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Airbnb will ban people who throw parties at rental properties during the pandemic

It'll work with police if renters violate public health mandates.

Guests who throw parties at Minnesota vacation rentals advertised on Airbnb will be banned from the website, the company said on Wednesday.

Typically, Airbnb allows property owners to set house rules related to events and parties, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it had removed the feature that allowed hosts to authorize such events in areas where gatherings are prohibited, like in Minnesota.

Now, in the wake of Gov. Tim Walz's executive orders, Airbnb is not allowing any type of party in the state "until further notice," a news release said.

"We want to be very clear – not only will we ban guests who attempt to throw an unauthorized party in a Twin Cities Airbnb listing, we will be cooperating with police in any investigations relating to parties and violations of public health mandates, consistent with our terms of service," Airbnb said.

Airbnb has disabled its "event-friendly" search filter temporarily and is removing house rules that list parties and events are allowed. 

The short-term rental website says it will evaluate the policy changes as the situation changes.  

Airbnb is also working with renters and hosts who've made reservations. Renters and hosts with reservations booked before March 14 that have a check-in date between March 14 and June 15 can cancel before check-in. Guests who cancel can get a refund, while hosts can cancel without charge or impact to their Superhost status, the website says.

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Reservations scheduled for after June 15 are not currently included in Airbnb's extenuating circumstances cancellation policy and are subject to the host's cancellation policy.

Meanwhile, Airbnb hosts who rely on income from vacation rentals can get some help. These property owners who meet certain criteria can apply for a relief grant of up to $5,000, the site notes.

Airbnb has also launched a Frontline Stays program, which has 200,000 places to stay worldwide for COVID-19 responders.

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