Honolulu cracks down on short-term vacation rentals

/ 01:36 AM June 22, 2019

HONOLULU — Bad news for companies like Airbnb and tourists wanting to experience an authentic home-style stay on the Hawaiian on and a big win for the hotel business.


The Honolulu City Council, after decades of indecision, voted 9-0 to pass an ordinance imposing tougher new regulations on vacation rentals while permitting fewer than 2,000 new units to operate.

Bill 89 (2018) would allow permits to be issued, for the first time in three decades, for up to about 1,715 additional bed-and-breakfast establishments (B&Bs), but no permits would be allowed for vacation rental homes (transient vacation units, or TVUs).


Honolulu’s City Council in session.

On Oahu, B&Bs and TVUs collectively are short-term rentals — leased to parties for less than 30 days.


The city stopped issuing permits for short-term rentals in 1989. There are currently 816 legal short-term rentals left on Oahu. But the city Department of Planning and Permitting estimates there are 6,000 to 8,000 illegal vacation rentals. The advent of online platforms where vacationers can find rentals has contributed to the growth.

Any property owner violating this new rule will pay a civil fine not to exceed $1,000.00 per day for each day in which the violation persists such fines can be as high as $25,000.00 per day and in some cases as much as $100,000.00 a day

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TAGS: Airbnb, B&Bs, Honolulu vacation rental restrictions, short-term vacation rentals, transient vacation units, TVUs, vacation rentals
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