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Airbnb’s new data tool could help cities limit party houses – Source

Around the world, Airbnbs and other vacation rentals had been refuges for urban dwellers fleeing locked-down cities, sometimes in large, raucous groups. Sometimes, they effectively serve as pop-up speakeasies while coronavirus restrictions leave bars and nightclubs shuttered. As a result, Airbnb announced a ban on parties at rentals on its platform last month.

“Short-term rentals have been bursting at the seams this summer, and our police department has gotten more complaints about short-term rentals here than we can ever recall,” says Preston Bristow, town planner and zoning administrator in Killington, Vermont.

But this new pandemic problem is compounded by an older one: in many communities, regulators and residents have found that simply discovering which properties are being rented as vacation homes can be difficult, making it challenging to enforce local laws. Some municipalities have been forced to rely on third-party data providers, crowdsourced reports from neighbors, or…

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