Over 6,600 guests worldwide were suspended for unauthorized partying in 2021.
Airbnb doesn't want renters raising the roof at listed properties. The company says its temporary party ban, introduced during the pandemic, has been so effective that it's making the rule permanent. The policy update comes as Montrealers living in Pointe-Saint-Charles call on the city to shut down an Airbnb that they say has been hosting all-night parties and disrupting the neighbourhood.
La Presse reported that the three-level penthouse on rue du Centre — with a terrasse, hot tub, and outdoor bar, among other luxury amenities — has been the site of rowdy gatherings that last into the early hours of the morning (between 3 and 5 a.m.) multiple nights a week for about a month. Nearby residents have complained that the space prevents them from sleeping and the city has said it's looking into the situation. As of June 30, the spot is still listed for $6,703 per night on Airbnb.
The short-term rental site has been tightening its anti-party measures since 2019 when it began banning "open-invite" parties advertised on social media and "chronic party houses" that were a nuisance to nearby neighbours.
That same year, a Neighbourhood Support Line invited people to report disruptive gatherings directly to Airbnb.
When bars and clubs closed or limited their capacity in 2020, more Airbnbers began turning rented homes into makeshift venues.
"This was concerning to us due to both the disruptive nature of unauthorized parties and the risk of such gatherings spreading the virus. As such, we announced the party ban as being 'in the best interest of public health,'" the company said in a statement.
The company removed the "event-friendly" search filter and "parties and events allowed" House Rules in listings. Since then, it reports a 44 percent year-over-year drop in the rate of reported parties.
The party ban policy will continue to include serious consequences for guests who try to violate the rules, varying from account suspension to full removal from the platform.
Last year, over 6,600 guests worldwide were suspended for unauthorized partying.
However, Airbnb's new policy is dropping its cap on occupancy in "larger homes that are capable of comfortably and safely housing more than 16 people — from castles in Europe to vineyards in the U.S. to large beachfront villas in the Caribbean."
The company is also considering a potential exception to its party ban for specialty and traditional hospitality venues.
Meanwhile, Quebec is continuing to monitor Airbnb use. As of 2019, Quebecers who rent out their homes for under 31 days are required to get a provincial registration number. The cost to register with the CITQ is $75 upfront and an annual fee of $95.
The province has also created a system online and by phone (1-855-208-1131) to report an illegal tourist home, or any issues linked to short-term rental properties, to Revenu Québec, which has the power to inspect and investigate.