Airbnb is cracking down on Halloween parties | City News


In its ongoing efforts to prevent unauthorized parties disrupting neighborhoods, Airbnb has imposed a new set of restrictions for Halloween.

“We recognize that there are certain times of the year and certain holidays that encourage people to try to throw an unauthorized party, which is why we have these high measures intact,” the spokesperson said. from Airbnb, Ben Breit.

As a result, anyone who does not have a history of positive reviews will not be able to book a one night reservation for a Halloween weekend at the house.

For guests looking for a two-night stay, other measures are in place. Airbnb will use its technology to restrict some local and last minute bookings by customers who do not have a history of positive reviews.

Meanwhile, people with a history of positive reviews will need to certify that they understand Airbnb’s party ban and can be subject to legal action if they break the rules against rowdy behavior.

“Ultimately, we hope this will stop as many unauthorized parties as possible,” Breit said. “What we want here is for everyone who uses our platform on this particular vacation to do so in a safe, responsible and respectful manner for the neighbors.”

The policy is based on the company’s existing global party ban, which was announced in August 2020.

This policy placed a maximum occupancy of 16 people in all residences, created a 24/7 neighborhood support hotline, and further restricted guests under 25 who did not have a history of positive reviews. locally.

“At the end of the day, what concerns us most is stopping the big disruptive parties,” Breit said. “When we see problems, it is an unauthorized party or a party held without the knowledge or consent of the host.”

There are approximately 4,425 short-term rentals in Scottsdale and heckling is not uncommon.

“It’s a north to south and east to west issue,” said Scottsdale Deputy City Manager Brent Stockwell.

The city has taken several steps to limit bothersome parties during short-term rentals.

City council passed two ordinances in 2019 that impose fines of up to $ 4,000 for repeated infractions on landlords and tenants who organize nuisance parties or illegal gatherings.

A law requires owners of short-term rental properties to file emergency contact information with the city and prevents them from using the homes for non-residential purposes.

This ordinance is enforced by the city code enforcement service. As of June 30, there were 538 open files, most of which have been closed.

The second ordinance is directed at all homes to circumvent the state legislature’s ban on municipal regulation of short-term rentals.

This ordinance is enforced by Scottsdale Police and prevents harmful parties, defined as those which create a “substantial disruption of the peaceful enjoyment of private or public property.”

A party can be called a nuisance when it comes to fights, public intoxication, traffic blocking or excessive noise. An illegal gathering involves illegal activity, such as the consumption of alcohol or drugs by minors.

There were over 1,500 calls for service under this Scottsdale residence order to police between October 2019 and the end of June 2021.

Halloween isn’t the only holiday that drew additional restrictions from Airbnb.

“Currently, the holidays we have implemented initiatives like this for are New Years Eve, July 4th and Halloween,” Breit said.

“For some holidays, we’re just a little more conservative in our approaches, as it’s a priority for us to make sure our community respects the communities in which we operate.”

However, Halloween is not a typical day for illegal gatherings or harmful parties in short-term rentals in Scottsdale, Stockwell said.

Typically, they occur during the tourist season (mid-January to mid-April) and on holidays that create three-day weekends, such as Labor Day and Memorial Day.

City council also formed a short-term rental working group in March.

“We have a game plan to manage the impact of these short term rentals,” Stockwell said.

Staff will appear before Council on November 16 to provide an update on the work of the task force and recommend changes to the relevant orders.

In the meantime, Airbnb has underlined the responsibility it has placed on owners to respect their neighbors.

“There are a number of ways a host can anticipate these things and a lot of it is about being very clear about your house rules and the importance of respecting the neighbors,” said Breit.

“We had a lot of interactions with neighbors, political decision-makers and local law enforcement,” he continued. “A very important way to enforce our party ban is to interact directly with neighbors. “

At the end of the day, the most important partners are the hosts, Breit said.

“Even before we implemented our party ban, the vast majority of our hosts were already banning parties in their own house rules,” he said.

“It’s important to give hosts the tools and education they need to complement our policies and products,” he said.

Multiple hosts may have outside security systems, and some hosts may have noise detection technology that records audio but does not record decibel levels.

“What we’re focusing on right now is safe and responsible travel,” said Breit. “Part of promoting safe and responsible travel means being respectful of neighbors and not throwing a disruptive party. ”

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