Airbnb bans house parties in N.O. for July 4th weekend

The company is also banning anyone under the age of 25 from making one-night reservations for the holiday.
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 5:45 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - As the City of New Orleans welcomes back visitors from near and far, Airbnb is banning house parties into the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

“Live music is back. Bars are back. Everyone is ready to party,” said Carling Lee, an Airbnb host. She owns two Airbnbs in the city - one happens to be in the French Quarter. She said she disagrees with the ban.

“I would like people to use the house as it’s intended to be used: to entertain and host,” said Lee, adding she’s only had one issue with guests having parties at her home.

“They spilled orange daiquiri everywhere all over the couch. They tried to hide it with blankets and pillows.”

She said she increased deposit prices on her listing to cover damages like this. She also keeps communication open with her guests and neighbors, in addition to general house rules.

“Party or not, no more than 16 people are allowed to be registered for an Airbnb listing in New Orleans or anywhere else,” said Airbnb spokesperson Ben Breit.

Breit said the company has steadily introduced stricter measures to try and stop disruptive parties.

More: Go 4th on the River Independence Day fireworks show in New Orleans canceled for 2021

“The majority of our hosts were already prohibiting parties, so us coming in with that layer on top to say look across the board 100% no parties allowed or disruptive parties allowed was really well-received and appreciated it,” he said.

In some cases, he said, legal action was necessary against guests who have thrown unauthorized parties, and even hosts who continue to list what he calls ‘party houses’- banning both host and guest from the app altogether.

“The big ragers, the really disruptive parties, that’s what we care about the most; what we’re really trying to stop,” said Breit.

For Lee, she believes visitors should come to New Orleans and have a good time without thinking about all the rules. She just asks that guests treat her home, as their own home.

“Just respect my stuff that’s all,” said Lee. “Respect it’s also a neighborhood and people live here every day and so if you’re not respectful, you’re gonna ruin it for everyone else.”

Lee said she’s seeing an increase in visitors as her two listings are booked throughout the summer.

For Airbnb, the party ban is in effect until at least the end of summer. The website has a hotline number to report disruptive house parties.

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