Airbnb to Launch Feature for Neighbors to File Complaints

Airbnb's new product will launch in the coming weeks.

March 14, 2016, 1:24 PM

— -- Neighbors of an Airbnb homeowner will soon be able to rant or rave about their experiences (and the guests) through the company website.

The company said it will offer a new product globally that will allow neighbors to submit comments online, which Airbnb's customer service team will review. Yasuyuki Tanabe, who heads Airbnb in Japan, announced the feature at a panel in Tokyo earlier today.

It's not clear if Airbnb customers can view feedback from neighbors. A spokesman for Airbnb told ABC News that the company will provide more details when the company formally launches the new tool in the "coming weeks."

"Most Airbnb hosts are sharing the home they live in and we give them tools they need to only welcome respectful travelers," Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas said in a statement. "If issues do arise, we work with our community to try and resolve them."

Some Airbnb neighbors have other outlets, like social media, to complain about the temporary house guests next door. The San Francisco-based company already encourages "responsible hosting" with a toll-free hotline for neighbors to offer feedback.

Cities such as Los Angeles and New York are trying to regulate Airbnb rentals, which can be found in more than 190 countries.

Chris Danna, a real estate agent and board president of Franklin Village co-op in Los Angeles, has seen a range of Airbnb renters in the neighborhood.

“In the past few years, I have personally seen over 75 different people who litter, block cars, wake people up at 3 to 4 a.m., throw bottles in the swimming pool, have all night parties, vandalize property, leak oil, and break every operating rule in existence,” he said.

With more than 2 million Airbnb listings globally, the company touts the ability for homeowners to earn extra money. Some residents complain about the neighborhood changes and noise that short-term renters bring.

Jan Lehnardt of Berlin has rented properties multiple times on Airbnb, but described the growing number of listings in his neighborhood as “terrible.”

“It forces out people who have lived their whole lives here,” Lehnardt said. “It’s not that cities shouldn’t ever change, far from it, but it should be done with an eye on how this affects people’s lives and in a socially conscious way. I dread Berlin turning into a city like London, where these days, essentially only rich people can live anywhere close to the center. All the while our politicians are trying to plaster the last remaining parks of our city with more luxury flats.”