A Poway homeowner who listed his property as a short-term vacation rental was stunned to learn that his Thursday booking planned to throw an 18-hour pool party and was even selling tickets for the bash online.
General admission tickets for the "Freak Link Pool Party" were listed on the popular event website EventBrite.com for $20, while VIP after-party tickets were going for $40.
A disclaimer on the event's page warned would-be partiers that ticket prices were subject to change at the door. A promotional video attached to the listing showing partiers shoulder-to-shoulder on a pool deck gave the impression that this week's "Freak Link" was a hot ticket.
Poway deputies were tipped off Tuesday when a concerned citizen sent them the online flyer. Investigators noticed the promotion company on the flyer, C3 From Compton, was also the name under the rental booking so they paid the homeowner a visit.
"[The homeowner] had no knowledge of it and was very grateful we had stopped by to let him know. He immediately canceled the rental for this week," San Diego Sheriff's Department Captain Dave Schaller said.
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Since pandemic-related public health orders shut down public parties, promoters are taking advantage of an apparent loophole that short-term rentals present, according to Captain Schaller.
"I assume that these people are people who would otherwise be doing events at locations, maybe night clubs or other locations where they might rent a hall," the captain explained.
And whether it's the homeowner's party, or a rental client's, deputies are still in charge of shutting them down in Poway.
"Yes, we still would [shut it down]. It's become a commercial event. It is unlicensed and currently not real smart because of the public health side of it," Schaller said.
This situation is new to Poway, but it is the second such party organized in as many weeks. According to Schaller, the best defense is the eyes and ears of the neighborhood.
"I imagine people won't really put up with that," neighbor Tom Regan said.
Regan describes the neighborhood as quiet with kids often outside playing outside, a scene that would surely be disrupted if C3 From Compton had its way.
"It would be a little worrisome. Hundreds of people. We don't really have enough room or parking. You really don't want hundreds of people coming in the neighborhood," Regan said.
NBC 7 reached out to C3 From Compton and another company promoting the event via email and has not heard back.
Deputies responding to any unlawful party would first issue a warning and an order to disperse. Upon a second visit, civil penalties and fines could be handed down to the homeowner, Captain Schaller said.
The sheriff's department recommends if short-term rental landlords are suspicious, they might google their own address to see if a tenant is promoting a house party there.