LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Airbnb announced Thursday that it has launched an initiative that restricts some locals under the age of 25 from booking entire home listings in Las Vegas.
According to a news release, the initiative restricts those under 25 years old from booking an entire home with Airbnb unless they have a track record of positive reviews from booking local, entire home listings anywhere in the United States.
"With public health mandates in place throughout the country, we’re taking actions to support safe and responsible travel in the United States," Airbnb said.
The company provided the example of an 18-year-old who lives in Las Vegas and has never had a review on Airbnb would be prevented by its technologies from booking a large home for one night in Las Vegas.
The company says it launched the same initiative earlier this year in Canada. Since the introduction of the policy in Canada, Airbnb says the number of unauthorized parties booked by guests under the age of 25 has experienced a meaningful drop.
Airbnb provided instructions on how it works:
- U.S. guests under the age of 25 with less than three positive reviews are not able to book entire home listings that are close to where they live. These guests can still book any type of listing outside their local area.
- All guests under the age of 25 are still free to book private rooms and hotel rooms through Airbnb, regardless of where they live.
- Most importantly, younger guests with at least three positive reviews and no negative reviews on Airbnb are not subject to this restriction, and they’re welcome to continue to book entire home listings in their local area.
Airbnb says it believes this restriction only impacts a small percentage of bookings overall.
We’ve had more issues with younger people renting our houses," said Travis Schurr.
He and his wife rent out about 20 houses around the valley. He said recently he's noticed more local rentals.
“They’re wanting to get out of their situation get into an Airbnb with a pool, bigger backyard, bring their friends in and then obviously we know what happens when people have been locked up for the last three months."
Schurr said he already stopped renting to people under 25 and uses an app to get a little more background on a potential guest.
"If they’ve been verified, where they’re from and kind of gives a rating of a high to low ... We’re able to weed out kind of the bad apples," he said.
A Henderson city spokesperson told FOX5 over the last few weeks they’ve received a spike in complaints from five to eight specific rentals houses. There are about 250 registered Airbnb’s across the city.
"My wife and I run a very tight ship like cameras on the front cameras on the back noise aware monitors," said Schurr.
Schurr said he has a 50 percent turn down rate right now and he’s still booked through mid August. He just turned away a local who wanted to book a house to host a party for a one-year-old.
"I was thinking who's going to spend $1,100 on a four-day booking for a local? So I was like, 'no I’m sorry we don’t allow parties.'"
Airbnb's safety and communication spokesperson said traveling close to home is now a national trend.
"People are looking to get away they’re looking to do so in safe and responsible manner but they also don’t want to get on a plane," said Ben Breit.