I wholly resent the party ban. There are several reasons.
(And I apologize as I’m sure this will be lengthy but I don’t have time to edit.)
1—Unintended consequences that have directly affected my business: Before the party ban, depending on the season, 30-50% of my guests were under-25s. And they were, by far, the most gracious and conscientious age group of guests, the very best and my overall favorite. I never had even one guest under-25 that wasn’t an excellent guest and I cannot say that about any other demographic.
Although I often had small groups (3-5) or a couple/duo of under-25s, I just as often had a professional under-25 traveling alone for work. There were also quite a lot of, what I believe to be a very under-recognized group, of under-25s that are booking while traveling with their parents or grandparents. In that group, the parents or grandparents always mentioned something to the affect that they would never have considered trying Airbnb but that they were so happy that the son/grandson/etc had arranged it and that now they were hooked (And there’s a delightful subgroup in there of international travelers where the under-25 makes all arrangements because they’re the most comfortable with English).
I would like there to be an exception for hosts who live onsite at their property or at least be able to opt-out of the party ban. My house has 4 separate apartments and we live in one of them and rent out the other three. It is clear in my listings that although I give my guests as much privacy as they want that my husband and I do live on the property. So although some guests book a listing to throw a party, they are not going to book one of my listings to throw a party. And on the off-chance that someone was that dumb, I would be here and see it starting and go downstairs and stop it. It’s that simple.
I’m speaking in past tense about under-25s because I no longer get guests from that group. The only under-25s I’ve had since the party ban have been two that contacted me (both of them were traveling alone and one of them was a previous guest that I had given a perfect review after their first stay, doh) and asked why they weren’t able to book. For those two, I went into one of my “entire place” listings and changed it to a “private room” which then allowed them to book. After they were booked, I went back in and changed it back to the “entire space” that it is. It’s ridiculous to have to trick a booking system into letting guests book.
2—It isn’t effective and Airbnb doesn’t actually care about parties: We have an absent owner/nuisance house on our block, one house over from us. It took us and all of the other neighbors on our block over a year to get the city to force the owner to get the den of junkies, drug dealers, car thieves, porch pirates, animal abusers and bank robbers, after numerous arrests, overdoses, assaults and two hostage situations, out of that duplex.
Now the owner has Airbnb listings in there instead. Of course it’s not quite as bad as before (though at least the junkies and thieves didn’t park on our property or piss on our porch) but he has 30 reviews at this point, so about that many guests. And yet there have been 5 enormous parties the police had to break up and 2 different groups of prostitutes that set up shop for a couple nights. One group did some of their business across the street from our house, against the fence of a school.
My husband, I and our neighbors have all reported his listings to Airbnb numerous times and yet we are still all dreading the coming weekend. And this nuisance owner and now nuisance host has recently added a new listing that is both sides of his duplex combined as one rental. It’s odd too, because it doesn’t seem like any of his guests were having any trouble at all inviting 100 people over without the second side of the duplex included. Incidentally, none of these problem groups looked to be predominately under-25.
3—Personal responsibility: Hosts should take full responsibility for their properties. The very very minimum that any host should be doing is protecting their property and protecting their neighborhood from disturbances (and providing TP, lol). If a host cannot do those 3 things 100% of the time then they should be removed from Airbnb. No exceptions. It is literally the primary job of a host. I believe that removing irresponsible hosts would be far more effective than limiting bookings from guests that are under-25. I think it would also help with many of the other issues that Airbnb is having with its reputation.
4— Discrimination: Both websites and short-term rentals, for the most part, are getting away with loads of discriminatory practices that are completely illegal under federal, state or city laws for other types of businesses because, in most places, the laws have not yet been updated for these relatively new types of businesses. But getting away with it doesn’t make it any less discriminatory and, in a few places, it has already been made explicitly illegal for hosts and/or websites to discriminate against protected classes and is merely being ignored.