Young tourists arriving in Malaga. / salvador salas

Airbnb slashes complaints from rental property neighbours on the Costa del Sol by 30% with party reservation blocking system

Some 1,300 people have been prevented from making such a booking in Malaga province while in Spain as a whole, 26,500 have been blocked in the past year

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ

A pioneering system which blocks reservations to prevent parties being held by young clients on holiday has enabled Airbnb to reduce complaints from neighbours of rental properties on the Costa del Sol by 30%.

Airbnb began this strategy in 2020 and since then it has blocked 1,300 people from making a reservation in Malaga province. In Spain as a whole, 26,500 have been blocked in the past year.

The platform said that in the two years since it launched this technology it has blocked reservations from 72,500 people in Spain.

“The vast majority of Airbnb hosts and guests are respectful neighbours and travellers, but we are working on solutions to avoid undesirable behaviour and help to stop problems arising,” the platform said.

The technology works by preventing people under the age of 25 renting entire properties close to their place of residence. The scheme is similar to others trialed in the USA and Canada and has been shown to reduce the number of unauthorised parties.

Airbnb says its aim is to protect local communities and at the same time enable young travellers to continue booking accommodation in places which are nowhere near their homes. However, they can still book private rooms and hotels via the platform, no matter where they live, and the restriction does not apply to any who have at least three positive reviews and no negative comments from hosts or if they want to book for at least 28 days.

Noise monitors

Airbnb says it is also working with hosts to avoid problems of noise and disturbance and is collaborating with the Minut company so owners can acquire a free noise sensor and three months of free subscription for its noise control services.

The device does not record, but if it detects a noise level above a certain number of decibels Minut sends an automatic message via the Airbnb messaging app to notify the host and the guest. Mónica Casañas, the general director of Airbnb Marketing Services says this is a good way of ensuring that hosts are able to stay ahead of potential problems before they start.