Las Vegas party houses face vrbo crackdown, Airbnb

Airbnb and Vrbo team up to crack down on illegal “party houses”.

Dubbed a community integrity program, the collaboration “will address community safety by sharing important information on lists and stepping up action against the community threat posed by repeat offenders from” party houses, “according to a statement. joint press release.

“Although rare, disruptive holidays can have a significant impact on the quality of life of the community,” the statement said. “This concerns a very small minority of short-term rental housing, however, for neighbors, these can be real neighborhood nuisances. “

Joint efforts

Airbnb and Vrbo said they plan to create a process through a third-party company to identify repeat violators of community policies and those who have launched either platform. Short-term rental companies would then use this information and “take appropriate action,” the statement said. Airbnb and Vrbo have also called on other short-term rental companies to join the effort.

“Industry collaboration is an important step in reducing application gaps and prioritizing the safety of the communities in which we all operate,” the joint press release read. “Neighbors don’t care if a party house gets their reservations through a particular platform – they just want the parties to end. That’s why a single platform can’t solve this problem – it takes an industry-wide effort.

The partnership comes after a series of violent incidents at short-term rental homes in Las Vegas.

After 15 shootings and three deaths in the previous months, the Metropolitan Police Department issued a public service announcement in early August 2020, imploring residents and visitors not to organize illegal parties at short rental homes. term of the region.

“Those of you who own these properties, or those of you who promote these properties, be forewarned,” said Captain Reggie Rader Aug. 3. Less than two weeks later, on August 15, another shootout occurred in a short-term rental. party in Las Vegas.

As of last summer, Metro’s public information officer Aden Ocampo-Gomez said his office had not received any reports of a major incident at a short-term rental property. Ocampo-Gomez added that last summer’s spike in short-term rental incidents may have been due to coronavirus closures on the Strip and other entertainment venues. But, he said, the department is still wary of potential violent outbursts this summer.

Karen Xie, a business professor at the University of Denver who studies the short-term rental industry, echoed the same sentiment. Xie said the phenomenon of short-term rental parties accelerated during the pandemic as restaurants and bars remained closed. Xie said she expects the trend to slow down as the coronavirus pandemic ends across the country.

“The vast majority” are good hosts

Austin Mao, an Airbnb host from Las Vegas, said things like noise sensors, home perimeter cameras, strict age policies and finding out why travelers are considering renting a home can help travelers. hosts to prevent illegal parties.

Mao said he had had problems in the past with guests bringing in more people than expected, but he was fortunate to never have “great anger” cast on any of his properties.

But there are still hosts who advertise their properties as “party houses”.

“There are bad actors who don’t do a good job of labeling guests or presenting themselves as party houses,” Mao said. “But the vast majority of guests are good hosts.

Last year, Airbnb suspended more than 20 Clark County homes that violated the company’s holiday ban. The global ban was announced in August 2020 and bans all parties and events, including an occupancy cap at 16.

Prohibition of overnight rentals on the weekend of July 4

In April, Airbnb announced it would ban overnight rentals in Las Vegas for the weekend of July 4 to limit party houses. A similar ban was in place in 2020 for the Halloween holiday on New Years Eve.

“As part of the ban, we have also taken steps within our platform to promote responsible behavior, such as removing the ‘event-specific search filter and removing all’ parties and events. allowed “house rules in the announcements,” Airbnb detailed on its website at Time. “These features will also remain inaccessible at least until late summer 2021.”

Regulations on short-term rentals vary in southern Nevada.

North Las Vegas charges an annual license fee of $ 900, the most expensive in the valley. It was increased to $ 900 per year last fall.

The City of Henderson charges an annual license fee of $ 820 and the City of Las Vegas an annual license fee of $ 500.

In unincorporated Clark County, short-term rentals are illegal, with civil penalties of $ 1,000 per day for violators.

Contact Dylan Svoboda at [email protected]. To follow @dylanksvoboda on Twitter.

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