Report An Unregistered or Unruly Vacation Rental
First, don’t jump to conclusions. Your neighbor may be legally registered with the city which allows hosting of ONLY ONE!!! property. The unit must be their primary residence, and in-laws do not count unless the owner can prove they live in the in-law space and not upstairs. Your can check for legitimate registration on the Property Information Map. Look for a STR registration permit on the “Planning App” tab. If you have determined the unit is not properly registered, please file a complaint with the Office of Short Term Rentals (OSTR) and the Tenants Union, for good measure. firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
OSTR prefers to know the actual listing before they will investigate. Popular sites to try to locate the building are airbnb.com, flipkey, and homeaway (aka vrbo). It is best if you can definitively match the address with either a photo or the host’s name, include a screenshot in your email. We may be able to help locate the building for you with our sleuthing powers. Some tenants have contacted us to file a complaint on their behalf, so they can retain anonymity if it is their landlord engaging in illegal short-term rentals.
Another option is to leave an anonymous tip on this website and we will follow up: http://www.antievictionmappingproject.net/airbnb
If a unit is properly registered but is a party pad nightmare for you, you should contact the platform’s complaint department or the owner themselves if you can. Airbnb’s complaint line is: https://www.airbnb.com/neighbors. We have tried to file complaints in the past and found it a futile and exasperating experience, but maybe it has changed. Good luck!
TENANTS UNION POLICY: We will not report an illegal rental if it a tenant is the host, as it could lead to their eviction. You should contact the tenant and inform them how risky doing short-term rentals is unless they have permission from the landlord and are properly registered.
Be Creative and Take Matters Into Your Own Hands
Talk to guests and tell them the stories of the tenants who were displaced so they could vacation there. Or flyer the neighborhood near known full-time vacation rentals. Together, we can call out shady behavior and make it unprofitable for hosts to choose tourists over permanent residents.
Our former staffer, Ted Gullicksen, created this template to print on 8.5 x 11 sticker paper to attach to buildings. Click the image to print or create your own version: