The short-term rental company said it plans to limit customers without a history of positive reviews from booking entire homes over the Halloween weekend. Airbnb said that people without a history of positive reviews will not be able to rent entire homes for just one night over the Halloween holiday, make “last-minute reservations” or book properties “in a specific area.” Anyone booking at the end of the week must sign company rules prohibiting parties.
The company said the measures were first introduced over the Halloween holiday last year, leading to a decrease in unauthorized parties at its US and Canadian properties by more than a third. More specific data, however, have not been published.
They are among several moves the company has taken in recent years to ban parties at its residences, amid scrutiny of several shootings at properties listed through its service.
It was not clear on Monday afternoon exactly whether the latter company’s rules would prevent booking the party that ended in a shooting earlier this month in North Auckland.
At about 9:45 pm on October 1, at least two shooters entered a duplex apartment in the 900 block of Apgar Street and opened fire. Two Berkeley High School students – Jazzy Sotelo Garcia, 17, and his younger brother, Angel Sotelo Garcia, 15, died at the scene. Two other teens were hospitalized with gunshot wounds.
No arrests have been announced in the shooting.
The shooting cut short a birthday party attended by at least 30 people for a 17-year-old girl. Oakland Police Chief Liron Armstrong said the rent had been booked by the girl’s father, adding that the rally was intended for “a select group of people, but the information clearly reached other people”. As of early last week, police had not determined if the parent was at the party when the shooting began.Airbnb said the party was “unauthorized” and thrown without the knowledge or consent of the property’s host. The company hasn’t released further details about who booked the list, but said last week that the guest booking has been removed from its platform and the list has been taken down “as the investigation continues.”
City of Auckland officials have not responded to repeated requests from this news organization over the past week about whether any city codes have been violated at this Airbnb rental site.
The shooting came about a year after another fatal shooting at an Airbnb rental in Sunnyvale. In that incident, two people were shot — one fatally — as 150 people crowded the house for a party that was announced on social media.
It was at least the fourth time that an Airbnb home in Northern California has been shot at in recent years. Another such shooting at an Airbnb in Orinda left five people dead on Halloween in 2019.