News & Opinion | December 4, 2020 1:05 pm

Airbnb Is Cracking Down on New Year’s Eve Rentals

Those who don't make Airbnb's nice list this year won't be able to book a one-night rental on December 31

new year's eve drinks
Airbnb wants nothing to do with your pandemic New Year's Eve party.
franckreporter/Getty Images

Earlier this year, Airbnb banned one-night rentals over Halloween weekend in an attempt to prevent large, potentially COVID-spreading parties, and now the platform is applying a similar strategy to curb would-be New Year’s Eve partiers.

On Thursday, Airbnb announced some renters in countries across the world will be unable to book a property for a single-night stay on December 31. However, only renters who do not have a history of positive reviews on the platform will be subject to the restriction; those with a sufficiently favorable Airbnb history will be exempt. The New Year’s Eve ban applies to renters on Airbnb’s naughty list in the U.S., Canada, France, Britain, Mexico, Australia and Spain.

The New Year’s Eve policy represents a slightly more lenient approach than the measures Airbnb took to prevent Halloween parties, which prohibited any and all renters from booking single-night stays over the holiday weekend, regardless of any previous record of good behavior.

According to Airbnb, the looser policy comes in response to feedback from hosts who suggested that “the strategy could be improved by allowing a pathway for guests who have demonstrated a commitment to being responsible travelers through their histories of positive reviews, while still maintaining robust protections against unauthorized parties.”

In Thursday’s statement, Airbnb also announced that any one-night stays on December 31 that were already booked prior to the announcement will be permitted to go through as planned, though all Airbnb guests renting over New Year’s Eve will be required to pledge not to throw any parties or otherwise engage in any non-socially-distanced holiday festivities.

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