In a bid to tackle wild house parties which breach lockdown rules, Airbnb have banned people under the age of 25 in the UK, France and Spain from renting entire homes in their local area.
Prior to the new changes, anybody above the age of 18 could rent short-term accommodation on Airbnb but from today (August 14), individuals under 25 will need 3 positive reviews in order to rent a home nearby.
Under 25s can, however, still use Airbnb to book hotel rooms and private rooms in their local area.
Of the new measures, Airbnb said: “The restriction is intended to protect local communities while still allowing younger guests to book listings outside of their local area.”
Director of Public Policy Patrick Robinson added: “We want everyone to enjoy the summer safely and while the overwhelming majority of guests on our platform are responsible neighbours, we are absolutely determined to obstruct and weed-out anyone intent on causing antisocial behaviour.
“We want to do everything we can to be good partners to the communities where hosts live and we hope that our new restriction will make it abundantly clear that there is no home for any unauthorised parties on Airbnb.”
Since announcing the restriction, many have expressed their concerns with some calling the new measures discriminatory as it only applies to a certain age group.
“There are certain protected characteristics that you cannot discriminate against and one of those is age,” said Mark Woloshak, head of the dispute resolution department at law firm Slater and Gordon.
He added: “Airbnb could change it in such a way that everyone has to have positive reviews to rent a whole house but they would not be keen on that as it would limit the amount of houses they put through […] If the question was that you cannot rent due to negative responses they would have more of an argument.
“But it imposes something on them [under-25s] and makes it more difficult than would ordinarily be the case, based on a person’s age, so that falls outside the Equalities Act.”