Photo Credit: Photo| Hawaii State Department of Health
Honolulu Partners With Expedia, Airbnb To Crackdown On Illegal Vacation Rentals
Airbnb and Expedia have agreed on a partnership with Honolulu to help the city crackdown on illegal vacation rentals.
It’s a change of tone from Expedia, whose leaders were disappointed with the city’s council unanimous vote to limit bed-and-breakfast rentals, as Travel Noire previously reported.
In 2019, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed legislation that would enforce the strict vacation rental laws on the island after residents voiced their concerns about “unhosted transient vacation units.”
An unhosted vacation rental is defined as a property in which the owner rents out their entire home in their absence, which has only been allowed in Waikiki, Ko Olina, and Turtle Bay rental resorts.
Property owners and investors have ignored the limitations over the years, which has driven up property values, residents who oppose vacation rentals said.
As a result of the bill, the city started issuing licenses to bed-and-breakfasts on Oct. 1, 2020. To list properties on sites such as Airbnb and Expedia, owners must display their Tax Map Key and their Transient Accommodations Tax identification numbers on all online advertising, including social media.
Listings lacking these numbers will be removed from the websites.
Honolulu has approximately 800 legal breakfast units, but some studies have estimated 10 times as many illegal ones.
City officials hope the partnership with Expedia and Airbnb will help eliminate the bad actors.
“We know there are bad actors out there, and this will help us crackdown on them. While this is not a panacea, it’s a step forward,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell told USA Today in a statement.