Heavier than Airbnb: the dark side of online housing rentals

Hayward saw its first murder of the year in January, it was allegedly a gunfight that broke the peace of the normally sleepy neighborhood at a house that was rented on Airbnb for a party.

This is an extreme case to be sure, but Airbnbs and similar rental properties are injecting some chaos into unsuspecting communities.

Long Beach City Council recently had a spirited debate about allowing these rentals after numerous noise complaints and concerns from neighbors.

Though upon first blush it may seem like a bunch of curmudgeons complaining about “the youth,” it’s important to remember that people are absolutely tearing up communities that want nothing to do with them.

I would be a little miffed if suddenly one night there was a rager thrown next to me when all I wanted was a good night’s sleep.

It is decidedly unpleasant to wake up to your neighbor’s lawn strewn with beer cans, and partially clothed, disoriented, hungover frat boys half-in and half-out of the hedges.

With hotels and motels you know what you’re getting, but when your neighbor randomly lends their house to random hellions you’re going to be caught off guard.

I get the appeal, they are conveniently located, comparatively cheap and accommodating to large groups, but there needs to be better oversight.

Neighbors should be notified well in advance, and there should be more systems in place to hold both homeowners and renters accountable for unacceptable actions.

To be fair, there have been measures taken by Airbnb following this proliferation of raucousness, Airbnb will now be cracking down on so-called “party houses,” banning “open invite parties.”

But these provisions wont stop short-term-rentals which already have a … shall we say laissez-faire approach to management from attracting the party-hungry.

The only thing there is to do is to ban or heavily restrict the renting of these properties. Until recently, Santa Monica had some of the strictest laws in the world in regards to short term rentals until a lawsuit from Airbnb overturned them.

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