Have you seen the movie Bad Neighbors? Perhaps not every college frat house ends up quite that extreme, but the impact of college parties on the community can be very real.
This week university students around the world return to campus, bringing their out-of-control parties along with them. Residents who live near colleges prepare as well, but for different reasons. While on-campus activities can be monitored for egregious behavior, off-campus activities such as parties can not.
Many students turn to off-campus short-term rentals for party venues to get around university policies. Unfortunately, easing COVID restrictions and pent-up demand for ‘normal’ activities means college parties will return, and short-term property operators must be prepared.
College Party Blight
Last year, college parties made headlines with property damage, injuries, and even gun violence.
- In San Diego, residents recall the party held in a college area rental that led to 18-year-old Kevin Burton’s death. Before the gunshots, reports had been made to the police due to noise, but law enforcement could not respond in time. The community questioned the accountability of the resident and property owner.
- In Atlanta, a college house party at an Airbnb got so out of control that the floor collapsed, causing $15K of damage to the property.
- In Orinda, five Laney College students were shot and killed in 2019 in one of the first Airbnb college party incidents.
Parties turn these otherwise safe communities into havens for underage drinking, violence, vandalism, and dangerous overcrowding.
Short-term rental property owners and operators who rent to these guests are also at risk. Not only are legal and financial penalties increasing, but cities and residents are also fighting back. This put the very existence of the short-term rental industry in harm’s way.
New Programs Target Short-term Rentals
New restrictions and enforcement are on the rise and short-term rental operators should take them seriously. The city of San Diego has implemented the Community Assisted Party Program (CAPP) to urge party-throwers to consider neighbors and act responsibly. Property owners of houses with repeated reports of disruption can incur immediate fines. This program hopes to limit destruction by holding property owners accountable for their guests’ actions. Numerous cities have followed suit, implementing their own programs and increasing police presence.
Near Penn State University, State College Borough has cracked down on short-term rental by creating new restrictions. They claim short-term rentals have been changing neighborhoods with out-of-control parties.
Where will these new restrictions end, and will the parties actually cease?
Be a Good Neighbor, Get Party Squasher
Property owners can take a step further to ensure their guests are respectful neighbors with Party Squasher. By counting the number of mobile phones present in a home, PartySquasher alerts the property owner when occupancy levels exceed the specified threshold. Occupancy levels increase prior to noise level increases, so owners catch parties before they get out of control.
Because Party Squasher allows property owners to catch parties early, owners have time to take action to stop the party before it becomes a problem. While the movie Bad Neighbors was an over-the-top comedy in 2013, today, the possibility that your short-term rental is being used as a college party house is very real. Don’t be a bad neighbor.