Massive Party at Airbnb Disturbs Neighbors in Wellesley - NECN
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Massive Party at Airbnb Disturbs Neighbors in Wellesley

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The owner of a controversial Airbnb is coming forward after a wild party drew dozens of party goers to a Massachusetts neighborhood.

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017)

    The owner of an Airbnb is coming forward after a wild party drew dozens of party goers to a Massachusetts neighborhood.

    Vida De Arce says there were few signs of the out-of-control bash this weekend at the house she rents out through Airbnb.

    "It never even occurred to me that they would throw a party in a house," said De Arce. "I rented the home to what seemed like a very nice, decent, polite, young woman."

    De Arce says a college student rented the home for one night. She found out something was up when she returned home on Sunday and was confronted by a neighbor.

    "She said the whole street was furious at me now," said De Arce. "That I had a whole street full of upset neighbors."

    Neighbors told NBC Boston that dozens of people started showing up at the Wellesley house late Saturday night.

    "No issue with rentals," said neighbor Tom Hennessey. "It's just we don’t like houses on the street being rented out for one night for a rave."

    According to a police report, cars blocked access to the street making it impassable to emergency vehicles.

    Music was blaring, and neighbors say bags of pot were found on lawns.

    "It was quite a disruption to this residential neighborhood," said neighbor David Himmelberger, who brought up the issue at Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting.

    There was even a bouncer charging an entry fee at the Shaw Road home.

    "We could hear people saying '$5 cover, $5 cover,'" said Hennessey. "It's just not a club kind of neighborhood."

    Town officials say most of the party-goers were from Regis College and they left when police shut the party down.

    According to Blythe Robinson, Wellesley Executive Director of General Government Services, De Arce has been put on notice that if things get out of hand in the future, she could face criminal charges.

    Robinson says the town does not regulate short-term rentals, but this incident may lead to some changes in the bylaws.

    De Arce says she’ll try to screen future renters better, and may install surveillance cameras to keep a closer eye on the property.

    In a statement on Friday, Airbnb says the host and listing have been suspended as they investigate the incident, and the guest who booked it has been banned from the website.

    "Hosting is a serious responsibility and those who fail to meet our community standards will be removed from the Airbnb community," the company said in a statement. "We apologize to the residents of Wellesley for this disturbance."