NoiseAware Blog

The Latest

Stopping Unauthorized Parties & Everything You Need to Know About Airbnb’s Party Risk Algorithm

A main concern for Airbnb hosts is whether or not the guests they allow into their home will have a party, wreck the furniture, and cause potentially even thousands of dollars of damage. While no one can ever fully guarantee that a guest will not violate the rules in place, Airbnb has been continually evolving its platform to enhance safety and trust for its hosting community. One important part of this evolution has been the introduction and refinement of Airbnb’s Party Risk Algorithm. For Airbnb hosts, it is crucial to understand how this algorithm can protect your Airbnb unit, but also how to protect against its shortcomings. 

This article is composed from the first-hand experience of a Rental Advisor for a Toronto-based Airbnb property management platform, StayPro who oversees a diverse portfolio of Airbnb units across Canada. Given my extensive knowledge of short-term rentals, coupled with an arsenal of technological solutions such as NoiseAware, I aim to provide you with insightful guidance. My goal is to assist you in effectively managing both the challenges and opportunities within the Airbnb platform, ensuring a smooth and successful hosting experience.

Understanding the Party Risk Algorithm

For those of you who don’t know, the Party Risk Algorithm is Airbnb’s response to the challenges and community disturbances caused by unauthorized parties. It uses machine learning and predictive analytics to preemptively block bookings if they find the risk level too high. This is done by analyzing a wide range of factors, including:

  • the duration of the stay, 
  • the review history of the guest (presence of negative reviews or no reviews), 
  • the size and classification of the listing (Entire Home accommodations mostly), 
  • the age of the guest (under 25 might carry a higher risk)
  • the home address of the guest (same city bookings pose a higher risk)
  • and even the timing of the booking (same-day bookings might carry a higher risk).

How It Affects Airbnb Hosts

For hosts, the implementation of the Party Risk Algorithm is both a good and bad thing. On one hand, it cannot be taken away, so it does offer hosts protection against the misuse of the property, damages, neighborhood complaints, and disputes, preventing incidents like this one in Toronto where a house was repeatedly booked for loud pool parties. This resulted in repeated police interventions and caused damage and disruption for everyone in the neighborhood. On the other hand, the algorithm is very active, especially during holiday times like Christmas, New Years, and long weekends, and can inadvertently block legitimate bookings simply because they fit the risk profile. 

Want to avoid incidents at your short term rental, learn more about noise monitoring technology to protect your rental.

Can Airbnb Hosts Override the Algorithm?

Unfortunately, there is no way for hosts to override the algorithm. If guests are deemed too risky, Airbnb will prevent them from reserving. It will make no difference if: 

  • the guest reduces the number of guests, 
  • the guest adds more information to their profile
  • the guest or the host contacts Airbnb directly to plead their case

Is the Airbnb Party Risk Algorithm Enough?

While the algorithm can be quite effective in most cases in preventing unwanted bookings, it is no substitute for other party prevention precautions. Based on my experience as a Toronto Rental Advisor in StayPro, I say that hosts should always go above and beyond to protect their homes. I recommend the following options if you are worried about unauthorized parties: 

Invest in Smart Home Technology

Smart Home technology, such as noise monitors, smart locks, and outdoor security cameras can be valuable tools to monitor your property without invading the privacy of your guests. The consequences of not taking proper security measures, like incorporating Smart Home technology, can be seen in the news often, like the following incident in Regina, where house parties, involving underage drinking and drug use, were regularly hosted without the host’s knowledge. This serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the value of noise monitoring tools, like NoiseAware, which track noise levels without recording conversations, and the strategic placement of outdoor security cameras, which comply with Airbnb’s policies and local laws. Furthermore, the installation of a Smart Lock allows for real-time monitoring of door activity and gives hosts the option to change guest access codes which reduces the chance of unauthorized access. These devices permit hosts to keep tabs on their home and contact the necessary people when the need arises. Plus, if anything does occur, these devices will ensure you have the necessary evidence to file a claim against the guest, for party-related violations and others.

Accurate Listing Information

Ensure that your Airbnb listing clearly states any house rules related to parties and noise levels. Be explicit about the quiet hours and maximum number of guests allowed in the property. Clear communication about your expectations can prevent rule-breakers from booking your property and ensure that you can file compensation claims against responsible guests.

Instant Book Settings

Consider adjusting your Instant Book settings. While Instant Book is usually a desirable factor for guests, it does limit your ability to screen guests. Tailoring these settings or requiring guests to have verified IDs or positive reviews before booking can reduce the risk of unauthorized parties. It should be noted that the Party Risk algorithm operates regardless of your Instant Book settings. If Airbnb deems the guest too risky, they will not be able to book your property.

HELPFUL TIP: Hosts should consider opening up the calendar earlier for important holidays to ensure they have a higher chance of getting booked on peak days. Last-minute bookings have a higher chance of being flagged under the Party Risk algorithm.

Video Reports

Hosts should be vigilant when documenting the condition of their home. After every cleaning, hosts should ensure that they have video evidence of the cleaning quality and condition of the Airbnb unit. In this way, they ensure they can file claims against guests who damage the spaces visible in the video.

Hiring ProfessionalsIf your property is at a particularly high risk of parties due to its size and general proximity to nightlife, it may be a good idea to consider reaching out to professionals. A management company, like the StayPro Property Management Platform who provided the data for this article, will ensure to take the proper precautions, know how to react if an unauthorized party does occur, and how to file for any damages, so that you don’t lose out income. It’s something to think about, as a reliable and knowledgeable management firm can help you earn more from your investment.

Airbnb’s Party Risk Algorithm is a helpful step in the right direction. Any host who has ever lived through the negative impacts of an unauthorized party in their home can appreciate the protection such an algorithm can give them, allowing for a safer, more enjoyable Airbnb hosting experience. While hosts still need to be careful, the Party Risk algorithm is a useful tool that can set you up for success!