We had some neighbors complain to airbnb on Jun 30 that there was a shooting at our property. Our neighbors absolutely hate us and have been trying to shut us down for around 2 years now. Airbnb suspended our listings even though the police didn’t find any weapons, shell casings, and there wasn’t anyone shot. It was 6 days before the 4th of july and fireworks were going off and the neighbors just called in a false complaint from some fireworks down the street. Then again on Aug 4 I got an email from Airbnb saying there was shots from our property. At around mid july there was a complaint saying we were having a “party” first of all why is there an option for parties and events isn’t that kind of misleading if they then penalize you for having a “party”? I went over to the property and video taped the family that was there and their kids. Neighbors call this a party because a few young kids were in the hot tub after 10 pm. Airbnb dropped this complaint after I submitted the evidence. So my question is is there a a way to someone get the contact information of the neighbors that complained so we can prosecute them? Has anyone tried to subpoena airbnb for this info? Or is our only recourse to submit our evidence each time and hope they dont shut us down? It just seems like the person making the allegation should have the burden of proof of showing evidence of wrongdoing but airbnb seems to think you are guilty until proven innocent.
Prosecute them for what? @Dustin_Shiozaki
Presume you have quiet time rules at your property? What time do you allow your guests to be outside and use the hot tub until?
I thought only over 16’s are allowed to use a hot tub (certainly case in UK) so I wonder why this family were allowing ‘young kids’ to use it so late at night.
Why do your neighbours hate you by the way?
I don’t think you can get that information from Airbnb because of privacy laws. If I were you, I would drain the hot tub and not offer it anymore. Guests are probably enjoying it a bit too much late at night causing the neighbors to lose sleep.
I think you need to tackle this head on and it might not be easy. If I was in your position, I’d probably provide an olive branch to your neighbours. It seems that you don’t know them and they don’t know you so why not start on the basis that you are introducing yourself to them. Then, I would bring them a sort of gift of some kind to help matters. Maybe that’s over the top but I think you need to make a positive entrance. Then, you just ask them straight up if everything is alright and if there is anything that you can do to ease their concerns - IF (and it’s a big IF, they even have any concerns). Bear in mind it might not have been them who complained to AirBnB. You can’t prosecute someone if you don’t have any proof that it was indeed them who complained. But let’s assume it was them, perhaps you can ease their concerns by agreeing to some things that might bother them: closing the hot tub at 9pm, providing dedicated parking on the property, reminding guests it’s a family neighbourhood etc. You need to come up with a workable solution because what you are describing is not sustainable. You don’t want to have this type of thing going on as you are trying to make people feel welcome. So, in summary, knock on their door and just find out what there is that you can do to make your neighbours feel a bit better. Who knows, maybe all you need to do is just to listen to what they have to say and that might be it.
Defamation of character, for starters. There are laws in most countries/states/counties/cities which prohibit harassment.
However. Presumably you have at least 4 neighbors – front, two sides and back. I agree with @Suntory that a direct approach is probably best. Not being confrontational, mind; just direct.
Ring each neighbor’s doorbell with some appropriate gift in hand (wine, flowers, baked goods… whatever). Ask them outright what, if any issues they might have with your AirBnb (late noise, strangers in the neighborhood, blocked streets, etc.)
Tell them that you are aware that someone has been calling in complaints, and you would like to find out what, exactly the issue(s) are, and what can be done (short of closing your listing) to make the harassment stop.
Limit the number of guests, uncheck the box to allow parties and events. Get cameras outside, make sure if you allow four guests that no more show up.
Be a better neighbor or you will get shut down.
Why? I’ve written here many times that people who live next to or near your Airbnb can be your biggest ally. If you’ve done something to make them hate you them the first step might be to make amends for whatever it is you’ve done.
I take it that you’re running your rental properly and that you know that you’re managing your guests correctly?
My HOA banned ‘Airbnb’. (Not STR which is what they meant) on the basis of a neighbour who was running his rental badly. In fact, he was hardly running it at all. So I had to persuade them to change the ruling so I could continue.
I asked them to give me a 6-month trial and it worked out well but I had to make sure that my neighbours were my very best friends in the whole world.
It truly works.
Always make sure your neighbors are your allies. BTW, the police blotter will show who called it in and you have the right to request that information. As for suing them for defamation of character, better to try the olive branches first and then move on and ask the police about people filing false claims and submit that to Air.
Your neighbors have been trying to shut you down for 2 years. FIND OUT WHY.
Your neighbors keep calling in false shooting claims and no evidence is found. Formally request the police records and request the police speak to that/those neighbor(s) directly about calling in false shooting incidents. The police telling them that they are in the wrong will have an impact.
Neighbors complain about parties. Get outdoor cameras, enforce hot tub rules or drain it and close it down.
Get all this in writing to Air and tell them you’re being harassed and doing all you can to be a good neighbor. Then make sure that’s true.
I’ve got one of those. In our 21 condo unit building at least 7 are used for short term rental. She’s made it her mission to get rid of those pesky renters.
I’ve given her my phone number and asked that she help me by calling & letting me fix if something happens.
She then bullied a friend who was staying in my condo. She did not know I was there. We had a blunt conversation.
Some people are just unhappy. Be a good neighbor. Monitor your rental. I hope they settle down.
I would make a effort to get on the HOA board before she does, have a seat at the table. I would also encourage the other 6 owners to do the same.
Love this. You read my mind.
She and I both ran for the board.
Election 7/25/20. 3 slots. 6 candidates.
2 went to Current board members seeking 2nd terms. Reasonable people. Good HOA board members. She nor I got the 3rd slot.
I promptly said that if In the future someone couldn’t complete their term, I would be honored to. I’m first on the “stand by” list.
My response was to chat with exiting and new board members after. Thanks, best wishes and congratulations all around. She stomped around, picked up her bag & went home. Some people are just unhappy.
You may have a nasty neighbor. A neighbor that calls Airbnb about a shooting (rather than calling 911 or the local police) is just trying to harass you because they know that providing false information to police will get them in trouble but providing false information to Airbnb won’t. However, they may not know of any other recourse for their problems with your listing.
I think you’ve got 3 options and you can take any one or all three:
Take Ken’s suggestion and talk to all of your neighbors. Hopefully, you’ll get some critical information from your neighbors. Remember that the point is not to find out who is calling Airbnb, but to find out what real concerns your neighbors have and then fix them. Don’t dismiss that there could be some truth to the complaints. For example, how many guests do you allow in your listing? Is it too many and so they spill outside too often? Do your guests occasionally invite even more guests and actually cause real problems for your neighbors (noise, parking, privacy etc.).
Live with it. You might be able to mitigate the effects by installing outdoor cameras and noise-monitoring devices that you can easily use to provide evidence to Airbnb.
Get a lawyer that can legally obtain evidence of harassment and a restraining order. This could take a long time and cost a lot of money.
So the false complaint to Air is in writing? Seems like a nice case for a lawsuit. I forget it it is slander or libel? Anyway, you may wish to consider at least having a free consult. This bs is not going to stop.
Even if they are not charged or fined a judge would take a dim view of it. False accusations of use of a deadly weapon are never taken lightly.
Hopefully, you can make this go away with a gift basket, smiles, beer/wine/bourbon. Not everyone will be willing to be appeased.
Agree with @RiverRock. If you actually “allow parties” then stop. ASAP. It is one thing for guests to “hang out in the hot tub at 10pm”. But if you do not actively exclude parties, you are leaving the door open for liability and problems - life is complicated enough.
You need cameras 100%. So, if this gets nasty and they keep lying that you have video evidence and it will go very badly for them in court.
@Dustin_Shiozaki If I read your post correctly, you allow parties? You can rest assured that Airbnbs that advertise they allow parties will incur the wrath of the neighbors in a residential area. If you don’t care about their right to peaceful enjoyment of their neighborhood, why wouldn’t they object to your business there?
Of course no one should lie and say there was a shooting when there wasn’t, but is it possible that the behavior of your guests in general and the type of listing you rent out has driven them to this because you have shown that you don’t care? You say the neighbor has been harassing you for 2 years- Airbbs that don’t cause disruption, which get respectful, quiet guests, don’t usually cause neighbors to become upset.
Find out why, ask neighbors in non-confrontational way what is right and wrong with your listing/guests.
DO NOT ALLOW PARTIES, SPECIFICALLY STATE “NO PARTIES.”
I think most hosts have written that.
Fix the issues, offer olive branches, then if that doesn’t work, call the police (who have shown up and not found evidence) and ask about recourse when people file false shooting claims.
Then fix your listing.
That isn’t totally clear, but yeah, if you allow parties, then I can guarantee that is why your neighbors hate you. Properties that allow parties are rare, so nearly every booking for a property that does allow them is for some big party or event. Noisy all weekend, parking a mess, trash, drunken behavior, etc.
Several people have hopped on the “no parties” stance but let’s talk about what a party is
Mine is a whole home rental. I don’t mind if grandma, grandpa, sisters, BIL, nieces, nephews (max 10 total-COVID-19 max) pop in for birthday cake party.
PAR—-TAE. Is a different kind of party. Strangers. Too many. Too large. Too loud. Too rowdy. Too Destructive. Oh h@&ll no!
When some renters see parties allowed they read “ PAR—-TAE”.
Suggestion: say no parties but in house rules or information say “any gatherings of non-registered guests must be Preapproved by owner”.
Your guests can still have reasonable family events but the house “ PAR—-TAE” renter isn’t allowed.
There are of course - but I don’t understand how complaints about the behaviour of a host’s guests is defaming the Hosts character ?