Airbnb to verify all 7 million properties to improve trust

Daniel Fowler
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.

- Verify all listings on its platform for accuracy of photos, address and other details. The incident took the lives of five people and left several others wounded.

More than 100 people were present at the event, which was announced on social media.

"I think many of us in this industry over the last 10 years are going from a hands-off model where the internet's an immune system to realizing that's not really enough", said Chesky.

It comes as Airbnb prepares for a USA flotation that could value it at more than $31bn (£24bn).

"People need to feel like they can trust our community and that they can trust Airbnb when something goes wrong", Chesky wrote. He said the platform would set up a staffed 24/7 "neighbour hotline" where anyone could call for safety concerns, and had asked for consulting from two former police chiefs - Charles Ramsey, who headed departments in Philadelphia and Washington DC, and Ronald Davis, who was head of the police in East Palo Alto.

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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.

Finally, Airbnb announced that, starting December 15 in the US and rolling out globally in 2020, they will be manually reviewing every high-risk reservation in order to prevent house parties.

The report said the Vice journalist accidentally uncovered a scheme affecting at least eight cities and almost 100 property listings.

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

The company has suffered a major defeat in Jersey City which voted overwhelmingly to clamp down on the home sharing company's activities in the New York City suburb. 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.

Airbnb had sought the referendum as a challenge to the rules, spending millions of dollars on advertising.

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