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Airbnb is cracking down on house parties in Montreal

Airbnb is cracking down on house parties in Montreal
/ Lawrence Manning / Royalty-free / Getty Images

While party houses have been banned at Airbnb since 2019, Airbnb parties have not gone away.

When the coronavirus pandemic shut down bars and night clubs in March, partygoers started scanning Airbnb, and other short-term rental sites for places to hold illegal dance parties. In some cases, tickets were selling in the hundreds on websites like Eventbrite and TikTok for soirees with bottle service and DJs.

When the news broke, Airbnb tried to crack down on the illegal parties but despite strict enforcement measures, the company has struggled to keep up. In fact, it’s gotten so out of control that early this morning, the company announced more than 45 new listings in the city have been either suspended or removed from the platform altogether following complaints or other violations of the company's rules around parties and events.

“With cases of COVID-19 rising in Montréal and across Québec, it’s crucial that we all do our part to reduce the number of large gatherings and parties, and we support the efforts of local officials to curb this irresponsible behaviour,” said Airbnb’s public policy manager in Canada, Nathan Rotman, in a statement. “We hope that by sharing out these steps today, we can bring greater awareness to our 24/7 neighbourhood support hotline which helps to bolster the enforcement of violations of our party ban throughout Canada.”

If you're still unsure about their rules, Airbnb has updated its community policies. Here’s what they’ve added to their website:

During normal times, we fully empower our hosts to set House Rules on events and parties that are appropriate for their communities, and we will restore that discretion once the COVID-19 crisis subsides. However, for the time being, we are banning hosts from authorizing parties in regions where current public health mandates prohibit events and gatherings. Violating this new rule will result in severe consequences, including suspension and possibly full removal from the platform.

Additionally, we have reinforced this policy by temporarily disabling the “event-friendly” search filter, which is typically used so that guests can seek out venues for responsible parties and gatherings in normal times. We are also in the process of temporarily removing the “parties and events allowed” rule from the House Rules of any listings that formerly authorized parties, and we expect that work to be finished within the next 24 hours.

And, of course, we continue our rigorous work to prevent and address unauthorized parties, which have always been forbidden and reflect particularly serious abuses of our rules during this public health crisis.

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