How to deal with noisy Airbnbs

If you landed here you are probably suffering from a noisy Airbnb neighbor, and for that we are sorry. 

The good news is there are more tools to fight against noisy Airbnbs than there are for almost any other type of noise, so if you take the claim seriously you have a very good chance of finding a solution to the problem, even a permanent solution, sooner than you think.

Believe it or not, Airbnb is on your side here. Why?

Cities around the world are placing restrictions, when not flat-out banning Airbnb rentals, precisely because of the inconveniences they cause to community members like yourself. If people start filing complaints with the police and other law enforcement agencies against Airbnb rentals these restrictions are only going to get worse for them, so it’s in Airbnb’s best interest to prevent that from happening. 

Airbnb has an entire department exclusively dedicated to assisting, not the hosts, not the guests, but neighbors just like you and me who have a complaint against any property listed on their platform. 

Why are Airbnbs so noisy?

Noisy neighbors are one of the main reasons for noise complaints filed in the US. This is consistent across the country, both in large cities and more rural areas.

Whether it’s a TV playing too loud in an apartment building, a kid bouncing a ball on the apartment above us, a DIY project at the house next door, or a party that gets out of hand at the house across the street, living in a community has lots of pros, but it also comes with some drawbacks, noise being one of them.

That being said, most people are willing to make an effort to, within reason, modify some behaviors in order not to disturb each other. In other words, be a good neighbor.

At the end of the day it’s in everyone’s best interest to live in harmony with our neighbors, so if my neighbor lets me know that he/she likes to take a nap after lunch on Sundays, I’ll be more than happy to cut the grass at some other time as to not disturb them. At the end of the day we are going to be seeing a lot of each other over the years, and who knows, someday I might need to ask a neighborly favor from them too.

The problem with Airbnb neighbors is that they aren’t really your neighbors. They are just there for a few days and probably won’t see you ever again after that, so they have less of an incentive to keep things harmonious. 

These temporary neighbors are usually also on holiday and want to have a good time, they might be spending these days with friends, staying up later than they usually would, enjoying long dinners with alcohol, the pool if there is one, etc.

So, generally speaking, Airbnb guests are usually people being noisier than they naturally would, in an environment where they don’t have a reputation to maintain or any long-term interest in. 

Parties at Airbnbs

Luxury houses with pools are magnets for groups looking to party

Things get even worse when people rent out Airbnbs with the sole purpose of throwing a party. This is particularly common in cities like LA, known for its good weather and beautiful designer houses.

This is more common than you might think, since it’s not only friends that rent these places to have a good time, but also companies for business events, photoshoots, etc. basically turning a single-family house into a commercial property.

This is straight up against Airbnb’s rules, and in many cases also against local laws, but let’s face it, people rarely read the fine print, and even when they do they might choose to play dumb and rent the property anyways, precisely because of what we mentioned earlier, they know they’ll only be there for a day or two and be gone.

The most frustrating part here is that there are some properties that are magnets for this type of rental, and if you live next to one of them it is likely that you’ll get a party/photoshoot/event every other day, and literally zero couples or families on vacation, or any other type of “nicer”, “calmer”, tourism.

An Airbnb rental used for professional photoshoots

How to file a noise complaint against a noisy Airbnb

Paying a visit to your Airbnb neighbor and asking them to bring the volume down is one option, but it rarely works, and even if it does, there will be different guests there tomorrow and you’ll just have to start over… so, as much as we favor communication when trying to solve noise issues, in the case of Airbnb neighbors, we recommend that you file a complaint as soon as possible to start building your case.

Treat it as any other noise

One option is to act as you would if this was not an Airbnb rental. This might change depending on your state, county, and city, but in most cases will mean contacting the police non-emergency number to report the problem.

If the police has enough units available at that time they will show up at your neighbor’s and ask them to bring the volume down. They might even fine them directly if the noise and their attitude are too over the top.

In many cases, police knocking on your front door is intimidating enough to kill the party for the night. But then again, those people will be gone tomorrow and new guests will come in to start the cycle all over again.

File a noise complaint with Airbnb directly

Another option, which is potentially much more effective, is to contact Airbnb’s neighborhood emergency line.

You cannot call them directly, but you can request they call you here. I requested they called me and I was pleasantly surprised when they called me back immediately (literally within 30 seconds of submitting the form).

Airbnb will ask you a bunch of questions related to the current situation in order to start an investigation and take action if needed. In my case these questions included things like:

  • Describe the general situation.
  • Did you call the police or take any other action before calling us?
  • What time did the noise start and what time is it now (in local times).
  • Is this the first time this property has disturbed the peace of your neighborhood?
  • Can you see how many people are at the property?
  • Can you see if the people there are drinking or taking drugs?

What will Airbnb do about my noise complaint?

After providing all this information the Airbnb representative that was handling my case told me that, since the situation was ongoing, she was going to escalate the case to someone hoping to put an end to the party ASAP.

But before letting him off the hook I asked what was it that Airbnb could do about this. What specific actions, other than entertaining me on the phone, could they take to make this situation better and prevent it from repeating in the future?

According to the person on the line, these are the steps that Airbnb could follow:

  1. First, they would call the phone number on record of the guest currently staying at that property to explain that they received a noise complaint and that they should bring the volume down. If the noise was from a party they would remind the guest that parties are strictly forbidden by Airbnb’s terms and conditions.
  2. Second, they would call the host to let them know what was going on. This would also be a first warning call regarding the type of guests that the host is accepting at this property and a reminder that he/she should better screen them in the future.
  3. If similar claims continue to come in in the future Airbnb would start by limiting the visibility of the property, and could potentially delist it completely and even ban the host (including all their other properties shall he/she have more than one listed).

As I said at the beginning, it’s in Airbnb’s best interest to minimize the complaints made to law enforcement about short-term rentals, as that might lead to the city tightening its restrictions on this type of rental. Airbnb would much rather have a certain number of properties that run smoothly than have 10% more with complaints constantly flowing to the police.

Because of that I strongly believe that Airbnb would actually keep up their promise and ban a certain property/host from the platform if needed. It might take some time and a good case against it, but I do believe that they would shut it down, even if that means one less listing on their platform.

Tips to file a noise complaint with Airbnb

Before you start the complaint process, here are some tips that will help you smooth out the process and hopefully find a solution much faster:

  • Even though Airbnb is the most popular short-term rental platform, there are others, and there’s a chance the property disturbing you was not renting through Airbnb. Try to look the problematic property up on Airbnb yourself, and if you do find it, save the link and property name so that you can share it with the Airbnb team.
  • Document everything. If you see a party going on from your property, record it with your phone. If the noise is really very loud, use a noise measuring app on your phone and record it, that way you’ll be putting an objective volume level in your claim and erase any doubt that you might just be a sensitive neighbor.
  • File a complaint every time there’s excessive noise, that will help build your case if you ever have to take it any further.
  • Airbnb would like to intervene before you call the police, but call them anyway, call the police (at their non-emergencies number) and Airbnb, every time. The more noise you make, the better (pun intended).
  • Get your other neighbors to file the same complaints too. Unlike with a car accident for example, where one call to the authorities is enough, and anything after that is actually just slowing down the system, when it comes to noise complaints, the more people complaining, the better.
  • Do it in English. I requested Airbnb to call me 3 times, one in Spanish, 2 in English. When I requested a call in Spanish I didn’t receive it for at least 10 minutes, I then canceled that request and placed a new one to be called in English and my phone started ringing within 30 seconds.


It is annoying, it is frustrating, it is unfair… but there’s hope. If the source of noise that bothering you is a short-term rental listed through Airbnb, you have a good chance of finding both short-term and long-term solutions to the problem.

Guillermo Carone. Author at Fight for Silence
Hi there! My name is Guillermo Carone, I’m an architect and urbanist by training, and I’ve been on a quest against noise since 2010, when I moved from the calm and quiet Barcelona, to the vibrant and noisy New York City. I have a special interest in how cities evolve and how to keep them a place for society to thrive.

3 responses to “How to deal with noisy Airbnbs”

  1. […] Short-term rentals can be noisy. Tenants are usually there for just a few days and they want to have fun. If that’s the situation you are dealing with, there is a high chance that the property was rented through Airbnb, in which case you could try contacting the Airbnb team directly. […]

  2. […] Now if this party is happening at a short-term rental that’s listed on Airbnb, we recommend that you also contact Airbnb about the situation. Believe it or not, they might be able to do more for you than the police in this case. Take a minute to read this article where we explain step by step what’s the best course of action for dealing with a noisy Airbnb neigh… […]

  3. […] to this is if your neighbor is actually a short-term rental listed on Airbnb. If that is the case we recommend that you contact Airbnb directly about your noise complaint. They’ll be able to reach out to both guests and host, probably quicker than law enforcement, […]

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