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Man goes to press watchdog after daily brands property ‘party house’

NewIPSOA man complained to the press watchdog after a regional daily described his property as a “party house”.

Abdul Ahmed complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation over a Bolton News story which contained several allegations from neighbours to the property who said that there had been parties there.

Mr Ahmed complained use of the term “party house” by the News was inaccurate because it gave the misleading impression it was being let as a house to party in, when in fact parties were not allowed at the property.

But IPSO found no wrongdoing on the part of the newspaper, which said Mr Ahmed had accepted that a large house party had taken place there.

The story reported on a Saturday night party which had occurred in a property that had been rented out on property website Airbnb, with the subheadline stating that: “Neighbours [had been] kept awake until 6am by teenagers using holiday home for parties.”

Complaining under Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 2 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, Mr Ahmed accepted there had been a party at the property on the Saturday night in question.

But he said there had not been any previous parties, nor had the police been called about them, nor had he received any complaints from the neighbours through Airbnb.

Mr Ahmed believed the story intruded into his private life because it included photographs of the property, one of which showed his car and its registration plate.

Denying a breach of Code, The News said the allegations that there had been several parties and that the police had been called in the past had been based on a discussion with several neighbours and had been presented as claims in the article rather than asserted as fact.

It did not consider that it was misleading to term the house a “party house” where Mr Ahmed accepted that a large house party had taken place there on the Saturday night.

The News said the photo of the property was from a public listing on Airbnb and therefore there was no reasonable expectation of privacy over it, while Mr Ahmed’s name and personal address had not been mentioned.

IPSO found the News had included comments and allegations from Mr Ahmed’s neighbours, which had been clearly attributed to them, and that throughout it was made clear that the claims were allegations and not established fact.

It added that where the term “party house” was in quotation marks, this was distinguishable as comment.

The complaint was not upheld, and the full adjudication can be read here.