Neighbors complain about party house – WSOC TV

CHARLOTTE — Airbnb and Vrbo recently announced a crackdown on “party houses,” but some residents of a north Charlotte neighborhood say the companies have not followed through.

The Davis Lake neighborhood home looks like a lot of homes on Airbnb and Vrbo.

Alex Vigilante lives on one side. Angela and Richard Blocker live two doors down the other side.

They say people regularly rented the house for parties, which led to noise at all hours of the night, rubbish and cars cluttering the street.

“There was a channel where it happened every weekend for a few weeks. I would say on average maybe twice a month,” Vigilante told Action 9’s Jason Stoogenke. “It’s really unsettling. Really frustrating.

“We called the police several times,” said Richard Blocker. Vigilante said he called the police “probably at least four or five times.”

Vigilante and the Blockers say they complained to Rabbu, the management company that runs the house, as well as Airbnb and Vrbo. “They sort of give pre-set replies via email,” said Richard Blocker.

The two companies ban “party houses,” provide contact information for neighbors to report them, and even say they are working together, sharing information, to ban certain properties from their platforms.

Vigilante and the Blockers wanted the companies to stop listing the house and asked Stoogenke for help.

“It’s like living next to a hotel room,” said Richard Blocker. “That’s not what this neighborhood or neighborhoods like it are.”

“It was disappointing. It really is,” Vigilante said.

Stoogenke emailed Airbnb, Rabbu and Vrbo. Less than a week later, Airbnb and Rabbu abandoned the property. Vrbo didn’t respond in time for this report, but it appears the house is no longer on its website. Stoogenke also texted the home owner for comment, but that person also did not respond in time for this report.

Airbnb emailed Stoogenke stating that it “prohibits “party houses” and we expect our Hosts to show respect to neighbors. Neighbors are important community stakeholders, and we are grateful to those who raised their concerns with us through our Neighborhood Support Line, which greatly aided our investigation. The listing has been removed from the platform.


Airbnb Policy/Prohibition

Airbnb Community Standards

Report “party houses” to Airbnb Neighborhood Helpline

Report “party houses” to Vrbo Stay Neighborly Program

Rabbu emailed Stoogenke:

“We try hard to discourage parties and have several measures in place (see below), but sometimes guests provide false information and it gets through. We are continually looking to improve the process and have a team available 24/7 should any issues arise.

– We impose minimum stays of two nights.

– We refuse reservation requests mentioning parties.

– We prohibit reservations in Charlotte for people who live in Charlotte.

– We install noise monitors to monitor party-type behavior – these pick up anything at or above 81 decibels, which means we don’t get notifications for families having fun, but it does sends us an alert when there is a small (or big) party. Sound alerts are monitored 24/7 by our customer support team, and Airbnb/police are contacted if there are multiple triggers.

– We carry out customer identity verification, incl. ensuring that the person who booked the stay is the same person who checked in. We also review each guest’s previous comments – if any of them mention damage or a party, we also decline that booking.

Unfortunately, this is not limited to us and this property. Airbnb is aware that some properties are occasionally used for parties; it is implementing measures to mitigate it and worked with hosts to release anti-party technology last week.

With regard to the particular property mentioned, we have decided not to exploit it any longer. It became apparent that it was a nuisance to the community and was attracting the wrong customers, so we decided to move on. This is no longer an active property. For short-term rentals to thrive as a type of accommodation, they must be mutually beneficial to travelers and the surrounding community. This property was not beneficial to the surrounding community, so we made a conscious decision to cease operations.

This is an incredibly rare case in our portfolio – most of our properties are excellent pillars for the community in which they are located, providing local and unique stays for travelers and infusing tourism into local economies in which they are located.

(Watch below: Airbnb announces permanent ban on ‘party houses’)

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