Airbnb permanently bans ‘parties’ after restrictions on short-term rentals in Arizona

Ban comes as the Fourth of July holiday approaches; new laws implemented in Valley cities
Last year, Airbnb said its “anti-party” system and restrictions blocked 11,000 bookings in Arizona.
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 8:30 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The world’s largest short-term rental service has instituted a permanent ban on parties and major events after initially launching a temporary ban nearly two years ago.

“The temporary ban has proved effective, and today we are officially codifying the ban as our policy,” said Airbnb in a news release on Tuesday. Since the ban was introduced, the company said it saw a 44 percent year-over-year drop in parties being reported. In Arizona, the company saw a 55 percent year-over-year drop.

Valley-wide frustrations

Several Valley cities have been voicing concerns about short-term rentals after loud, dangerous, and/or destructive parties often created havoc in otherwise quiet suburban neighborhoods. In 2020, the company took the unusual step to prevent bookings under certain circumstances as Airbnb hosts and communities around the country complained about nuisances and violence.

Last year, Airbnb said its “anti-party” system and restrictions blocked 11,000 bookings in Arizona. And in February, Arizona’s Family reported that 70 listings in popular tourist destinations like Phoenix, Flagstaff, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, and Sedona were taken down.

New short-term rental laws in the Phoenix area

Earlier this year, new laws went into effect in the City of Scottsdale, allowing police to issue citations to both the renter and property owners. That law requires owners to provide an emergency contact to show up within an hour of police showing up. Paradise Valley, which is adjacent to Scottsdale, also recently passed regulations that make it required for short-term rental owners and hosts to conduct background checks for sex offenders, have someone physically check in guests on the property, and notify the town. In other cities, more and more HOAs are placing restrictions on “vacation rentals.”

Airbnb implements ‘anti-party’ measures

Because these types of parties tend to pop up around the holidays, the company is also relaunching its anti-party crackdown, expanding previously strengthened rules to prevent one-night bookings for guests who don’t have a positive rental history. It will limit two-night reservations for certain local or last-minute bookings by people who don’t have a positive review history on the service. Airbnb also says that it’s introducing “anti-party attestations,” adding that those who break the rules could face legal action.

The company says other measures like a 24-hour safety line, a neighborhood support line, and an information-sharing partnership with competitor Vrbo to notify about repeat “party house” offenders across the country have also helped decrease parties are its listing properties. To learn more, click/tap here.

Jason Barry, Kim Powell, Monica Garcia, Morgan Loew, and Maria Hechanova contributed to this report through previous coverage.