Home listed as ‘get-together spot’ on Airbnb, VRBO becomes huge problem for some neighbors in Spring Branch area

Video shows parties being thrown at the home on several different weekends

Neighbors want it to end
Neighbors want it to end

SPRING BRANCH – Residents in the Westview Terrace neighborhood in Spring Branch gathered Friday to express their concern about what has been happening at home nearby.

“It’s so many people, and we don’t know who they are and it’s just extremely loud,” said longtime resident, Mimi Sutton.

Neighboring homes have caught footage of the wild parties, which occur on weekends and often feature scantily-clad women, outdoor drinking and a lot of noise.

“There are guns. I have seen guns,” said neighbor, Mike Aselin.

The Houston Police Department has visited the property on multiple occasions, and in some cases, issued citations, including noise ordinance tickets.

The problem is the city of Houston does not really have a method to permanently intercede in these sorts of situations, other than listing citations. Repeated noise violation can not lead to property condemnation.

“It’s a hard problem when people are paying the fines and they’re continuing to do this again and again,” Amy Peck, Houston City Council Member, said.

Peck said that she has asked that the Houston Police Department to step up patrols in the area.

The house on the 6500 block of Sivley, was specifically advertised to rent as a short-term get-together spot on VRBO and Airbnb.

KPRC 2 Investigates contacted the owner of the home Friday, who said he had removed the short-term rental listing for the house, and we could not find any such listing on Friday.

Westview Terrace, an older neighborhood, does have deed restrictions, meaning things homeowners can not do with their property and rules that stay with the house, regardless of owner. But the restrictions do not include a ban on a short-term rental, which some newer neighborhoods have adopted.

Peck said a colleague was crafting a stronger noise ordinance for introduction at the city council that proposes to make noise ordinance violations increasingly more punitive. They are capped at $1,000, currently, but are usually are much less costly, depending on circumstance and jurisdiction.