We’re fed up with Airbnb guests ruining our peaceful neighbourhood with cops using pepper spray to control rowdy parties | The Sun
FED-UP neighbours have shared the chaotic scenes after a wild party in their building.
The once-peaceful Sydney block of flats saw about 10 police cars and cops using pepper spray to control a large group of people.
All hell broke loose at about 4.30am on July 17 outside an Airbnb apartment in Surrey Hills.
Shocking footage shows a large commotion between cops and guests, with one man in handcuffs appearing to try to headbutt a cop before being pushed to the ground.
Andy Quan lives in the same building as the party flat and saw everything from his window.
“When we looked up and looked out the window, we saw 10 police cars and a young woman being bundled into the police car and had no idea what had happened,” he said.
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“The woman that took the video just said she was petrified to have all of this commotion outside.
“Somebody from quite far away, but could still hear it, said she woke up and thought because there were screams, people were being assaulted.”
Mr Quan said despite the building's by-laws not allowing short-term rentals, the party flat owner kept advertising the three-bedroom unit as an "entertainer's dream", which sleeps 16 guests, on Airbnb and Vrbo.
He added that it was not the first time there had been loud parties and issues, but it had never been this bad.
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Mr Quan said he was calling on Airbnb, Vrbo and the council to help shut it down after his failed attempts to contact the owner via the building’s strata management.
“I’ve benefited from Airbnbs myself when I’ve travelled. I think in some circumstances they can be fantastic for travellers but in the wrong situations … people who stay in an Airbnb have no obligation whatsoever to be kind, considerate and respectful to other people in the building,” he said.
“To have all the police out, it’s terrible for the neighbours, it’s terrible for the building.
“I’m hoping that he will stop. That we will get this under control and it won’t be allowed to be used as an Airbnb again.”
City of Sydney said it had received a complaint and the matter was being investigated.
Both renting platforms told news.com.au they were also investigating the matter.
“We believe the communities in which we operate are as important as our hosts and guests. We are currently looking into this matter,” Airbnb Australia manager Susan Wheeldon said.
“In NSW, all hosts and guests must adhere to the NSW Code of Conduct for the short-term rental accommodation industry.
“The Code of Conduct establishes clear expectations of behaviour for both hosts and guests along with a process to address any complaints.
“We’ve put a permanent ban on disruptive parties in Airbnb listings. And, if nuisance behaviour does occur, neighbours can get in touch with our team via our 24/7 Neighbourhood Support Line.
“When repeated or severe violations of our ground rules for hosts are reported, listings may be suspended or removed. More than 12,000 Airbnb listings have been removed globally since April this year.
“Everyone should be free to enjoy their home in peace, regardless of who’s staying next door.”
Airbnb has apparently removed the property after being contacted by them, the Australian media outlet reported.
Vrbo responded to Mr Quan’s complaint saying there was “nothing further we can do” until they heard from local authorities, but a Vrbo spokesperson said the matter was being investigated and appropriate actions would be taken, which may include dismissal from the platform.
New South Wales Police said officers first attended the property at about 3.30am following a noise complaint and the people inside were cooperative and quietened down.
But cops had to return one hour later.
“Due to ongoing complaints from the area, officers attached to Surry Hills and additional officers from Sydney City, Kings Cross and Eastern Suburbs Police Area Commands attended the home and were given permission from the owner to enter the unit,” a spokesman to the force said.
“About 20 people were inside the unit and were directed to leave, with a number of attendees attempting to hinder police.
“OC spray was deployed to disperse the crowd, who continued to resist police direction. The group eventually dispersed.”
As a result, two people were arrested.
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