Skift Take

Airbnb chose Tinseltown to audaciously begin cracking down on party houses. Good PR. Expect to see more adjustments in Airbnb policy as it moves forward with an emphasis on community safety and standards.

Airbnb’s first big concerted crackdown on so-called party houses started in Los Angeles. The homesharing giant announced Monday that it has taken decisive measures against more than two dozen listings in the Hollywood Hills area after the Los Angeles Police Department identified them as chronic party houses.

Airbnb first announced its ban on party houses in November, following a Halloween party shooting at one of its rentals that left five people dead.

All upcoming reservations for the properties identified as nuisances by the LAPD have been canceled and several of them have been removed from Airbnb, while others face suspension. Property owners will need to submit documentation to Airbnb that certifies they’re in good standing with the city before being considered for reinstatement.

“We are grateful to the LAPD for their partnership in helping us identify listings that do not reflect the overwhelming majority of Los Angeles Airbnb hosts who share their homes responsibly,” said John Choi, public policy manager for Airbnb in Los Angeles. “Building trust in the communities our hosts call home is our top priority and we look forward to continuing to work with the LAPD to ensure we protect quality of life in neighborhoods throughout the city.”

Airbnb recently came up with a series of steps it plans to take to build trust on the platform, including the creation of a Neighbor Support line and a special 24/7 hotline for local officials, updated guest standards, and increased manual review of high-risk reservations. Airbnb also plans to verify all seven million of its listings by the end of the year.

Speaking at Skift Short-Term Rental Summit in December, Airbnb Vice President of Trust Margaret Richardson said these recent decisions are indicative of the way the company’s priorities have changed.

“We’ve shifted away from thinking about this as a trust initiative. These are companywide commitments about the kind of company we want to be,” she said. We are expanding our offerings to public officials to make sure when they have an issue, they’re able to contact the right person in Airbnb to deal with that issue in their jurisdiction as quickly as possible.

Airbnb has been working hard to improve its image ahead of a planned 2020 public offering.

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Tags: airbnb, homesharing

Photo credit: Urban views of the Beverly Hills area and residential buildings on the Hollywood hills. Airbnb’s first big crackdown on party houses is starting in Los Angeles. BrianKinney / Adobe

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