Party Hearty?

Beach party!

A little music, good food, good conversation and a few “refreshments.” Who doesn’t love a party? Your neighbors, that’s who. Airbnb is currently trying to eliminate “party houses” from its rentals. This is not going to be an easy thing to do. Loud, problem parties occur when you have a house that sleeps a large number of people. Weddings, reunions and big families look for these houses because they can house their group in one place, usually at a reasonable cost.

Large groups are typically not quiet groups. Most will have a loud party during their stay, and some of these get out of hand — like the time the guests across the street from us were jumping from an overhanging stairwell into the pool at three in the morning. Alcohol makes people reckless. The neighbors don’t like the noise, plus it’s a potential liability for the host.

If you’re a host, you don’t want either the liability, the mess or the complaints from neighbors that comes with housing a group of partiers. It’s more work for you, and there’s the possibility of an ugly accident resulting in a bad review.

In resort towns, many of the houses have different units, and it helps to rent them to separate, smaller groups that aren’t going to be getting together to party. However, if you have one large house, you may have to set pretty strict ground rules for groups, especially if you are in a city neighborhood. Most guests can relate to the annoyance of noisy parties in their own neighborhoods, and if you’ve screened people properly, they should respect your rules. Charging a stiff security deposit that won’t be returned if there are any problems will help deter irresponsible behavior.

I seriously don’t know how web sites such as Airbnb are going to control “party houses,” although I do understand it’s a bad reflection on their brand. I think the responsibility falls to hosts — and there’s no way to be 100 percent sure your group isn’t going to have a loud party. Start with educating your guests about your rules, then stick to your guns if there are any problems.

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