Hawaii recently passed one of the island’s most strictest vacation rental laws in over 40 years.
A bill signed by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, aims at limiting the number of bed and breakfast rentals to 1,715. The Honolulu City Council suspects there are close to 10,000 vacation rentals on Oahu with only 770 of them being legally licensed to provide short-term rentals.
Rentals in frequented resort areas – Turtle Bay, Waikiki and Ko Olina – are not subjected to the new law.
The bill was implemented to change the neighborhood layout. Lawmakers wrote that the residents were quite vocal about their concerns of unhosted temporary vacation units, especially when there are multiple of them in one neighborhood.
The key behind the bill isn’t meant to penalize people who stay in these types of B&Bs but fining owners who advertise their units for rent. Digital stings will be set up to find these illegal rentals. Operations take effect Aug. 1, and owners caught illegally offering B&B services will be subjected to a $1,000 fine for the first violation. Subsequent violations will be $5,000 a day.
Hawaii Good Neighbor member Tyler Dos Santos-Tam said he’s a bit skeptical that the new law will be enforced, but hope he’s wrong. Santos-Tam said he hopes the action hits hard on the first day and continues to crack down.
The city will start to issue B&B licenses Oct. 1, 2020. After which, B&B owners will need to display their permit number on any online advertising medium such as social media.
People who have booked a vacation rental already are encouraged to reach out to the owner to find out if they’ll be registering the space with the city council.
This World Brief was written by Susan Powell exclusively for World Footprints.