Airbnb drops 80 Texas ads in party house crackdown

Airbnb on Tuesday announced a crackdown on party houses across Texas.

The short-term rental company says it is suspending or removing 80 listings that violated company holiday policies. But some homeowners who are fed up with loud parties at home don’t trust the move.

Airbnb says its crackdown on 80 listings across Texas targets homes that violated the company’s temporary COVID-related holiday ban on all of its listings. Two of the cities with Hanging Houses on the list are Dallas and Fort Worth.

“This was going to be my permanent retirement home,” said Dallas resident Bruce Echols.

Echols says he loved his Oak Lawn row home until the owner of four row homes next door turned them into a great short-term rental.

“I’m usually someone who can sleep during a thunderstorm, but I’m often awake in the middle of the night,” he said.

Echols, who shared a security camera video showing tenants throwing cigarettes over its fence, says he has tried reporting issues to Airbnb in the past but was unsuccessful.

“The police called several times. Whoever owns the property or rents it out, that should be their responsibility, ”he said.

The Airbnb spokesperson said the company now wants to publicize its 24/7 hotline, where the company says people can contact a real person at any time.

“We ban, don’t allow so-called party houses on our platform. We really define this as a house responsible for persistent problems, ”said Ben Breit, spokesperson for Airbnb.

Airbnb initially banned open invitation parties after a fatal shooting last Halloween at a rental in San Francisco. Last month, due to COVID-19, the company banned all parties and added an occupancy cap of 16.

“In this current environment, it can be dangerous, just as it can spread a virus,” Breit said.

But Andrew Muras, who founded the Texas Neighborhood Coalition, says he’s heard promises from Airbnb before.

“They spoke before they formed a rapid response team. It never materialized, they never used it. Again, this is just another false promise, ”Muras said.

Airbnb responded that the hotline is the rapid response team and that it was activated in December 2019.

Muras organized his coalition of neighbors to fight short-term rentals after opening a next door.

“The question for everyone is, ‘Do you want to live next door to a short-term rental hotel? “, Said Muras.

Airbnb says hotline calls were behind many of the suspensions announced on Tuesday.

The hotline number is 855-635-7754.

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