Airbnb updates safety policies following fatal California shooting in Airbnb rental home

Darnell Taylor
November 7, 2019

Brian Chesky, the company's chief executive, said the changes were the most significant overhaul of how it polices its 7m listings since it was founded 11 years ago.

The announcement comes after five people were killed in a Halloween party shooting at a rented Airbnb property in a San Francisco suburb on October 31.

Airbnb will verify every listing on its platform by the end of 2020, after a string of scams and a deadly shooting at a house party in the United States. On Tuesday, the company suffered a major defeat in Jersey City, New Jersey, where residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of stricter regulations on short-term rentals that will nearly certainly shrink the number of listings just a short train ride away from Manhattan. They will also be verified for quality standards, including cleanliness, safety and basic amenities.

-Airbnb will review what it calls "high-risk" listings.

A refund policy will also be introduced next month, to ensure guests will either be re-booked into a different listing or fully refunded when a property does not meet Airbnb's standards for accuracy, Chesky said. The hotline will roll out globally over the course of next year.

Killed American family may have been 'bait' in Mexican cartel fight - relatives
The cartel has since been identified by Mexican military as La Linea (The Line), a drug cartel based in Chihuahua. The gunmen had riddled the vehicle with dozens of bullets and apparently hit the gas tank, causing it to explode.

Airbnb will expand manual screening of "high-risk reservations" from December 15 to identify suspicious reservations and start a verification process for all the listings on its platforms, according to the email. The company has asked Charles Ramsey, the former chief of police for Philadelphia and Washington, and Ronald Davis, the former chief of police for East Palo Alto, California, to act as advisers and help train the response team. When we started Airbnb in 2008, people said it would never work.

"So for example, if a single person books a 10-room home, for that night in the city they live in, that is a very high-risk reservation", said Chesky.

The co-founder added: "Most hosts do a great job, but guests need to feel like Airbnb has their back, and we believe this commitment is a necessary step in giving guests peace of mind".

Airbnb is leaning toward going public through a direct listing, rather than an initial public offering, Reuters has reported.

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