Airbnb is clamping down on Halloween tricksters looking to throw ill-advised parties on the spookiest weekend of the year.
The popular app has cancelled a swath of one-night bookings over the weekend of Oct. 30, in an attempt to stop guests from throwing Halloween parties. The prohibition is being done to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and will be carried out across North America. It applies only to entire home listings on the site.
Guests can now only book those properties if they plan to stay multiple nights.
"We have to make sure we're taking really important steps to make sure we're doing our role in ensuring public health," said Nathan Rotman, the director of public policy for Airbnb in Canada.
"This is really a precaution we're taking due to COVID to ensure our party and events ban is being respected," he said.
Rotman says guests who have had their bookings cancelled will be reimbursed and that hosts will still receive payment.
The company says it will impose stricter rules on renting that weekend, including increased scrutiny on last-minute bookings, especially for ones by users with poor reviews.
It says it also expects neighbours of Airbnb sites will do their due diligence and report parties if they occur.
The move comes after Airbnb suspended more than 40 listings across Ontario for hosting parties.
Last week, Airbnb launched a portal in Vancouver to ensure that short-term renters are following local bylaws.