Airbnb owners told to be on alert after police disrupt wild party scenes

·3-min read

NSW Police have issued an urgent warning to owners of short-term rental homes and apartments ahead of New Year’s Eve.

Anyone renting out their accomodation using websites like Airbnb should take extra steps to make sure their properties aren’t being misused for a party, authorities said on Thursday.

While many online short-term rental booking sites have banned the use of properties for parties, NSW Police said officers from across the state have been called to numerous large, loud, or out-of-control events hosted at these types of rentals in recent months.

“Police are concerned about the increasing number of public disorder incidents, where homes are being seriously damaged, and the safety of attendees and the broader community is being threatened,” NSW Police Corporate Sponsor for Alcohol-related Crime, Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell, said.

A broken window and a white pillow covered in blood.
Police have been called to numerous large, loud, or out-of-control events hosted at these types of rentals in recent months. Source: NSW Police

“Anyone who would be disrespectful enough to trash another person’s property would obviously not care about a corporation-imposed party ban, so the onus for protecting the property lies mostly with the owner.

“If you are renting out your property, we encourage you to build strong relationships with neighbours who can keep you notified of concerning activity.

“We also suggest you make sure your house rules are clear and guests know what is off-limits and consider extra insurance for any unforeseen circumstances.”

Police find more than 150 people crammed into property

One of the recent serious incidents includes officers being forced to break up a “hostile crowd” of more than 150 people who were found in a three-bedroom home in Arncliffe on October 30.

Police said they were called to reports of a large party appearing to get out of hand and were spat on by a man, 20, upon arriving.

The inside of the property sustained damage and was left in disarray, they said.

Rubbish is seen strewn across the Ultimo rental.
At a third party that took place on November 7 in Ultimo police were confronted by occupants who allegedly threw bottles at them from a balcony. Source: NSW Police

In another incident on October 31, police were called to a large party in The Rocks and found more than 130 people inside a three-bedroom property.

Partygoers soon became “aggressive and threw projectiles at police”.

After dispersing the crowd, a fight broke out and a man, 25, was stabbed in the back, police said. He has made a full recovery, but the home was significantly damaged, including smashed windows, carpet damage and bloodied walls.

At a third party that took place on November 7 in Ultimo police were confronted by occupants who allegedly threw bottles at them from a balcony.

A man, 30, was found inside the apartment with lacerations to his head and face. About 100 people are believed to have attended the rental.

A smashed door handle and blood on a white wall.
About 100 people are believed to have attended a party at the Ultimo rental. Source: NSW Police

“Numerous walls and doors within the apartment sustained significant damage and various pieces of furniture and household items were destroyed,” police said.

Assistant Commissioner Thurtell said “violent behaviour will not be tolerated” and that those caught breaking the law will be arrested.

“Finally, if you are hosting a party at your own property or a public venue, register the details with local police and make sure you have sufficient security measures in place to ensure your event is not targeted by gate crashers,” he said.

For more information, visit the NSW Police website.

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