US: Airbnb has confirmed it has suspended or removed more than 50 property listings based in Los Angeles County from its platform with immediate effect, a week after issuing a global ban on parties in its properties and capping guests that can occupy one at 16 people.
The affected properties have been sanctioned for violating the recently-introduced global house party ban.
While not explicitly stating the addresses of the listings, the properties are believed to be located in the City of Los Angeles itself, as well as Burbank, Calabasas, Compton, Glendora, Hacienda Heights, La Canada Flintridge, Long Beach, Malibu, Marina del Rey, Pasadena, West Hollywood and Whittier.
In a statement, Airbnb said: “In many large jurisdictions, public health mandates on gatherings have changed – and in some places swung back and forth in response to the changing rates of Covid cases – as have regulations on bars, clubs and pubs. Some have chosen to take bar and club behaviour to homes, sometimes rented through our platform.
“We think such conduct is incredibly irresponsible – we do not want that type of business, and anyone engaged in or allowing that behaviour does not belong on our platform.
“The vast majority of hosts in Los Angeles County contribute positively to their neighbourhoods and economy, and they also take important steps to prevent unauthorised parties — like establishing clear house rules, quiet hours, and communicating in advance with their guests. Our actions today address the small minority of hosts who have previously received warnings about hosting responsibly or have otherwise violated our policies,” it added.
The delisting of said properties is part of Airbnb’s drive to promote a positive brand image to potential investors, after filing for its long-awaited initial public offering [IPO] last week.
As well as pledging to eliminate discrimination from its platform, it has sought to improve its relationship with governments and authorities in individual yet key market cities and root out guests who are hosting unauthorised parties at listed properties. The attention on the phenomenon was heightened after a fatal shooting incident at an Airbnb listing in Orinda, near San Francisco, last year.
It is not just Airbnb wanting to be seen to be taking the hard line with parties, either.
This week, the L.A. County Department of Public Health also issued a legally binding ban on parties, while Mayor Eric Garcetti threatened to cut off water and power services to homes that continue to host large gatherings and disrupt local communities, as was the case when a Hollywood Hills property was occupied by influencers on Chinese video-sharing social network site TikTok.