‘Parties aren’t the problem’: Airbnb owner responds to company’s NYE crackdown in Nashville

Middle TN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Airbnb announced Tuesday that they will be targeting one of the biggest holidays for throwing a party – New Year’s Eve – with plans to block certain one-night reservations on December 31st.

The short-term rental company said they’re working to prevent unauthorized house parties both here in Nashville and across the country.

These restrictions go into effect Tuesday for guests without a history of positive reviews, which compliments other party prevention policies and its ongoing party ban.

This isn’t the first year for the policy. Last year, Airbnb piloted a similar initiative over New Year’s Eve.

The company notes, in Nashville, there were around 1,100 people who were deterred from booking an entire home listings by their various anti-party defenses over NYE in 2020.

“Until we have that crystal ball, these systems are inevitably going to restrict folks who are perfectly great people who just haven’t earned that trust through Airbnb,” said Ben Breit with Airbnb. ” That’s a tradeoff we’re willing to make because we really care about safety.”

News 2 is reporting on Nashville’s historic growth and the growing pains that come with it. READ MORE on Nashville 2021

Chris Muscatello owns a host of short-term rental properties across Music City. He said he’s grateful for Airbnb’s initiatives, admitting they do work.

However, he said massive parties don’t seem to be the major problem in the city, adding the parties are actually few and far between.

“Of course we’re always trying to provide a safe and compliant environment when we’re renting our houses out. So, certainly we welcome any efforts by Airbnb to help us do so,” he said. “What we’ve seen over and over is a similar set of bad actors booking these homes right as prices are dropping, and they’re having these parties and creating these problems.”

Muscatello said as far as partying goes, it’s really not the primary concern right now, it’s more local crime and theft.

News 2 has reported on a number of thefts at Airbnb properties where thieves are specifically targeting flat screen TVs.

Some of the crimes committed are more concerning. Back in August, on Stainback Avenue in East Nashville gunshots were fired into a short-term rental property injuring one juvenile. MNPD arrested a teenager more than a month later.

More recently, Metro police reported 21-year-old Robert Howard, of Madison, was one of four people shot during a suspected robbery during or just after a large party at a short-term rental property in East Nashville. The shooting happened around 11:15 p.m. at a property on North 9th Street.

Days later, a 22-year-old man was killed in a shootout at a short-term rental property Saturday night in Nashville’s historic Buena Vista neighborhood. Metro police have identified the victim as Dedrian Clendening of Nashville. The shooting happened just before 11 p.m. Saturday night in the 900 block of Monroe Street.

Muscatello said that there are around 1,100 four bedroom Airbnb properties in town and 1,200 three bedroom ones.

“I mean look at that. That’s around 2,500 scattered across the city. You think about how prevalent crime is across our city,” he continued, “It’s not so much Airbnb being targeted, it’s just that homes and crimes in general is occurring.”

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More than 100 Airbnb listings across Music City were either suspended or removed from the platform in November 2020. The company said this was due to violating policies on parties or events. The locations of the Airbnbs were not released due to privacy issues.

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