Airbnb just made it easier to rat out that neighbor of yours whose nonstop Airbnb hosting means a never-ending parade of drunk tourists stumbling in and out of your building. Say hello to "Airbnb and your neighborhood," a tool that launched earlier today which allows you to complain directly to the company about hosts who live near you.
"Starting today, anyone can go to airbnb.com/neighbors to share specific concerns they might have about a listing in their community," a blog post announcing the feature reads. "These concerns could include things like noise complaints. From there, our team will review their concern and, if necessary, follow up with the host regarding the issue."
But just how, exactly, does this system work? After going to the site, a would-be complainer is presented with a drop-down menu of options, including "noise, party, or disturbance," "common space (parking, trash, etc.)," "general concerns with my neighbor hosting," and "personal safety or criminal activity." After selecting one, and providing contact information, a form is submitted and you are emailed a case number.
Once Airbnb confirms that the email address you entered is valid, you are then provided with an opportunity to describe your complaint in more detail (unfortunately there is a 1,000-character limit).
"Neighbors can submit information without having their name disclosed to a host or allow our team to pass along their contact information so the host can follow up with them directly," explains the site. "We'll treat each case seriously and ensure that we give hosts and their neighbors the opportunity to resolve concerns themselves, whenever possible."
SFist reached out to the company directly in an effort to determine more about this new tool, but a company spokesperson merely directed us to the above linked blog page.
We first learned about this program back in March, when it was reported that the company would allow neighbor feedback in Japan. “One of the most important issues facing the sharing economy is how the people choosing to take part in it co-exist with those that aren’t,” Bloomberg quoted head of Airbnb Japan Yasuyuki Tanabe as saying at the time. "Our first step in this direction is to give neighbors the opportunity to comment or complain.”
What will likely be viewed as a bummer for those wishing to screw with San Francisco's hosts, a name and an email address is required to file a complaint. However, as making a throwaway email address has never been a particularly difficult process, some fun will likely be had with the new feature.
Regardless, with 20 percent of listings in SF coming from hosts listing multiple properties in violation of San Francisco law, the legitimate complaints should keep the company busy enough.