You need to know how to shut down your neighbors Airbnb if they have crossed the line. By this, we mean if talking to them yields no positive results.
It is even justifiable to stop Airbnb in your building if you are a neighbor experiencing excessive noise levels disturbing your household. Other neighbors or housemates may have early schedules or have to study but the Airbnb guest next door is too loud with disturbing parties.
Airbnb started as a great idea but the logic of capitalism is the reason it affects serenity. Fortunately, the law is on your side.
How to shut down your neighbors Airbnb
Airbnb regularly brings new temporary neighbors of different behaviors—annoying and quiet.
If the guests end up staying up late, playing loud music, and so on, follow the steps below to shut down your neighbor’s Airbnb:
Speak to your Airbnb host neighbor
You want to start by trying to address the vacation rental issue informally with your neighbor, the Airbnb host.
Sometimes, it is possible the Airbnb host is not aware of the problems the guests cause, especially if they do not live in the apartment to witness the behaviors.
Alert them about your concerns and suggest solutions like posting house rules and terms short-term guests should follow. Mediation will also work if an informal conversation does not fix the issue.
Contact Airbnb and the police
Airbnb may not solve the problem but can get in touch with the host. However, Airbnb encourages users to be good neighbors when traveling and hosting.
If you have issues with the guests, go to Airbnb’s Neighborhood Support page for help. On this page, you can contact your local police and file a noise complaint about the noisy guests.
Calling the police is good in theory but they may consider it a low priority and may not respond to it for hours. However, if the guests make an outlandish show of hooliganism or threaten the neighbors, the police will respond timely.
Check your local law governing short-term rentals
Short-term rentals are regulated in some states. You would want to check your local applicable zoning ordinances or development code to know if vacation rentals are regulated.
Read also: Airbnb hosts also try to deal with bad guests
Ensure to contact the local planning department or hire a land-use attorney if you do not know the zoning ordinance. This helps you to know any applicable restrictions or regulations to the use of a property as a short-term rental.
Depending on your community, there may be private covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) prohibiting any short-term vacation rentals like Airbnb or controlling noise.
For instance, if your house is a town house or condo in a subdivision with CC&Rs prohibiting loud noises after 11 p.m., you can file a complaint with the homeowners’ association (HOA).
Meanwhile, you should read about the Phoenix neighbors who fought against an Airbnb rental home in their neighborhood and won. They went on to revise the Declaration of Restrictions and recorded it with Maricopa County and sent the homeowner a letter with the new rules preventing Airbnb and the likes. The Airbnb property was then shut down and listed for sale.
Leverage any legal information you find to write a warning letter to your neighbor, indicating that their Airbnb will be shut down if they do not comply.
Notify the zoning department of violations
If you figure out that your neighbors’ use of their property for Airbnb violates the zoning ordinance, file a complaint with your local code enforcement department to have them shut down.
Your local department will investigate the property use and send your neighbors notice of the complaint and pending investigation.
If your local code enforcement confirms a zoning ordinance violation, your neighbors may be immediately ordered to stop using the house next door for Airbnb or else face a penalty, such as a fine. This usually ends with that neighbor putting up the property for sale.
Check the enforcement of nuisance, noise, or any related ordinances
Suppose your neighbor does not violate the zoning ordinance by using the property for Airbnb. Your local jurisdictions may have laws that prohibit nuisances and obnoxious noises. Nuisance here is defined by OxfordDictionaries as “a person, thing, or circumstance causing inconvenience or annoyance”.
Read also: Airbnb hosts also evict bad guests
Local noise regulations may also prohibit noise, including whistling, yelling, shouting, hooting, singing, or any human-generated noise that is unnecessarily loud.
Your local law enforcement agency usually enforces noise and nuisance regulations. As such, you would have to call the police. When you keep calling the police every day, the Airbnb neighbor will be questioned at some point or even ordered to stop short-term rental.
Build your case
Start by documenting the offending activity through photos, videos, audio recordings, and more. You could also keep a journal confirming a growing nuisance. Records of calling the police and even speaking to your neighbor are important too.
Get in touch with your other neighbors to get them involved. When the litigation takes place, multiple plaintiffs can help when arguing your case as well as sharing the legal costs.
Ask your city to protect public health and safety by enforcing codes and zoning restrictions, sanitation, pollution, and noise ordinances. Be respectful to get the city staff on your side.
Petition your homeowner association to enforce any CC&Rs and community rules your neighbor’s Airbnb property violates. You could also petition HOA to enact and enforce restrictions on short-term rentals like Airbnb.
If HOA is not available where you live, leverage any deed restrictions applicable in your area. They may have provisions that limit and prohibits nuisance activities.
File a lawsuit against your neighbor
This is usually a costly step but may be worth it as your final resort for your sanity. There might be a basis to claim private nuisance if the noise is excessive. Get in touch with an attorney to advise you and determine the best move.
You need the records from your initial attempts to caution the neighbors or stop Airbnb in the building to significantly strengthen your case.
You could ask the court to award money damages and an injunction that shuts down your neighbors Airbnb short-term vacation rental.
If you seek money-only damages, and the amount is below your state’s jurisdictional threshold, you could file the lawsuit in small claims court.
However, if you seek beyond the jurisdictional limit or seek an injunction, you would be filing in a regular/circuit court.
Lawsuit results can be encouraging, but it is also important for you to have realistic expectations for the process and the outcome.
Short-term rentals like Airbnb are a a reality and will result in nuisances. Your city may not be able to make a property completely quiet. If guests park cars legally, such as in front of your house, and noise is within tolerance, there is not much your city officials can do.