How can I stop parties at my Airbnb?

How can I stop parties at my Airbnb?

If you run a short stay or vacation rental in a city you would undoubtedly have experienced a party. Parties are a huge potential risk. At a minimum they pose a disruption to your neighbours, at their worst they can damage your property and even put a stop to your business.

I know first-hand how disruptive a party can be. I arrived at my property at 9.30pm after a complaint from neighbours to find over 100 people partying, using drugs and smoking in my beachfront penthouse apartment in St Kilda. Removing alcohol and drug affected people from your property is distressing and potentially dangerous. However thankfully they left without violence. And after my wife and I spent the evening cleaning up spilt drinks and deodorising the property there was no real damage. Once the cleaners came through the next day and did their normal clean it was ready for the next guests (thankfully this time a lovely family from Sydney).

However, we never wanted a repeat incident so have taken some very extreme steps to safeguard our property and business. You may not need to, or want to go to these lengths, however the principals are the same and hopefully by sharing our process we can help you avoid a nightmare party.

Our process is broken down into 4 steps:

1. Deter the wrong bookings:

The best outcome is to have partyers just not book your place. So include in your listing : Strictly no parties. Also have a maximum occupancy limit, I would recommend no more than 2x the number of beds, ie our penthouse sleeps 6 so our occupancy threshold is 12. Our townhouse sleeps 4 so again we have set our threshold at 8.

Put your policies towards the top of your listing, people rarely read to the bottom of your listing and anyone booking for a legitimate stay will not be put off.

Our listing description reads:

“Enjoy the very best of St Kilda living in this glamorous beachfront penthouse in one of St Kilda’s most historic buildings. The 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment is larger than many suburban homes at over 150m2, and has been recently renovated to a very high standard with every luxury you could possibly want.

Strictly no parties! No more than 12 people may be at the property at any time. Please ensure you read our party policy prior to booking.”

Don’t worry being clear about permitted usage doesn’t deter the right bookings we are booked solid with peak months exceeding $25k in revenue.

2. Screen your guests and celebrate cancelling them:

Ok so even with a clear listing you will get the wrong bookings. Not everyone reads so we screen each and every booking. As soon as a booking comes through we email the prospective guest. It is a lovely email, but it clearly states our rules and then requires the guest to complete our booking request form which collects the guest’s email address, phone number, ID for at least two adults and the names of all guests and the guest signs off our house rules again. We make guests do this within 24hrs of their booking or we start our cancellation process.

If you would like a copy of our guest vetting documents and process let me know I can email it to you: ENQUIRE

IMPORTANT: So once you do this you will catch party bookings, we get usually get one a month. So having the right mindset is important. When I got my first cancellation I was really disappointed, I felt like I was loosing money, I had a bit of a crisis “am I doing the right thing? Will we get bookings now, or have I messed it up?”

But I hadn’t messed it up, that first cancellation was rebooked and this has been the trend ever since. Now I celebrate each cancellation, knowing that I have saved myself another headache.

3. Monitor your property:

After 12 months of running our screening process we have not had a party. However I am sure one will slip through one day so it is important to monitor what is going on inside your property whilst still respecting your guest’s privacy. We have two key monitors:

a. Minut sensor: Very basic tool that monitors sound volumes. The sensor claims to do other things like occupancy monitoring however it doesn’t really. It is a useful tool, but despite claims it is not up to being the only tool in your monitoring kit.

2. Dahua AI People Counting Camera: A very sophisticated camera that actually counts the number of people entering the property and triggers a notification on my phone if our thresholds have been exceeded. We have mounted the camera so it can only see the front door and not into any living zones. Whilst the Minut sensor will only notify you once the party is in full swing, already getting loud and annoying neighbours; the people counting camera will help you stop a party before it starts.

See our monitoring devices in action in this short video: 

4. Have a party / disaster plan:

Just imagine, you have set up your guest vetting and you’re monitoring your property. Everything has been going well and now you’re out to dinner with friends at a nice restaurant, desert is just being served and bam your phone goes off the threshold has been exceeded. What next???

Make sure you have a game plan. Our camera allows us to review the people who have entered (useful to make sure there isn’t a glitch) and then I have 2 SMS’s preloaded in my phone to contact the guest and try diplomacy first. Following my second message I have the plan and intention to trigger my alarm if the occupancy doesn’t return below threshold.

You can see my alarm in this video it is made up of a high pitched alarm plus 20,000 lumen high bay lights. To give you an idea of how bright that is it is the equivalent of 16 car headlights on high beam. So really really bright.

You can also see my alarm in action in the above video.

I hope this article and video helps you prevent parties at your Airbnb


Mathew, 29 Jun 2022

In the top section of this post it does state a method to calculate the number of guests
It should also refer to building occupancy rates normally in around the fire safety section in high rises
I see all two often hosts exceeding there legally allowed occupants rates even in my own building
It’s scary to think people would be putting peoples lives at risk for a few extra dollars per booking at very least ignoring the thousands in fines applicable
So I do think the post should be updated to as to not encourage the use of this calculation method as it applies to many parts of the world and might be helpful to hosts to be pointed in the right direction

Love the rest of the info tho
Thank you 🙂

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