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Halloween party house? Call the police...and other tips

Cars blocking the street, short-term rental
Cars blocking the street at a party house in Plano.

With the Halloween weekend coing up in October, here are five tips if you are experiencing issues with a short-term rental (Airbnb, Vrbo) in your neighborhood:

#1 - If you see criminal activity or if you are in danger, call 911

If you see criminal activity at the short-term rental in your neighborhood, call 911. If you or your family are in danger because of the activities at this property, call 911. Immediately. Make sure to tell the operator that the house is a short-term rental.

#2 - For noise and traffic, call the City of Lewisville police non-emergency number 972-219-3640

For traffic, noise, and other nuisance issues at the short-term rental in your neighborhood, call the City of Plano police non-emergency number at972-219-3640. Call the police every time there is an issue. Have your neighbors also call the police.

Make sure to tell the police that the house is a short-term rental. The City of Lewisville police department is keeping track of all the calls coming in about short-term rentals, but they do not know which houses these are--so you must tell them.

Do not hesitate to call the police. These people are not your neighbors. They are paying guests at a hotel in your single-family neighborhood.

#3 - About contacting Airbnb

If you want to file a complaint with Airbnb or Vrbo, do it in addition to calling the police. The complaint at Airbnb will never make it to the police department. The City of Lewisville only tracks calls to the police department, so it's imperative that you call them. Enough complaints and AirBNB may remove the listing.

#4 - Be aware of activities at any empty house

There are at least 140 houses in Plano listed as short-term rentals that are entire homes with no on site residents. These houses are owned by investors and are being used as hotels. You may not even realize that the empty house down the street from you is a short-term rental. If you see any unusual or suspicious activity at any empty house that warrants a call to the police--call them.

#5 - Look for anything out of the ordinary

You probably have lived in your neighborhood for years and know the rhythm and activities of your street. Be aware of anything out of the ordinary such as a larger number of cars parked in and around a house, cars coming and going day and night, loud music, drug usage or sales, aggressive behavior to you or your neighbors, fights, public intoxication--and especially anything that looks like prostitution or sex trafficking.

Short-term rentals are hotels. They do not belong in our neighborhoods.


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