Metro Police spot check Airbnbs but cause concern among guests

Metro Police are doing “spot checks” on Airbnb homes and other short-term rental properties  in the Las Vegas valley ahead of Spring Break and St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Officers in all 10 area commands are visiting rental houses to let guests know they’re in the area and be mindful of their actions and the noise ordinances, according to a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Public Information Officer.

However, the unexpected visit startled a family renting an Airbnb in the south valley.

“We're just a family from Idaho, getting out of the deep snow and enjoying the ConExpo,” Anne Singleton said. 

She does not know how long they’ll stay in town but was concerned when two officers stopped by their rental home twice on Thursday within a few hours of each other. She first spoke with a female officer.

“She walked up and said that they were going around,” Singleton said.  "This was a known Airbnb and that there was a noise ordinance. I said, ‘yes, I'm aware of that, did somebody complain?’ She was like, oh, no, nobody complained. So, I was just thinking, well, then why are you here? She said, we’re out going to all the Airbnbs to see if there's underage drinkers or, you know, spring break is coming up. And I said, well, we're just a nice family here.”

Another officer visited a few hours later and spoke with 19-year-old Alyssa Taylor.

“I heard a big smack on the door,” Taylor said. “It wasn't just a simple knocking. It was like a bang, bang, bang and it definitely caught me off guard because the knock threw me off and I was very concerned about who it was, what was going on.”

She looked out the window and made eye contact with the officer outside.

“I answered the door, and the cop just immediately asked me, ‘Hey, you're not in trouble. Do you know who the owner of the house is?’ I said, I'm staying in Airbnb with my family, that's as far as I know. He just immediately said, okay, well, we're answering not because of a noise complaint because of a potential noise complaint in the future for St. Patrick's Day.”

Metro Police told News 3 that officers visit Airbnbs when the department expects extra events or house parties on certain weeks or weekends. The unannounced stops typically happen around spring break, Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day. The spot checks aim to show their presence in neighborhoods and provide safety for the community.

However, it makes Singleton question their intentions.

“Why are they spending their time to run around to Airbnbs when there's so many other things that they could be doing?”

The Greater Las Vegas Short Term Rental Association released a statement regarding Metro’s checkups:

We have been made aware of LVMPD going around to short term rental homes to tell occupants about “parties not being allowed” at these rentals.
As you are well aware, back on February 16, 2023, the District Court granted our Petition for Preliminary Injunction in which Judge Jessica Peterson’s Order prohibited the County from implementing and enforcing a “prohibition on parties, weddings, events, and other gatherings” at short term rentals like those on Airbnb.
We hope the District Attorney who also represents Metro takes the District Court’s Order seriously, properly informs, and advises Metro of the Injunction that is currently in place related to these private homes.
At a time when Las Vegas faces a shortage of police officers, the County should be far more interested and concerned on using these officers to answer emergency calls from residents and reducing response time for far more serious issues in the Valley instead of sending officers to every “Airbnb” in town which operate mostly with zero issues.
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