The American Airbnb community is in shock after events in early November saw a Halloween party turn into something far more sinister when a shooting occurred at a California residence. Media reports note that the home was used as an Airbnb “party house.” Tragically, five people lost their lives.
Soon after the events of November first, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the company would take serious steps to “combat unauthorized parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct.”
These steps include a dedicated “party house rapid response team” and greater scrutiny of listings. In tweets, Chesky noted “We must do better, and we will,” and “This is unacceptable.”
What does this mean for Australian Airbnb hosts?
Five days after the shootings, Airbnb announced that it will conduct a mass effort to verify each and every listing on its site.
While Airbnb was not fully clear about how it intends to carry out this process, in statements the company said verification will involve double-checking the accuracy of photos, addresses, listed safety standards and more. Hosts will also face increased verification procedures.
In an Australia-specific context, hosts and listings will need to adhere to Airbnb’s new stricter standards. As of yet, those have not been completely revealed but it is safe to say that change is coming.
While the situation in America is not directly comparable to Australia, particularly surrounding state and federal gun laws, we can expect adjustments to Airbnb policies to impact Australian listings.
Saying “no parties’ only goes so far
Founded in 2008, Airbnb has now been operating for more than 11 years. Throughout this period, many hosts have stated “no parties” on their listings and in their house manuals. For the most part, these rules are adhered to and the vast majority of guests are respectful and honest.
But to stop a wild group of travelling 20-year-olds from bringing the party back to their short-term property rental, merely stating “no parties” doesn’t always do the trick. And a short note in an Airbnb’s house manual is unlikely to deter those rare guests who have decided the home will indeed be a party house.
The only way to combat these kinds of happenings is with a thorough and in-person verification system. Proper Airbnb management companies such as KeyNinja utilise their own verification systems to ensure that the “family of three and grandma” you’re renting your home to isn’t actually two 18-year-olds on their first solo jaunt to the city.
Because KeyNinja’s dedicated Ninjas are on the ground and dealing with check-ins and check-outs, they have built excellent relationships with neighbours. Oftentimes, people in neighbouring homes or apartments are the one who will notice unusual events before anyone else. When this occurs, they have direct contact with our Ninjas in the field.
KeyNinja also has a “party-stopper” service which does exactly what it says on the tin: stops the party dead in its tracks. If you live far away from your Airbnb, taking steps to ensure it is used by customers respectfully should be your first consideration.
The majority of Airbnb transactions happen smoothly and without a hitch. Guests and owners are happy and properties are treated well. The odd bad egg shouldn’t be allowed to hinder a service that works well for customers and owners alike. Full verification protects you, your home, and the Airbnb industry as a whole.
If you’d like to learn more about KeyNinja and our verification procedures or to chat about how we can help secure your property ninja style, get in touch with us today.