Airbnb Takes Legal Action Against Guest Who Hosted Party of Hundreds in Brookhaven

Suffolk County broke up a gathering of hundreds of people at 51 Hawkins Lane in Brookhaven early Monday morning. (Google Earth)

Airbnb is pursuing legal action against a guest who rented a mansion in Brookhaven and threw a party of about 400 people over the weekend.

The company, whose app homeowners use to rent out their properties short-term, has cited “violation of Airbnb’s Community Standards and Terms of Service, nuisance, and that the guest booked the listing under false pretenses,” according to a statement released today.

Ben Breit, an Airbnb spokesperson, said that the company’s claims against the guest “and potentially anyone else responsible” for throwing or promoting the party “will be litigated in arbitration or state court.” The individual who hosted the party has also been banned from using the platform.

Suffolk County officials first discussed the incident during a news conference on Tuesday. Chief of Police Stuart Cameron said the county police department received multiple calls reporting the incident at 51 Hawkins Lane, and officers responded at about 12:25 a.m. Monday morning. They were on the scene for more than four hours dispersing the crowds.

“There’s no question that an event like this is a public health issue,” Cameron said. “The department is committed to taking enforcement action on this, locating the responsible party and making sure they’re held accountable.”

During a news conference Thursday, Cameron could not give further details about the ongoing investigation. However, officials said the homeowner, who also reported the incident when they learned of it, is cooperating, and the guest appeared to be from out of state.

Earlier this summer, Airbnb banned all parties and events at all listings rented through its service. It also instated new policies requiring guests to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines. They indicated then that the company would take legal action against those who violated those rules. Before the Brookhaven incident, Airbnb also took legal action against two guests in California and one in Ohio.

Yesterday, the company banned one-night stays in listings that offer an “entire home” for New Years’ Eve in North America, Western Europe, and Australia. 

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