Published on Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Honolulu to impose tough new vacation rental rules

The Honolulu City Council voted in tough new regulations for Oahu's vacation rentals and home sharing, which could lead to hefty fines for both owners and online platforms like Airbnb.

The bill will allow up to 1,715 new vacation rental units as long as the owner-occupant lives on site.

The bill allows hosts to advertise and list online platforms like Airbnb  but they could also be liable to fines for any violations.

Both host and online platform could be hit with fines of up to $10,000 if they do not file monthly reports with the name, address, length of stay and price of bookings, as well as the relevant transient accommodations tax ID number.

Airbnb and others have long opposed these reporting requirements.

New tougher rules are long overdue said bill co-author, Councilman Ron Menor.

"Illegal short-term rentals have gone unchecked for too long. The spread of vacation rentals has resulted in huge societal costs. It has negatively affected the character of our residential neighborhoods, depleted our stock of affordable rentals, and hurt our economy," Menor said.

It is estimated there could be as many as 10,000 units across Oahu currently operating as short term rentals on an ad-hoc or permanent basis.

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