News & Politics

Airbnb Makes Its Party Ban Permanent

A pandemic-era ban has worked very well, the company says.

Ja Rule performs at an Airbnb house party in DC in 2015. Photograph by Benjamin Freed.

Airbnb has made its pandemic-era ban on parties permanent, the company announced Tuesday. The ban also applies to weddings and similar celebrations, an Airbnb spokesperson tells Washingtonian, though the company is looking for “long-term tweaks to accommodate them” in the future.

Washington was the site of one of a notorious pre-pandemic do at an Airbnb in Dupont Circle known for so many noisy events that DC eventually sued its owner. In 2015, the house hosted rapper Ja Rule, who performed at an event promoting Magnises, a not-quite credit card for millennials that was developed by Fyre Festival fraudster Billy McFarland.

Airbnb says the rate of reports of parties dropped by 44 percent year over year since it implemented its ban and became “much more than a public health measure.” Last month the company announced in a crackdown on Memorial Day and July 4 events that people who don’t have a history of positive reviews as guests won’t be able to reserve houses for one night only for the holiday weekends. Guests who violate the party ban face suspension or could be kicked off the platform.

Airbnb plans to drop one pandemic-era ban, however: Properties that can host more than 16 guests will be able to do so again, provided the hosts demonstrate they can comfortably accommodate groups like multi-generational gatherings. The company will continue to provide a website and phone support for neighbors who suspect a party is taking place nearby.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.

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