Airbnb cracks down on house parties, suspending more than 20 listings in the Austin area

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FILE – This Feb. 22, 2018, file photo, shows an Airbnb logo during an event in San Francisco. On Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, Airbnb announced that for the first time, it is taking legal action against a guest for violating its ban on unauthorized parties. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than 80 Airbnb listings across Texas, including more than 20 in Austin, have been suspended or removed from the company’s platform, according to Airbnb.

The short-term rental company announced Tuesday morning that the move came after complaints that the listings violated policies on parties and events, which includes a ban on gatherings of more than 16 people.

According to Airbnb, one listing in Wimberley and another in Fredericksburg are part of the suspensions and removals.

In 2019, Airbnb formally announced a ban on party houses and established a 24/7 hotline for concerns.

In August of this year, they announced a ban on all parties looked into complaints last week.

“We decided to take a dedicated look at important places, like Texas, to make sure that we were properly enforcing on all homes where we’ve been receiving complaints,” said Ben Breit, Airbnb Trust and Safety spokesperson.

Breit said whether a listing is removed or suspended — and for how long — is decided on a case-by-case basis.

“The majority of our hosts in Texas and otherwise already ban parties. So, if a party happens in a listing where they ban parties and it’s unauthorized, we’re going to work with that host — that host might be a victim,” he said.

Here is the full list of cities where Airbnb has suspended or removed listings: 

  • Austin
  • Baytown
  • College Station
  • Corpus Christi
  • Cypress
  • Dallas
  • Edgewood
  • El Paso
  • Fort Worth
  • Fredericksburg
  • Houston
  • Lubbock
  • Pearland
  • Richmond
  • San Antonio
  • Uvalde
  • Wimberley

In the last few months, Breit said Airbnb also started restricting some bookings for guests under the age of 25.

“As a practical example, if we identify a 20-year old guest who is located in Texarkana, our systems are set up to restrict that user from booking a house, apartment or other entire home listing in Texarkana for a 1-night reservation the following weekend unless they have a history of positive reviews on Airbnb.  However, if that same 20 year-old is booking a stay to visit family in Houston, the restriction would not apply,” the company stated in Tuesday’s press release.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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