Airbnb, Vrbo collaborate to stop repeat offender party houses
- Jun 29, 2021 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
Airbnb and Vrbo, competing marketplaces in the short-term rental space, are now teaming up to crack down on disruptive party house rentals.
As part of the Community Integrity Program, Airbnb and Vrbo will share information on listings to stop repeat party house offenders from listing on either platform. The program is scheduled to launch in coming months.
The two marketplaces will work with a third party on a process to identify properties that have repeatedly violated community policies. Each will share information on listings that have been banned so the other platform can take action. Airbnb and Vrbo are also encouraging other vacation rental platforms to join the effort.
“Industry collaboration is an important step in narrowing enforcement gaps and prioritizing the safety of the communities in which we all operate. This is the first step in building on an important foundation,” the partners said in a press release.
Both Airbnb and Vrbo have rules in place to prevent short-term rentals that disturb neighborhoods with large, loud parties.
Airbnb vowed to tighten its policy on party houses after five people were shot and killed at a party held at an Airbnb on Halloween in 2019. In August of 2020, Airbnb announced a global ban on all parties and events at Airbnb listings, including limiting occupancy to 16 people.
However, before the new joint program, hosts could simply sign up for another platform if they were banned from one.
Meanwhile, more local communities have been taking matters into their own hands and creating laws designed to discourage nuisance short-term rentals.
Recently, for example, Douglas County, Nevada, passed a new law requiring short-term rental properties large enough to accommodate 10 or more people to get a special use permit and have a licensed property manager if the owner does not live in the county. A new law in St. Johns County, Florida, prohibits short-term rentals from hosting more than 10 people at all.
In Atlanta, Georgia, a law passed this spring holds property owners responsible for guests’ behavior, and owners can be fined when guests disrupt neighborhoods.
Other local governments, such as La Quinta, California, have banned vacation rentals altogether, in large part due to concerns about party houses and other neighborhood disruptions.
Many of these new laws aimed at party houses also require short-term rental properties to collect lodging taxes from their guests and file lodging tax returns with tax authorities.
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