Airbnb for the past year has actively blocked short-term rentals it suspects might be used to host large parties, the kind that upset hosts, disturb neighborhoods, and give the industry a bad name.
“If you are under the age of 25 and you don’t have a history of positive reviews, we will not allow you to book an entire home listing local to where you live,” said Ben Breit, head of trust and safety communication with San Francisco-based Airbnb.
A year in, the technology Airbnb deployed has blocked or redirected potentially risky reservation attempts from more than 2,600 people in Denver, he said. By comparison, the company has blocked 5,000 suspicious bookings in Phoenix; 4,500 each in Las Vegas and Seattle; 2,600 in Portland, Ore.; 1,800 in Salt Lake City and 1,500 in Albuquerque.
“The system actually blocks that reservation. It doesn’t allow it to go through,” Breit said.
The system won’t block a young adult trying to rent in a distant city or who is renting a smaller space locally, say a two-bedroom condo, which isn’t particularly conducive to holding a rave anyway. Breit said the rental block extends beyond Denver city limits, but declined to say how far away so as not to tip off wannabe party hosts.