Halloween party house? Call the police...and other tips
With the Halloween weekend upon us, 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 Plano police non-emergency number 972-424-5678
For traffic, noise, and other nuisance issues at the short-term rental in your neighborhood, call the City of Plano police non-emergency number at 972-424-5678. 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 Plano 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 Plano only tracks calls to the police department, so it's imperative that you call them.
#4 - Be aware of activities at any empty house
There are at least 600 houses in Plano listed as short-term rentals that are entire homes. 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.