When COVID-19 started to shut down the economy, a lot of things happened to the short-term rental business. Bars, clubs, and restaurants closed, leaving boisterous partygoers with nowhere to go. At the same time, it became clear that gathering in large groups indoors was a good way to help spread the disease. Unfortunately for our industry, parties at Airbnbs became more than just “a bad look” for the short-term rental business, they literally endangered people’s lives.
At the beginning of the pandemic, TikTok stars infamously gathered in a Hollywood Hills mansion and continued to party even as more restrictions were put in place. It got so bad at the TikTok house, that LA Mayor Gil Garcetti had to order the power cut off to the house to end the debauchery. Around the same time, a party that drew more than 700 people to a rental house in New Jersey drew the ire of the community and the Governor. Large gatherings and parties during the pandemic put people and communities at risk.
In many cases, undercover parties at short-term rentals were like speakeasies of the 1920s – everyone knew they were happening, but nobody was sure where or when they were going off. Since these parties were ‘secret’, music and loud noises were minimized in an effort to keep the party undercover. Noise sensors were of no help in alerting owners of the risky behavior. If the owner set the sensor to detect very loud noises, they would miss the party, but if they set the sensor to detect lower volumes, they might were hit with one of the top complaints of noise sensors – multiple false alarms.
Another risk with large gatherings and parties is operator liability. If an irresponsible guest is injured during a party, they may sue as the guest was hurt on the owners property. Operator liability is not a massive issue with most guests. However, as more people gather and more substances are involved, the likelihood of injuries increases. The key then is to stop the large gatherings and parties before they get out of control.
Whether you are concerned with COVID, guest injuries/liability, or upsetting your neighbors, there are good reasons to limit the number of guests at your property. As our seminal ebook ‘The Definitive Guide to Preventing Parties’ explains, there are many effective tactics to prevent large gatherings and to protect your short-term rental business. Party Squasher can identify the party risks before the noise and damage begins and has helped thousands of operators navigate the party problem.