DETROIT – Airbnb officials announced Thursday that users under 25 years old who do not have a positive track record will not be allowed to rent an “entire home” listing in their local area.
The new policy states that guests under the age of 25 must have at least three positive reviews and no negative reviews to be eligible to book an entire home listing close to where they live.
Officials say individuals under 25 without the positive review requirement can book any type of listing outside of their local area. All guests of all ages are allowed to book private rooms and hotel rooms in any location through Airbnb, officials said.
The age restriction is an effort to prevent “unauthorized parties” from occurring at Airbnb-listed homes, especially ahead of the Fourth of July holiday. In late 2019 a mass shooting occurred during a party at an Airbnb listing and the company has since announced steps to prevent a similar event from taking place.
Starting today, we are banning “party houses” and we are redoubling our efforts to combat unauthorized parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct, including conduct that leads to the terrible events we saw in Orinda. Here is what we are doing:— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) November 2, 2019
Airbnb officials say most guests are respectful of rented properties during their visit, but the new policy is an additional step to help keep people safe, especially with health ordinances in place amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“There will always be people who work to find ways around our trust and safety protections, and we know that people over the age of 24 are perfectly capable of booking a home for the wrong reasons, too,” said Lisa Cohen, spokesperson for Airbnb. “But based on the positive impact this policy has had on unauthorized parties booked by guests under 25, we believe this is the right action to continue to protect the safety of our community.”
Airbnb’s age restriction comes as COVID-19 cases rise at alarming rates across the U.S.
Health officials believe young people might be partly responsible for the country’s recent surge in cases as many bars, restaurants and nightclubs begin to reopen.
Some COVID-19 outbreaks in Michigan have been linked to bars and restaurants. In East Lansing 138 COVID-19 cases have been tied to an outbreak at Harpers Restaurant and Brew Pub as of Wednesday.