Short-term vacation rental listings on two major online platforms will need to publicly disclose their location and tax numbers if they want to continue operating, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced on Tuesday.

The mayor signed memoranda of understanding with Airbnb and Expedia, which runs the platform VRBO. The agreements follow legislation passed last year that cracked down on illegal rentals that critics complained were overrunning residential areas, taking up valuable housing stock and threatening the hotel industry. The effort was supported by lobbyists from the American Hotel and Lodging Association and the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association.

Since that law was passed, the Department of Planning and Permitting has received around 1,500 complaints and issued nearly 500 notices of violation, according to the DPP website.

Under the agreements with the platforms, people listing a rental will be required to post their tax map key and transient accommodations tax number. Without that information, new ads will not be posted, according to the city, and existing ads that don’t provide this information will be deactivated. The new rules take effect in 90 days, the city said.

This system will help the DPP to better enforce the law, Caldwell said.

“We know there are bad actors out there, and this will help us crack down on them. While this is not a panacea, it’s a step forward,” Caldwell said in a statement. “For our residents who depend on this income, we want to provide an avenue for people to list their rentals in a legal, and transparent manner. This collaboration will also provide a step forward for effective enforcement of illegal vacation rentals, and ensures that our neighborhoods remain neighborhoods for local families.”

Not a subscription

Civil Beat is a small nonprofit newsroom, and we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content because we believe in journalism as a public service.
 
That’s why donations from readers like you are essential to our continued existence.
 
Help keep our journalism free for all readers by becoming a monthly member of Civil Beat today.

About the Author