Breaking news: 4 dead, many injured in an Airbnb party house in Orinda CA last night ( 10/31). The house is just few steps away from my second residence in the same street. About 10:00pm, My daughter and I were driving back to our residence, noticed that the street were full of cars. After a while, we heard police helicopters and ambulances arriving ....Neighboor next door told us there was a mass shooting in the Airbnb house few steps away.
The head of Airbnb trust and safety announced that they will conduct serious investigation, according to the news.
My dear fellow host, I have been posting many times regarding my concerns to Airbnb unsafe booking process. My own house has been targeted several times for huge parties/criminal activities, but it couldn’t get enough attention from Airbnb trust and safety
Please protect yourself and be safe!
How awful @Lan1
I can't agree it's Airbnb's booking system.
Sadly these sort of situations occur when:
A. when hosts don't take the time to vet guests properly to minimise the risk of guests booking a listing just to host a party.
B. hosts don't have systems in place to monitor remote listings to ensure only guests who have booked enter the property such as CCTV and local co-hosts
C. hosts don't have house rules and settings to minimise risks of a party for example a two night stay. having the names of all guests for listings that tend to attract party guests etc
D. hosts or their co-hosts don't go over to the listing at the first sign of trouble, rather than letting a party get into swing and neighbours be affected by noise/anti social behaviour.
I am sure as a host who has been targeted by party-goers you have systems you have put in place to minimise the risk @Lan1 .
If a party happens at your listing Airbnb's role to agree to cancellation of the booking and ensure the guest is booted off Airbnb. Everything else is down to the host in terms of ensuring the guests leave, unless there is criminal activity in which case the police need to be called.
For example, I am sure if you see more guests turning up and a party starting at your listing, you or your co-host go over and ensure the booking is cancelled with Airbnb and the guests leave, before the party gets started, rather than risk neighbours being disturbed and anti-social behaviour.
@Helen3 I respect your opinion, but let’s follow the news and find out the investigation outcome: who is countable or partially countable for this mass shooting?
I agree that hosts shall provide their own security system to protect ourselves, however recent changes in Airbnb booking requirements such as NO ID, NO Picture, penalty for hosts rejecting inquiries or canceling IB opened some green lights for parties/ criminal activities.
My experience: even I saw red flag: a party was starting, called Airbnb, case manager agreed to cancel reservation, but guests NEVER leave even stayed passed checking out time, because Airbnb NEVER able to reach them, guests normally either drunk or under some substance influence. Call police? You have to find crime evidence, which was very dangerous for hosts to obtain. I was threatened by the party people at midnight to request them leave....
Of course the host is not responsible for the mass shootings. That would be an unreasonable assumption @Lan1
But I wonder why the host didn't know a party was starting up and either they or their co-host didn't go down to the listing to stop the party before it started.
If they had CCTV they would have seen music equipment and guests going in who hadn't booked.
And you can set your listing so that you only take guests with photo ID and who provide a profile photo.
Guest told host she was booking for a family group. Upscale area, never any trouble at the listing before. Property was fitted with doorbell camera, and neighbours had host's phone number. He was aware of unbooked guests arriving and the party starting up, and immediately alerted police. Shootings occurred as both the police and the host were en route to the house.
Saying it is all on the host and nothing on AirBnb sounds like blaming the victim. @Helen3 your reply ignores the fact that this was taking place in a Wildfire Emergency situation, where hosts are stepping up to open their homes and 200,000 people were displaced. (Editing to say, I just realized @Lan1 left out this key fact, as reported by Buzzfeed and elsewhere-- "The person who rented the Airbnb for the party told the host they needed the house for a relative who suffers from asthma to escape the fire in Northern California." ) When people tried to book with me, saying they were suffering, I found it was hard to say no. In the end, I did say no because I had no way to detect a scam. But my nature is to want to help. Your A-B-C-D don't address what I need in order to be able to safely rejoin the Open Homes program.
Don't put words into my mouth that I didn't say @Jude9
I don't know why you are accusing me of 'victim blaming from me saying:-
"Of course the host is not responsible for the mass shootings. That would be an unreasonable assumption @Lan1 "
As you say the original post was not about the Open Homes programme so why would my post address your issues around it?
I stand by my point, in response to @Lan1 original post that parties happen because of Airbnb's 'unsafe booking system'. Which is that it doesn't matter which listing advertiser you use - as hosts we are running our own business and have to put measures in place to protect our properties and communities from anti-social guests.
@Helen3 @My original post was few hours after the shooting, lack of a lot of information. We only knew there was Airbnb house party shooting, we didn’t know the details.
I respect your opinion. As a community, we are free to express ourselves in a respectful/positive environment.
In my case, I would NOT have accepted those guests (partiers) or canceled the booking immediately if
1: Airbnb revealed the guest ID
2:verified recent address
3: purpose of trip
4: No penalty pressure to reject/cancel booking
The potential tragedies could have prevented. So AIRBNB DO have partial responsibility!
Thank you for posting your original words of concern before this appeared in the mainstream, and for your affirmations of safety for all in this community. This must have been horrific for you and your daughter and everyone in the community in addition to those directly involved. This is a huge tragedy that will definitely have long term effects.
That you reached out in concern for all of us speaks to your compassion and ability to process great intensity and still maintain your humanity. I additionally appreciate your tactful address regarding the resulting "opinion" and "respectful" aspects of communication in this forum. We are all different in our communication styles as we share the common bond of being conscientious airbnb hosts.
To me, this forum is one of the best facets of airbnb. Many of the issues posted here are highly charged, but none I've seen as evocative as this one, or as tragic.
My heart goes out to the victims, their families, the host, you and your family, the other neighbors, and the overall hosting/lodging community locally and globally. This could have happened to any of us, and this incident is a HUGE wake-up call. No system is 100% effective, but this is one that came with numerous, strongly voiced concerns from this host community, and although we can never know for sure, I'll bet many of us are wondering if this could have been avoided had our long term concerns been addressed, and I truly hope this will lead to significant change around that.
It's very important that we take a deep breath and consider that we need to band together and stand for what this hosting community has been pointing out in our feedback and concerns for YEARS. We cannot undo this tragedy, but I strongly believe that together we can set precedent, create the changes that have been needed for quite some time, and implement measures that will prevent this from happening again.
@Helen3i had edited my comment to reflect that, but I guess it didn't come across. Because I live here and was participating in Open Homes myself, it didn't initially occur to me that this important factor was being left out of the equation and this had become a thread about parties. So sorry I ended up putting words in your mouth. I just read Brian's tweet and I see that he also didn't make that connection. They need to address both if we are to remain safe!
@Helen3 I agree that a responsible and diligent host can implement the measures you say and reduce the risk of this happening.
I don't agree though, that Airbnb is free from responsability: because MOST of their techniques to increase booking volumes ARE CONTRARY TO EVERYTHING you stated.
1) Hosts should thoroughly vet guests, but Airbnb promotes and rewards INSTANT BOOKING
2) Hosts should verify who comes to their house but airbnb promotes and rewards SELF CHECK IN
3) Hosts should have precise and well thought trough house rules but airbnb VIRTUALLY HIDES THESE from guests, does not require them to sign, does not allow you to attach a pdf file like other platforms do
4) Hosts should react at the first sign of trouble, but AIRBNB support can take 24 hours to get back to you.
Airbnb should communicate IDS to hosts, the don't.
I agree with you the onus is on the host, but airbnb is more then just a "booking platform", because they have put in place these policies that you rely on to get more bookings, they do influence and the system encourages abuse by guests.
I haven't had this experience either @Helen350 and don't know what these hosts you quote mean by suspicious.
Personally if I had reason to be suspicious about a booking having already had put measures in place such as two day booking minimum, verified photo ID etc., I would insist Airbnb cancelled under the grounds I was genuinely uncomfortably with the guest. Worst case scenario I would take the cancellation hit rather than risk a party booking.
I have been been in a situation where I have had to cancel three times and Airbnb has never imposed penalties on me
However what is clear in this tragic situation is that it has been confirmed in credible media that "City officials raised a history of complaints about the property. According to an official timeline provided to reporters, the owner was contacted 15 times for complaints about overfilled garbage cans and renters exceeding the 13-person maximum occupancy for short-term rentals".
So there was clearly a problem long before this tragic event occured.
Here here !
After 5 years of hosting, I realized Airbnb is simply not there for me as a host. Airbnb favors the guest , always. I have in place house waiver, house rules which must be signed prior to checkin. We have security cameras, this was necessary because of badly behaved guests, Airbnb simply don't care. They are a money making machine consisting of poorly trained people. Airbnb have the worst customer service of any company I know, considering their resources they need to do better. This sad tragic event, at least I hope it sparks a change but I doubt it. There's nothing about the way Airbnb conducts business that tells me much will change.
I could write a book on how how Airbnb have wronged me and stolen from me, seriously.
People vote with their feet, VRBO is coming back, I have seen a huge upturn in bookings, Airbnb watch out ...