ORLANDO, Fla. – Vacation rental giant Airbnb announced it has suspended 40 of its listings in Florida as part of a crackdown on party houses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Now, it’s a genuine safety concern. It really is,” said Ben Breit, spokesman for the company’s Trust and Safety division.
Breit said the company banned house parties in late 2019, but the pandemic has pushed them to bring suspensions to the public.
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He said five Airbnb listing in the Orlando metro area have been suspended, as well as one listing in Tavares.
“They’re basically barred from the platform for whatever the duration of time may be,” Breit said. “Sometimes that’s 30 days, sometimes that’s permanent.”
Airbnb would not reveal the addresses of the listings facing suspension, so it was not possible for police to indicate if they responded to any complaints associated with the parties.
Competitor Vrbo told News 6 they also have strict rules in place for house parties.
“Vrbo will ban from booking on our website any traveler who breaks their rental agreement by turning a rental into an unauthorized party house and any homeowner or manager who knowingly allows it,” said a company spokesperson.
“It is a real responsibility to operate a vacation rental in a neighborhood with people living on both sides of it,” Breit said. “hose is people who are entitled to a quality of life just like anyone else.”
Both rental websites say if you see a tenant doing something illegal, call law enforcement.
Each company has its own hotline for neighbors to report house parties.