Airbnb implements strict July 4 rule in NJ and beyond
Home-sharing marketplace Airbnb has a new rule in place that's meant to reduce the number of bookings that result in disruptive unauthorized parties.
As part of its 8-point plan for responsible summer travel in 2021, the company is blocking users in New Jersey and across the country from making one-night reservations for entire homes on July 4 weekend. Exceptions will be made for guests who've earned a history of positive reviews.
July 4 lands on a Sunday this year; Airbnb notes the national holiday has been pegged as the reopening-from-COVID date in the U.S.
"As the July 4 weekend approaches, we are deploying more stringent restrictions on one and two-night reservations that may pose heightened risk for parties," Airbnb says in its plan. "For example, we will leverage our technology that restricts certain local and last-minute bookings by guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb and also block reservations within an expanded radius."
In August of last year, in the face of COVID-19, Airbnb announced a global ban on parties at its listings, including a cap on occupancy at 16.
"What we're certainly most concerned about and most want to stop are the very, very large gatherings, where it's open-invite and you don't even know who's showing up," Ben Breit, head of trust communications for Airbnb, told New Jersey 101.5. "It's literally someone's home, that they care deeply about."
As part of a crackdown on so-called party houses in New Jersey, Airbnb announced last August that 35 listings across the state had been suspended or removed from the platform. The affected properties were located in 25 municipalities, including Atlantic City, Hoboken, Newark, Toms River and Woodbridge.
A house in Jackson booked through Airbnb last summer ended up attracting approximately 700 people. Police said it took more than four hours to clear the property.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.