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


Airbnb will undergo a sweeping review of millions of properties, verifying their safety standards and accuracy after a string of scams and a deadly shooting at a "party house" last week.

Chesky also tweeted about several other safety initiatives, including "expanding manual screening of high-risk reservations" and a "dedicated "party house" rapid response team", though he was somewhat light on details.

"We're going to make sure we can stand behind every single listing, every single host", he said.

Meanwhile, the news website Vice published an investigation into Airbnb scammers who posted inaccurate listings and then pressured guests into staying at properties they did not reserve.

If a listing does not meet standards, Chesky said Airbnb would rebook guests at a new listing of equal or greater value or issue a full refund.

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"I want to be clear - we are not infallible". There's stuff like: "The world moves at the speed of trust, and the more trust that exists, the more access we can all have". 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.

- By December 31, Airbnb will launch a 24-hour hotline staffed by a rapid response team in the USA so neighbours, guests and others can report a problem.

Finally, Airbnb announced that, starting December 15 in the USA and rolling out globally in 2020, they will be manually reviewing every high-risk reservation in order to prevent house parties. The company has also tapped Charles Ramsey, former chief of the Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. police departments, and Ronald Davis, the former chief of the East Palo Alto police department, to advise the projects.

"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 company is under some pressure to improve its reputation as it eyes an initial public offering of stock next year.