In Effort to Curb Party Houses, Airbnb Is Barring Some U.S. Rentals for Users Under 25

Photo: Carl Court, Getty Images
Photo: Carl Court, Getty Images

In order to stop enterprising young people from using rented Airbnb properties to throw absolute ragers in their region, the company has announced new booking rules for some people under 25.

Going forward, users younger than 25 will not be able to book entire houses in the U.S. if the user has fewer than three positive reviews on the platform, the company said in an announcement. These pesky youths will still be able to book entire homes outside of the area where they live, and they’ll still be able to book private rooms and hotels as well. But Airbnb noted the move is directly tied to an effort to curb house parties in rented homes, though covid-19 has presented a new concern as well.

“Reducing the number of unauthorised house parties on Airbnb has always been a priority, and it’s more important now than ever,” the company said. “With public health mandates in place throughout the country, we’re taking actions to support safe and responsible travel in the United States.”

Now, not every person in this demographic is barred from renting entire houses in their area. The company noted that users who are under 25 but have zero negative reviews and at least three positive reviews will be able to book entire homes in their area. This will, however, be a pain in the arse for some younger, new-to-the-platform Airbnb users, like someone looking for a temporary housing situation in their area, for example.

The company has been moving to crack down on house parties at its rented properties following a deadly shooting at a Halloween party in California last year. At the time, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said that as part of the company’s effort to prevent similar incidents from occurring again, the company was “expanding manual screening of high-risk reservations flagged by our risk detection technology” as well as building a “party house” rapid response team.

“There will always be people who work to find ways around our trust and safety protections, and we know that people over the age of 24 are perfectly capable of booking a home for the wrong reasons, too,” the company said this week. “But based on the positive impact this policy has had on unauthorised parties booked by guests under 25, we believe this is the right action to continue to protect the safety of our community.”

Editor’s Note: In an email to Gizmodo Australia, an Airbnb spokesperson said, “this policy does not apply to Australia and New Zealand.”