

The move is hoped to limit anti-social behaviour within Airbnb listings, amid concern about events where social distancing measures have not been adhered to.

“The restriction is intended to protect local communities while still allowing younger guests to book listings outside of their local area,” Airbnb said in a statement.

Those with at least three positive reviews and no negative ones, or with long-term plans, are exempt from the restriction, and all users can still hire private and hotel rooms through the platform, it added.

Last December, Airbnb, which is operational in more than 220 countries, banned all parties held without the host’s knowledge or permission, as well as events, from its listings.

The decision came just over a month after a mass shooting at a California home rented through the company left five people dead, with its co-founder Brian Chesky subsequently vowing to “combat unauthorised parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct”.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky - Mike Windle/Getty Images
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky – Mike Windle/Getty Images

Airbnb has now said it has strengthened its ban on gatherings that violate public health guidelines in response to the pandemic.

Patrick Robinson, Airbnb’s director of public policy, said: “While the overwhelming majority of guests on our platform are responsible neighbours, we are absolutely determined to obstruct and weed out anyone intent on causing anti-social behaviour.

“We want to do everything we can to be good partners to the communities where hosts live and we hope that our new policy will make it abundantly clear that there is no home for any unauthorised parties on Airbnb.”

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