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Airbnb Wants You to Tattle on Your Hosting Neighbors

By Amy Zimmer | May 31, 2016 4:59pm
 AirBNB is launching a new program to help neighbors tattle on rowdy Airbnb guests.
AirBNB is launching a new program to help neighbors tattle on rowdy Airbnb guests.
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Want to complain about your Aibnb-hosting neighbor?

The embattled short-term stay platform wants to make the process easier.

Airbnb launched a new tool on Tuesday, allowing people to report to the company when they have specific concerns about an Airbnb listing in their neighborhood.

‘These concerns could include things like noise complaints,” according to Airbnb’s blog.

“From there, our team will review their concern and, if necessary, follow up with the host regarding the issue.”

Neighbors who submit complaints — which they can do without their names being disclosed to the host in question — will receive a confirmation email and case number.

“Hosting is a big responsibility and those who repeatedly fail to meet our standards and expectations will be subject to suspension or removal from the Airbnb community,” the company stated.

Airbnb has come under fire from politicians and housing advocates in New York where it is illegal to rent out an apartment for fewer than 30 days unless the host is present.

Some landlords have also been trying to guard against the platform’s reach, adding riders to leases clearly stating tenants will face eviction if found to be renting out their units.

They’re also adding cameras, hiring private investigators or implementing new lock systems to catch tenants engaging in the practice.

Airbnb critics questioned the tool’s value.

"New Yorkers already have a way to file complaints against neighbor disturbances: 311,” said Upper West Side City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal.

“Airbnb's complaint submission page is a way to prevent its users from getting the fines for breaking city laws.

“If Airbnb really wants to protect New Yorkers from unsavory users, it can remove the illegal listings from its platform."

Airbnb admitted earlier this year that it removed 1,500 New York City listings that were illegally controlled by commercial operators — but that letter came only after watchdogs uncovered that the company had quietly purged these listings before releasing its data for New York City to state regulators.