Airbnb hosts brace for Arizona summer party ban

If you’re looking to host a house party in Metro Phoenix this summer and need a venue, you better ask a friend than book a rental house through the accommodation giant at short term Airbnb.

For the second year in a row, the global booking website is further tightening its strict anti-party measures in Phoenix and beyond.

“We continue to take a hard line on the holidays and emphasize safe and responsible travel,” company spokesman Aaron Swor said in a recent email. Phoenix New Times. “We do not take these measures lightly.”

The San Fransisco-based company defines parties as gatherings of 16 or more people, or smaller groups creating “excessive noise.”

Airbnb rolled out its first “anti-party crackdown” for summer vacation in 2021.

“We think it worked,” Swor said.

Airbnb hosts who have consistently garnered good reviews for at least a year are dubbed “Superhosts” by the company. These hosts largely support banning suspected young partygoers from booking rentals through the site, especially those under the age of 25.

Moises Gomez, a 26-year-old aspiring Airbnb Superhost in Phoenix, is a Superhost.

“We are not party property,” he said.

Gomez, who rents the Charming Coronado Casita near Almeria Road and 13th Street in Phoenix, was named the No. 1 new host in Arizona in November by Airbnb.

It’s a quaint little house in the Coronado neighborhood just north of downtown with a hot tub, fire pit and cornhole setup – perfect for a summer party. Gomez rents the property for $89 per night and has earned a 4.9-star rating from nearly 200 guest reviews.

“For our guests, that hasn’t been a problem,” Gomez said of Airbnb’s anti-party campaign. “We are clear with our clients that our goal is to provide them with a premium short-term housing opportunity when visiting Phoenix, and we have had great success as we market to those seeking this type of accommodation. ‘option.

Airbnb began an indefinite ban on parties by young tenants in August 2020, citing complaints from neighbors, homes being ransacked and a need for social distancing amid worsening public health conditions.

Prior to the holiday ban, the vast majority of Airbnb listings – 73% worldwide in 2020, according to its website — parties already banned.

Last summer, the online vacation rental market launched a new product aimed at preventing unauthorized parties over the Independence Day weekend.

new times first reported in February.

Phoenix was sixth on the list of places with “most blocked” properties for potential parties nationwide in 2021, even more than hubs like Las Vegas and Miami, according to Airbnb data.

This year, Airbnb is expanding that anti-party system to include Memorial Day weekend for the very first time. It is also rolling out stricter and creative barriers to prevent potential revelers from getting reservations for nefarious reasons.

Travelers without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb will be prohibited from making one-night reservations in entire listings. Two-night bookings will also be limited to guests with a track record of positive reviews.

For locals, security goes even further.

Airbnb has also introduced anti-party attestations for guests attempting to make local reservations. They are required to affirm that they understand that Airbnb prohibits parties, and if this rule is violated, they may be subject to legal action by the company.

“We understand that just because you don’t have a review yet doesn’t mean a guest is trying to host a party,” Swor said. “It’s a trade-off we’re willing to make in the interests of trust and security.”

It’s a worthwhile trade-off for Daniel Tocora, who founded Scottsdale-based AZ Getaway Rentals LLC in 2019. He rents properties in the Valley, Sedona and the Mexican border state of Sonora, with help from ‘Airbnb.

Tocora approved Airbnb’s restrictions in the new times article published in February. Amid new restrictions, new times rechecked with local contractor.

“It doesn’t hurt us too much,” Tocora said. “It may be good, it may be bad, but I’m not one to complain about restrictions. I just find a way to make it work.

Because most of his properties are homes with pools, local residents often seek reservations not to throw haters, but simply to cool off during Arizona’s sweltering summer months, he said. .

Customers who simply want to swim may find it more difficult to use AZ Getaway Rentals services, especially with the booming pool rental websites available. For example, Los Angeles-based Swimply is a private pool rental marketplace that launched in 2018 but only gained popularity this year.

That’s a legitimate reason locals can book a house for a night, Tocora said. With additional limitations, there is a chance that Airbnb will lose business to new niche companies like Swimply.

More than 94% of Scottsdale’s 6,200 Airbnb listings are for entire homes, not just rooms, according to the Market Insights Center AirDNA. Most of these houses have swimming pools.

That’s 1,000 more listings in Scottsdale than was available on the website just four months ago. With an average nightly rate of over $320, most hosts like Tocora earn around $4,300 per property per month.

“People say the market is oversaturated, but we’re on track to continue growing,” Tocora said.

During Phoenix’s sluggish summer months, business booms at his northern Mexico properties in Puerto Peñasco, also known as Rocky Point.

When things cool down in the Gulf of California in the winter, snowbirds flock to rental homes in the valley.

“Everything balances out,” Tocora said. “I see this as an opportunity to outperform my competitors.”

Airbnb took its enforcement a step further by suspending 70 properties from listing on its website in Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Sedona and Flagstaff in February 2021 for violating the rules.

Since then, Airbnb has rolled out its Neighborhood Helpline, which provides a forum for people to report their neighbors in real time if they spot a party going on at a home they believe is listed on Airbnb.

Airbnb then works with law enforcement to shut down the party.

Tocora recently received such a complaint at a duplex he was renting in Tucson. Hearing loud music, a neighbor called the neighborhood hotline to report a party, and police soon arrived on the scene.

The shindig ended up being a 6 year old’s birthday party which was attended by about eight people. Neither the cops nor Airbnb responded.

The concept of not allowing parties has been a common practice used by local hoteliers for decades. Hospitality experts advise landlords not to rent rooms to people who live in the same city, as the room is likely to be trashed during a loud party and guests won’t have to clean up afterwards. .

The new restrictions are familiar to seasoned hosts across the valley.

“We do a lot of information research and that helped us avoid any problems,” Tocora said. “If something sounds beyond what this house can handle, we tell them to cancel.”

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