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Hosts face new ruling

Airbnb to crack down on ‘party houses’ over lettings abuse

Bubbles in Royal Mile

The party house bubble may be about to burst (pic: Terry Murden)

Airbnb has said it will ban “party houses” in a move that will impact on those who rent out their homes.

The company’s decision follows a mass shooting at a California home rented through the company but also after complaints of “abusive host and guest conduct”.

CEO Brian Chesky said in a tweet: “We must do better, and we will. This is unacceptable.”

Three people died at the house, in the city of Orinda, near San Francisco, and two more died later in hospital.

The house was said to been booked for a small group but more than 100 people descended on the property after it was promoted via Instagram as the venue for a Halloween party. The owner did not authorise the party, Airbnb said.

The company also announced an immediate crackdown on hosts who allow their homes to become long-term nuisances in their neighbourhoods and will remove guests and hosts who fail to comply.

It was not clear if the policy would apply globally but a report from Associated Press noted that house parties have long been an issue for Airbnb, which has more than six million listings worldwide, including thousands in Scotland.

The number of entire houses or flats now available to let in Edinburgh has rocketed to 7,366 in hot spot areas such as the Royal Mile, Grassmarket and Stockbridge. It equates to around one Airbnb property for every 42 residents. Some entire homes are used for hen and stag parties, or to host visiting performers and contractors.

Landlords in Scotland face new government regulations on short term lets.

Mr Chesky said Airbnb would create a dedicated “party house” rapid response team and expand manual screening of high-risk reservations.

The company, which is expected to float on the stock market in 2020, would also take action against users who violated its policies, he said.



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