Airbnb says most of its users are "respectful travelers," but just in case an issue does come up, it's giving those who live near a rental a place to voice concerns. The company's new initiative, Airbnb Neighbors, gives folks a tool for voicing concerns about noise, parking, use of a common space, suspicious/criminal activity and general concerns. Once a complaint is received, it gets a case number and Airbnb reviews the issue. If necessary, the company says it will follow up with the listing's host.
A neighbor can choose to remain anonymous or provide contact information so that the host can reach out directly. Airbnb says that if submissions include a web link to the listing, it can follow up with the neighbor. It also explains that whenever possible, it will give the host and their neighbor the opportunity to resolve the issue themselves. "Hosting is a big responsibility and those who repeatedly fail to meet our standards and expectations will be subject to suspension or removal from the Airbnb community," the company said in a blog post.
While the tool will be useful, especially for those who've been vocal in their opposition of the service, there's also potential for abuse. As Airbnb continues to promote its style of short-term rentals and lodging though, it's important that both hosts and their neighbors feel like their concerns are addressed. That's particularly important in areas were illegal listings are a big problem and places like Arizona where the government is deciding whether or not the service will be allowed to operate at all.