As Dallas considers new regulations on short-term rentals, Airbnb is cracking down on overnight rentals over Memorial Day weekend to avoid disruptive parties.
The vacation rental sitemap, announced on Friday, adds the upcoming holiday weekend to a restrictive policy it put in place last year for the July 4 weekend. The blocking of one-night reservations will be applied across the United States
Last year, the San Francisco-based company imposed restrictions on potential tenants under the age of 25. In Dallas, Airbnb estimates it deterred more than 1,600 people from booking entire homes over Independence Day weekend.
Airbnb spokesperson Ben Breit said the Memorial Day weekend restriction will affect new customers the most without any positive reviews on the platform.
“We’re not saying the 1,600 people were definitely going to throw a party,” Breit said, referring to last summer’s July 4 deterrent. “We hope we stopped a lot of parties.”
Earlier this week, the Dallas City Council was briefed on potential new rules for short-term rentals and the establishment of a rental unit neighbor complaint system. These complaints typically range from noise and criminal activity to large crowds and litter.
The city had 1,174 active short-term rentals paying hotel occupancy taxes as of last month — a total that doesn’t include unregistered properties. City council has been discussing new bylaws for nearly two years. The city’s code compliance and planning staff were tasked with drafting an ordinance.
Dallas currently defines short-term rentals as hotels. These properties are exempt from inspections but are required to pay hotel resort taxes.
On Wednesday, Airbnb sent a letter to Mayor Eric Johnson and council members reiterating that he is committed to working with the city on new rules.
His letter also highlighted the economic benefits of short-term rentals. Texas ranked third in the United States last year with $170 million in new host revenue, according to Airbnb. The new Dallas County hosts earned more than $15.5 million in 2021.
“Today, we remain more committed than ever to working with you to balance the property rights of those who choose to rent their property short-term with the quality of life concerns of neighbors,” wrote Luis Briones, Head of Airbnb public policies. “We encourage you to take sensible action that reflects the hard work that has gone into this topic and look forward to continuing to be part of the conversation to help achieve a positive and equitable balance for all stakeholders.”
Airbnb’s plan for the city includes a streamlined check-in system, collecting hotel occupancy tax when a guest books a rental, and working with city police and code compliance departments. .
As part of Airbnb’s Memorial Day plan, guests without a history of positive reviews will be barred from making overnight reservations of entire homes. Airbnb said it will also be rolling out tighter restrictions on some two-night bookings as July 4 approaches.
According to Airbnb, guests with a positive review history will not be blocked from booking one-night rentals.
In 2019, in response to complaints from party houses that arose across the country, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky officially banned rentals from the platform. The ban was later expanded to include “open” parties and disruptive gatherings in apartments or condos.
In 2020, Airbnb limited rental capacity to 16 people and began blocking guests under 25 and without a history of positive reviews from booking entire homes. These renters are still allowed to book private room listings, where typically the rental host lives on-site.
The policy deterred 48,000 people in Texas and 7,800 in Dallas from renting entire homes last year, Airbnb said.
During holiday weekends last year, Airbnb said its anti-party defenses prevented the following number of rentals:
- July 4: 11,300 statewide (1,600 in Dallas)
- Halloween: 7,600 statewide (1,100 in Dallas)
- New Year’s Eve: 10,800 statewide (2,500 in Dallas)