By: KDKA-TV’s Jennifer Borrasso
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Twenty-five property listings throughout Allegheny County have been suspended or removed from Airbnb’s platform as the company is cracking down on party houses.
The company announced the news on Monday morning in a press release.
The company said Monday made clear that the actions address a small minority of properties and hosts who had previously been warned and that a majority of hosts in Pittsburgh have taken the proper steps required.
In August, the company announced a ‘global party ban’ in part due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve banned parties and stand ready to enforce that policy throughout Pittsburgh and its suburbs,” said Alex Dagg, Northeast public policy director for Airbnb in a press release. “We support safe and responsible travel in Pittsburgh and want to do our part to ensure public health remains the top priority.”
The company also announced similar actions were taken against 65 properties in Philadelphia.
Johnny Hopkins and Brendon Latsko live on the South Side. They both admitted to attending an Airbnb party amid the pandemic.
“People have nothing to do, people are bored. They’ve been inside,” said Hopkins.
Liam McLaughlin helps landlords throughout Pittsburgh rent houses and apartments on Airbnb. McLaughlin says weeding out potential partiers is challenging.
He added that business has suffered because of people breaking rules.
“Fifty-five people into this tiny one-bedroom, smoking weed, neighbors complaining, cops had to get called, fights broke out,” McLaughlin said of one incident on the South Side.
Airbnb is trying to flag high-risk reservations, like a 20-year-old renting a house for one night. The company has a hotline where people can report issues.