In March this year, Airbnb tightened its enforcement of community standards and policies. We've summarised the main points in the blog post below and listed what the new policies mean for Airbnb owners and hosts.
How standards and policies are enforced
Airbnb has three main levers to enforce standards and policies. Hosts will first receive a warning, then a listing suspension and, if the issues aren't resolved, may eventually be removed from the platform altogether.
"Your listings may be suspended if you fail to meet the basic requirements overall rating, response rate, accepted reservations, or cancellations. If your listing is suspended, it won’t show up in search results and you won’t receive any new bookings." (Airbnb, 2021)
Why do listings get paused or suspended?
The Airbnb platform aims to create a comfortable and reliable place to stay for guests. Below are some basic requirements for Airbnb hosts. Failing to meet these requirements may lead to a listing being paused or suspended.
- Be responsive: Hosts should maintain a high response rate and reply to guests and reservation requests within 24 hours.
- Accept reservation requests: Make your Airbnb guests feel welcome by accepting their booking requests whenever you can.
- Avoid cancellations: Airbnb takes cancellations very seriously as guests' travel plans depend on their accommodation. Hosts should try their best to avoid cancelling reservations.
- Maintain a high overall rating: A high overall rating, 4 and 5 stars show guests that you provide a consistent level of quality throughout the year.
Airbnb strongly encourages hosts to provide their guests with essential amenities in their homes. This includes toilet paper, hand and body soap, towels, linen and pillows. At Hometime, we've partnered with local suppliers in our services areas to add a personal touch of the area to our homeowners' homes. This may include tea and coffee, milk, fresh bread and perhaps a bottle of wine.
How to appeal an Airbnb listing suspension
If you fail to meet the basic Host requirements mentioned above your listing may be suspended. This means your listing won't be visible in the search results and won't receive any new bookings. Once the suspension period is over, Hosts have the opportunity to reactivate the listing after a review by Airbnb.
If it can be proven that a review of your Airbnb listing violates review policies it may be removed from your listing increasing your overall review score.
If your listing suspension is over 30 days old you may use the Airbnb suspension appeal form and provide the below information.
- The names of the listing you're appealing for.
- Look under your Reservation tab for the reservation codes related to the review you're contesting.
Which review policy from the below list applies to the review.
- Violation of the Airbnb Content Policy
- Irrelevant content per our Review Relevancy Policy
- Fraudulent content that violates the Airbnb Review Manipulation Policy. This could be the result of extortion or a competitor review.
There are some circumstances that will not be accepted by Airbnb when appealing. For the full list, follow this link.
Airbnb's 5-step enhanced cleaning protocol
The outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 led Airbnb to increase its cleaning requirements. All hosts must agree to follow the five-step enhanced cleaning process outlined below:
Step1: Prepare. By preparing properly you'll help the team clean more efficiently and safely. Step2: Clean. Start the cleaning by removing dust and dirt from surfaces, countertops and floors. Step3: Sanitise. Use a chemical disinfectant with at least 70% alcohol. This reduces the bacteria on high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, handles, railings and remotes. Step4: Check. Refer to your room checklist for best practices on how to clean and sanitise each space. Step5: Reset. Get ready to welcome new guests and prevent cross-contamination by washing your hands after cleaning each room and before replacing items for the next guest.
Refer to Airbnb's cleaning handbook for a full checklist and guide on how you can clean each room.
Once hosts have committed to the cleaning process, their listing will receive a special highlight to inform potential guests of the protocols.
Looking for more information?
Airbnb has created a helpful Hosting guide for homeowners and Hosts in Australia and New Zealand. This guide highlights case studies of successful Superhosts, local travel trends, guidelines and tips to make your Airbnb business successful.