More than 800 Airbnb listings removed in house party crackdown

More than 800 UK Airbnb listings have been removed or suspended in a crackdown on party houses, according to the firm.

The San Francisco-based home-sharing company said it has also blocked more than 13,500 UK reservation attempts in a month after the introduction of a pilot scheme to tackle anti-social behaviour.

In August, Airbnb banned guests under 25 with fewer than three positive reviews from booking entire homes close to where they live.

More than 800 UK listings have been suspended or removed, including properties that have received complaints or violated policies on parties and unauthorised events, which are banned, the company said.

The move is part of efforts to clean up its reputation, which included a worldwide ban on house parties.

The figures come after Airbnb announced it is restricting bookings during the four-week national Covid-19 lockdown in England, although long-term bookings can be made for “legally exempt stays”.

Patrick Robinson, the firm’s director of public policy, said: “We want to be clear beyond doubt that we have zero tolerance for anti-social behaviour on Airbnb.

“The vast majority of hosts and guests are good neighbours and we are determined to weed out bad actors.

“Our measures are working and as the UK goes back into lockdown, our priority is to be good partners to communities and to help everyone stay safe.”

Airbnb said many of the suspensions came after concerns raised through its “Neighbour Tool”, where people can complain about properties listed on its website.

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In June, a 26-year-old man was stabbed at a party in an Airbnb property in Denmark Hill, south-east London.

Following the incident, a spokesman for the company said the guest had been removed from the site and the listing suspended while the “isolated incident” was investigated.

In August, Metropolitan Police officers broke up an illegal house party said to have been held at an Airbnb property in north London following complaints from neighbours.

Footage of the event, described as an “illegal rave” by one neighbour, showed dozens of people in the garden of the house in Tavistock Terrace, Archway, not wearing masks or socially distancing.