Neighbors upset over big parties thrown at Airbnb rental

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On several short-term rental websites, a homeowner describes his property as the perfect place to throw big events like reunions, weddings, and parties.

Neighbors in the Singing Arrow neighborhood, near Central and Tramway, say all those events are getting out of hand.

“This house has a long history of small parties, medium size parties but it was never anything a big as it was last Saturday night,” said Mark Burton, president of the Singing Arrow Home Owners Association.

According to several neighbors, a 20-year-old threw a wild party at the home on Piru Boulevard SE.

“There was a lot of DWI, drag racing, underage drinking, teenagers hiding in other people’s front yards. There were beer bottles strewn up and down this street and neighboring streets,” said Ilena Estrella, who lives in the neighborhood.

Nearly a week after the party, KRQE News 13 saw beer cans, trash, and a condom wrapper still outside the home.

“It’s hard to believe that a person would take a beautiful house like this and advertise it to bring in hundreds of people who are completely out of control,” said Judy Young, who lives in the neighborhood.

Neighbors say this was the most out of control party, but big events at the home are consistent.

“This situation has escalated and increased and increased and increased. Now, it’s at a place where it is over the top dangerous,” said Young.

KRQE News 13 tried to get in touch with the homeowner but was unsuccessful. However, the City of Albuquerque’s Planning Department was able to reach him.

“We have met with the owner of this property and given them notice. It will not be used in this manner in the future,” said David S. Campbell, director of the planning department.

Campbell says the type of events going on at the property are what’s technically called a “nuisance,” but advertising a home as an event venue is not illegal.

“We don’t think there are problems in the way it’s being advertised,” said Campbell, “”The fact that it’s an Airbnb really doesn’t matter. It’s the act of creating a nuisance that is a problem,” said Campbell.

Campbell says the Albuquerque Police Department is also conducting an investigation.

From the planning department’s standpoint, if the parties continue to happen they can label the property a “nuisance.” That could lead to legal action, but the department cannot do anything until that point.

Neighbors also heard from the property owner through a post on NextDoor.

“As your neighbor, I would like to sincerely apologize for the disturbance on Saturday night. It has come to my attention this problem has really been bothering all of you. I have taken steps to prevent any further disturbances like this in the future,” said Burton, reading from the post.

Neighbors are hopeful the homeowner takes this seriously and stops allowing big parties at his rental property.

“[We] don’t really mind at all him renting it to travelers, they just don’t like the large events,” said Estrella.

The city encourages anyone having similar problems to call 311.*Note: After this story aired, Airbnb issued the following statement:

“We have zero tolerance for disruptive behavior, we have permanently banned this individual from our platform for violating our terms of service and we are reaching out to local law enforcement to offer our assistance with their investigation. We’ll be contacting our host with more information on how to be a respectful neighbor. The overwhelming majority of Airbnb hosts and guests are good neighbors and respectful travelers, so issues of any kind are incredibly rare, but when they happen, we work to make things right. Hosting is a big responsibility and those who repeatedly fail to meet our standards and expectations will be subject to suspension or removal from the Airbnb community.”

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