Airbnb cracks down on 50 Atlanta party houses

Two people were killed and two others were injured July 24 after gunfire erupted outside a house party on Sunset Avenue in northwest Atlanta's Vine City neighborhood, authorities said. "We know that address was an Airbnb and it was being used for a party," Atlanta police Lt. Pete Malecki told reporters outside the home.
Two people were killed and two others were injured July 24 after gunfire erupted outside a house party on Sunset Avenue in northwest Atlanta's Vine City neighborhood, authorities said. "We know that address was an Airbnb and it was being used for a party," Atlanta police Lt. Pete Malecki told reporters outside the home.

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Airbnb is cracking down on “party houses” in Atlanta in removing 50 listings that have violated the short-term rental company’s regulations.

The move comes less than three weeks after two teenagers were killed outside a house party in northwest Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood. They had just gotten out of a rideshare vehicle on Sunset Avenue about 2:30 a.m. July 24 when they were shot multiple times, according to police.

Although the majority of Airbnb hosts and rentals have plans in place to prevent unauthorized parties, those targeted in the crackdown previously received warnings, Airbnb said. The addresses of the properties were not released, but the rentals were located throughout the city. Buckhead, southwest Atlanta and downtown had the most number of impacted listings, the company said. Hosts began to get notified late last week.

ExploreAuthorities ID 2 teens killed in shooting outside NW Atlanta house party

“We have deployed tools to strengthen and scale trust throughout communities, and that starts with enforcing our strict party policies — most importantly our ban on party houses,” Chloe Burke, Airbnb’s public policy manager for Atlanta, said in an emailed statement. “Hosts or guests who attempt to circumvent these measures will be subject to consequences.”

With the coronavirus pandemic raging, large gatherings that violate public health mandates are not allowed, according to the company.

In 2019, Airbnb announced it had banned house parties and initiated a 24/7 Neighborhood Support Hotline in the U.S., where neighbors can report concerns. Calls to the hotline led to many of the listing suspensions, Airbnb said.

A Buckhead mansion once owned by the late Kenny Rogers has frequently been the scene of house parties that have led to calls to police and arrests. In July 2019, Atlanta police were called to the Garmon Road location nearly 100 times in three weeks regarding noise complaints and thefts, according to police records.
A Buckhead mansion once owned by the late Kenny Rogers has frequently been the scene of house parties that have led to calls to police and arrests. In July 2019, Atlanta police were called to the Garmon Road location nearly 100 times in three weeks regarding noise complaints and thefts, according to police records.

Credit: LOUIE FAVORITE

Credit: LOUIE FAVORITE

Earlier in July, an Atlanta Airbnb listing was the scene of another homicide. On July 16, 36-year-old Mikhail Sher was found dead from multiple gunshots outside a Griffin Street home, according to police.

It’s unclear how long Sher had rented the house, which was listed on both Airbnb and Vrbo for about $180 a night. An Airbnb spokesman said while the home was available on the company’s platform the night Sher was killed, there was no record of it being reserved.

In November, a party in the Reynoldstown neighborhood in southeast Atlanta ended when a group of masked men entered and ordered everyone to the ground, police said. The home was listed online as an Airbnb rental, but it is unknown if it was being rented at the time, according to police.

And a Buckhead mansion once owned by the late Kenny Rogers has frequently been the scene of house parties that have led to calls to police and arrests. The home hasn’t been an Airbnb listing since 2018, the company said.

But the problems continued at the home on Garmon Road when the owners continued to rent it other ways. In July 2019, Atlanta police were called to the home nearly 100 times in three weeks regarding noise complaints and thefts, according to police records. The home’s current owner was cited, but said he was told the renters planned a small gathering.

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