Kauai County just gained a powerful new tool for cracking down on illegal vacation rentals: A deal that requires the popular short-term rental platform Vrbo to vet its listings for illegal rentals.

The agreement between Kauai County and Expedia Group, the parent company that owns Vrbo, also requires the platform to provide the county with monthly reports about the properties it advertises.

Kauai County has long been trying to tame the short-term vacation rental industry, powered by Airbnb and other online platforms, that critics say is fueling an affordable housing crisis.

Under the agreement with Expedia, Vrbo will now only allow rental properties to join its platform if they provide a government-issued Tax Map Key number, which will be published on the property listing.

Properties already on the platform will have 60 days to provide a TMK number or the listing will be deactivated.

The partnership marks the first time that a Hawaii government has entered into a cooperative agreement with a travel platform.

In a press release, Kauai Planning Director Kaaina Hull said the deal with Expedia, a year in the making, will help the county enforce vacation rental laws while protecting the rights of people with permitted vacation rentals to advertise their properties.

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