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Airbnb blocks one-night stays in Dallas on Memorial Day weekend

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Airbnb has announced an anti-party plan for Dallas over summer holidays. It will block certain one-night reservations during both Memorial Day weekend and July 4th weekend.

Dallas residents and out-of-towners with negative reviews on the Airbnb app will be out of luck this Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekend if they want to book a weekend get-away.

Airbnb is blocking them from one-night and two-night reservations.

"We are saying if you don't have a history of positive reviews on the platform you will not be able to make a one-night booking full stop,” said Ben Breit, a spokesperson for Airbnb.

Breit said the company wants to prevent parties at homes listed in Dallas. This comes as city officials are discussing new restrictions for short-term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO.

Homeowners have complained for years about safety concerns, parking congestion, trash and noise.

Andrew Muras said Airbnb's new rules do not address those resident safety concerns. He's the co-founder of the TX Neighborhood Coalition. The organization wants cities across Texas including Dallas to place restrictions on short-term rentals.

“It's still not preventing parties. It's still not preventing shootings. It's still not preventing crime. It's another empty promise from Airbnb that they can’t monitor or enforce,” he said.

Muras said he has tried reporting parties, but “nothing ever gets done.” He wants short-term rentals out of residential neighborhoods.

Airbnb rolled-out this anti-party strategy last year on Fourth of July and blocked 1,600 people from booking a vacation rental or homestay, according to a press release by Airbnb. The company also has a global ban on all parties and events at Airbnb listings that prohibit gatherings of more than 16 people and disruptive parties and events.

More than 1,700 STRs are registered with the City of Dallas and pay a hotel occupancy tax. But STR opponents say that is only about a fifth of the total in Dallas.

Muras wants more enforcement and accountability from Airbnb. He thinks the company should be responsible for conducting identity and background checks on people who are staying at listings.

Airbnb has proposed a plan to the city that includes collecting hotel occupancy tax and collaborating with police and code enforcement departments to address noise and party complaints.

City leaders will meet in June to present a new short-term rental ordinance and details on zoning requirements for short-term rentals for the city council to discuss.

Got a tip? Alejandra Martinez is a Report For America corps member for KERA News. Email Alejandra at amartinez@kera.org. You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @alereports.

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