For all the extra income Airbnb rentals have made for home owners and apartment renters, they’ve also made for some pretty disastrous temporary neighbors. And in cities where you’re separated from the guys and gals next door by nothing more than a thin wall, having the power to complain about your rowdy renters-from-renters is pretty key. Thanks to a new feature from Airbnb, you’ll be able to do just that — so complain to your heart’s content, friends. You’ll finally have an audience.
The new feature was announced Monday at a government panel in Tokyo, whereupon Yasuyuki Tanabe, the head of Airbnb Japan, noted that the service would be globally available in a matter of weeks. “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,” Tanabe said. “Our first step in this direction is to give neighbors the opportunity to comment or complain.”
And this may be particularly important in Japan, which is one of the fastest-growing markets for the hotel alternative, and also a country where space is very tight.
As Bloomberg reports, the neighbor complaining feature will allow disgruntled residents to submit comments via an online forum to Airbnb’s customer support team. These employees will then “take action as necessary,” though there’s no word yet as to just what that entails.
Airbnb has come under fire for inconsiderate visitors before, and a growing incidence of “party houses” has been reported in recent weeks. Indeed, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has begun cracking down on Airbnb, offering certain regulations that would curb how residences are allowed to be rented out. So in an attempt to assuage concerns, Airbnb has not only unveiled this feature, but a few other Japan-specific initiatives. These include a Japanese translation service for foreign visitors (for easier communication with the police, of all people), as well as a disaster or disease emergency system.
So the next time your “neighbors” are louder than usual, make your voice heard on Airbnb.