Airbnb will soon give anyone living near one of its listings the option to file a complaint with the company.
The new tool, set to launch in Canada and around the world in the next few weeks, will allow neighbours to contact the company directly if someone staying at a nearby Airbnb listing is being rowdy or loud. Neighbours will also be allowed to share any issues they have with a listing directly with the rental’s host.
The upcoming feature was announced by Yasuyuki Tanabe, the head of Airbnb Japan, at a government panel in Tokyo on the sharing economy. Tenabe didn’t provide specifics on how the feature will work, or whether the comments neighbours write about a listing will appear online and be viewable by the public.
“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,” said the executive at the forum. “Our first step in this direction is to give neighbors the opportunity to comment or complain.”
“Most Airbnb hosts are sharing the home they live in and we give them tools they need to only welcome respectful travelers. If issues do arise, we work with our community to try and resolve them,” said an Airbnb spokesperson in an email statement sent to The Verge and other news publications across the Internet. “In the next month we are planning to start offering a new feature on our website that will enable neighbors to register a complaint directly to our customer service team for follow up. We will have more details when we formally launch the product in the coming weeks.”
It’s no coincidence that Airbnb decided to announce this feature at a forum in Japan. With Tokyo set to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, the country has seen an influx of tourists flocking to see the island nation. First-time visitors are often surprised by just how quiet the streets of Japan are, even in a crowded metropolitan area like Tokyo, which is probably what encouraged the company to try out the feature there first.
Of course, Canada, is no stranger to disruptive Airbnb listings either. At the start of the year, a Montreal woman’s wedding night was ruined when the people renting out her home embarked on a cocaine-fuelled orgy.