After crackdown on Atlanta party houses, Airbnb bans parties

For those hoping to throw a big bash at an Airbnb property, it’s time to find another venue. On Thursday, the online rental company said it’s banning parties and events with more than 16 people.

The latest crackdown comes a week after Airbnb said 50 Atlanta party houses were being removed from listings for violating the short-term rental company’s regulations. The ban on parties applies to all future bookings and will remain in effect indefinitely, Airbnb said.

The pandemic, and regulations on businesses such as bars, played a role in the decision, Airbnb said. But unauthorized parties have never been allowed in rentals.

“Some have chosen to take bar and club behavior to homes, sometimes rented through our platform,” Airbnb posted on its website. “We think such conduct is incredibly irresponsible – we do not want that type of business, and anyone engaged in or allowing that behavior does not belong on our platform.”

Although the majority of Airbnb hosts and rentals have plans in place to prevent unauthorized parties, those Atlanta properties removed from online listings previously received warnings, Airbnb said. The addresses of the properties were not released, but the rentals were located throughout the city. Buckhead, southwest Atlanta and downtown had the most number of impacted listings, the company said.

Airbnb said it is working on plans for properties traditionally used for events, such as boutique hotels. For now, gatherings are limited to 16 or less.

The party ban goes beyond public health concerns. In Atlanta, “party houses” have also been crime scenes, though not all were Airbnb rentals.

On July 24, two teenagers were killed outside a house party in northwest Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood. They had just gotten out of a ride-share vehicle on Sunset Avenue about 2:30 a.m. July 24 when they were shot multiple times, according to police.

Earlier in July, an Atlanta Airbnb listing was the scene of another homicide. On July 16, 36-year-old Mikhail Sher was found dead from multiple gunshots outside a Griffin Street home, according to police.

In July 2019, Atlanta police were called to a Garmon Road home nearly 100 times in three weeks regarding noise complaints and thefts, according to police records.

In 2019, Airbnb announced it had banned house parties and initiated a 24/7 Neighborhood Support Hotline in the U.S., where neighbors can report concerns. Calls to the hotline led to many of the listing suspensions, Airbnb said.