Party prevention: Airbnb vs. Vrbo vs. Vacasa

What you should know to help prevent parties at your vacation rental

You’ve heard the story: A party at a vacation home leaves property damage, angry neighbors, and huge expenses in its wake.

All would-be and current vacation homeowners worry this might happen to them. While the likelihood is remote, you should know how major vacation rental companies help prevent unauthorized parties—and the measures they advise homeowners to adopt.

In this article, we’ll compare how vacation rental leaders Airbnb, Vrbo, and Vacasa deal with undesirable events.

We’ll also discuss the best party prevention approaches (like installing a noise monitoring device) and why we believe the most effective short term rental monitoring strategy is with a full-service vacation rental manager like Vacasa.

Party prevention policies: Airbnb, Vrbo, and Vacasa

All vacation rental booking platforms want to help keep your home in good condition. And party restrictions are a tool to protect your home (and your neighborhood reputation).

Vacation rental companies typically define a party as an event or gathering disruptive to the neighborhood. Prohibited parties don’t have to be hundreds of people, either—a few guests causing a disturbance can be considered a party or unauthorized event.

Most guests must agree to terms and conditions when they rent a vacation home. Often, a booking site will have boilerplate behavior standards, plus some additional rules set by the homeowner.

Airbnb, Vrbo, and Vacasa are no exception—but each takes a distinct approach to party prevention. Let’s review each company’s tactics to see what they share (and where they differ).

Compare party prevention at Airbnb, Vrbo, and Vacasa




No-party rules

Has Community guidelines and restricts occupancy at 16 people

Allows homeowners to set their own rules about occupancy and behavior. Guests must agree to follow these rules when they rent.

Has a good neighbor policy and no occupancy ceiling outside of maximum occupancy per home

Guest screening

Can block reservations they deem risky and ban problematic users

Can bar disruptive guests and party-prone homes from their site

Works with a guest screening network and assesses potentially risky bookings

Smart home devices

Offers discounted noise sensors for Airbnbs and other smart home tech

Offers discounted noise monitors

Free smart locks, secure WiFi routers, and noise monitoring devices for all homeowners

On-the-ground help

Hires and coordinates service or does it themselves

Up to the homeowner or their vacation rental manager

24/7 help and local neighborhood support on-call

Modern vacation rental management.

Your home is a success waiting to happen. We'll show you how.

Airbnb party prevention

As one of the world’s most popular booking sites, Airbnb takes guests having a party seriously. In August 2020, Airbnb announced a global ban on parties, in addition to capping occupancy at a maximum of 16 people per rental.

Airbnb hosts can get a discount on certain smart home devices, like approved Airbnb noise monitors and generalized short term rental monitoring devices.

Because Airbnb is a listing site and not a vacation rental manager, it’s up to the host (or their third-party manager) to decide which smart home devices to install and how to respond to guest disturbances.

Vrbo party prevention

Like Airbnb, Vrbo is a place where people can list their home, and does not provide vacation rental management services. Vrbo allows homeowners to call their own shots when it comes to setting house rules, screening bookings, installing noise monitoring devices, and checking in on guest disturbances.

Vrbo encourages homeowners to be thoughtful with how they approach everything from the language in their listing description to who they allow to stay at their properties. Guests who hold disruptive events at a home booked on Vrbo may find themselves barred from future bookings on the platform.

Homeowners who manage their own homes and list on Vrbo hold most of the responsibility for preventing parties—or hire a professional vacation rental manager to lend them a hand.

Vacasa party prevention

Vacasa is a professional vacation rental management company with an exclusive booking platform built in.

Vacasa homes appear on vacation rental booking sites like Airbnb, Vrbo, and—of course— So, a Vacasa-managed home listed on Airbnb will follow Airbnb’s rules plus Vacasa’s company guidelines.

That’s good news for homeowners. Vacasa’s layered approach to party prevention offers vacation rental owners peace of mind (and helps them effortlessly nip noise issues in the bud).

Party prevention devices

There are tons of smart home tech options when it comes to monitoring short term rentals. But here’s our take: The best smart home tech for party prevention is a noise monitor.

Noise monitoring systems are discreet, efficient devices built with guest privacy in mind. A noise monitoring device is not a recorder: it simply measures the decibel of sound in your home.

If sustained noise levels inside your vacation rental reach above acceptable levels, the noise monitor will let you or your manager know if something is amiss. It’s an easy way to keep tabs on your guests (and keep the neighbors happy).

Comprehensive smart home tech comes free with Vacasa

The advantages of smart tech devices are undeniable. So, we offer three convenient, secure technologies to Vacasa homeowners for free.

When a homeowner partners with us, we cover the cost, installation, and upkeep of:

  • A wireless smart lock, which allows guests and your local Vacasa team to seamlessly enter your home using a code.
  • A secure WiFi router, which protects your personal login data and makes getting online simple (and allows us to monitor the number of guests connected to the network).
  • A noise monitoring device, which our local team monitors and responds to, so you don’t have to.

Smart tech combined with local, full-service management can be a powerful thing. Compare the relative impact of smart devices when self-managing (listing and maintaining a vacation rental on Airbnb, Vrbo, or another website) versus Vacasa’s full-service vacation rental management.



Smart home monitoring

Pays for smart home devices on their own dime

Provides a secure WiFi router, smart locks, and noise monitoring devices for free

24/7 local support

Hires and coordinates service or does it themselves

Has a dedicated local property manager on call, 24/7

Guest screening

Get some support from booking platforms, but must decide if a booking is right for their home

Utilizes guest screening networks, and has an in-house booking team to address risky reservations

Some events are good, too

If you have the right property, opening your home for weddings or larger gatherings (like a corporate retreat) can give you a distinct advantage in a competitive marketplace.

Event-friendly vacation rentals offer space for their guests to roam or are situated in gathering-friendly communities.

Assess if your home can host events, and create special rules to accommodate them. Ask yourself:

  • How many people can my home host for an event?
  • Does my community allow a celebratory gathering?
  • Do I have neighbors nearby to consider?
  • How much parking could I provide?
  • How do I expect my guests to clean up after an event like a wedding?
  • Does the listing website I use allow events? What special rules must I abide by?

At Vacasa, event-friendly homes can provide their owners with a lucrative income stream.

We have an event-friendly search filter, which allows guests to find homes that are perfect for weddings and groups. Our group booking service can help guests with special reservations (like weddings, retreats, and reunions) find the perfect home for their needs, understand the rules, and often locate local vendors.

Party prevention FAQ

As of summer 2020, Airbnb set out a strict no-party policy. Now, regardless of actual occupancy, an Airbnb listing may not allow more than 16 people to stay during a reservation.

Additionally, guests must agree to Airbnb’s Community Guidelines when booking their stay. These guidelines include details about what behavior is acceptable, and allow hosts to add their own rules.

Learn more about Airbnb party prevention on their site.

It might be a hard pill to swallow, but there is no surefire way to party-proof a vacation rental.

Consider these ideas to help you avoid problems with unauthorized events:

  1. Set clear house rules, and make sure guests agree to them before their visit.
  2. Install a noise monitoring system, and ensure it functions properly before each booking.
  3. Check in with potential guests who rent for one night in the city they live in. Often, these bookings are for family, or while work is being done at their home (but it’s always good to open the conversation).
  4. Follow your listing site’s recommendations for party prevention.
  5. Communicate with your neighbors.
  6. Hire a professional, local vacation rental manager.

To help stop parties at your vacation rental, we recommend at the very least investing in a noise monitoring device.

For more comprehensive prevention, we think managing with a smart tech-enabled, local vacation rental manager is your best bet. (We have a great one in mind, too.)

Let's get started

Talk to us

You've got questions. We've got answers.

Call 888-513-1785 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.

If you'd like to move forward, we’ll put you in touch with our market expert in your neighborhood to explore the financial potential of your home, outline our management fee, and introduce your local team.


Get more info

Not ready to chat? We’ll email you more info to explore.

You might also like...

vacation rental kitchen with light blue backsplash in kauai, HI
Vacation rentals vs. hotels
Woman with two children enter vacation home
Traveling with kids? Opt for a family vacation rental
Aerial view of Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park
9 national park vacation ideas
neutral-hued living space with stone fireplace in East Hampton, NY
Third night’s a charm: Most popular long-weekend getaways