Police say Airbnb’s new policies on party houses are ‘step in the right direction’

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ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) -- Parties at Airbnb rentals getting out of control is a problem running rampant across Sacramento County.

And it’s not just noise plaguing neighborhoods, the get-togethers are turning deadly.

Last Sunday in Carmichael, a shooting outside of an Airbnb party killed a young man. In July, a Sierra College football player died after he was shot at an Airbnb party in Fair Oaks. And in June, security footage shows yet another shooting outside of one of the rental properties in Elk Grove.

Combatting crime at these rental properties is an uphill battle for Elk Grove Police.

“Easy accessibility to be able to rent a location out on fairly short notice. Obviously, alcohol is a factor," said Elk Grove Police Officer Jason Jimenez. "But, you know, another important thing to consider too now is social media. People are able to promote these types of events quickly and now you’re having people that maybe not necessarily were your intended invitees, but now are here.”

Jimenez said his police department was happy to hear Airbnb is changing its policies to prevent party house after yet another shooting, this time in Orinda. Five people were killed.

Airbnb’s CEO, Brian Chesky, took to Twitter to explain how the company hopes to crack down on these party houses by “expanding manual screening of high-risk reservations”, “creating a dedicated 'party house' rapid response team” and taking "immediate action against users who violate these enhanced guest policies."

“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” Jimenez said.

While communities wait to see whether these new actions from Airbnb will actually help, Elk Grove police are urging neighbors to have a watchful eye.

“When those large parties happen, those neighborhoods call us so we can come out and break those parties up quickly before something bad happens,” Jimenez told FOX40.

The city of Elk Grove is also working on new rules to better regulate rental properties in the city.


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