LIHU‘E — Similar to a partnership the county signed with Expedia Group last week to assist in the enforcement of short-term-vacation-rental laws, on Monday the county announced an agreement with Airbnb.
County law limits short-term rentals to designated Visitor Destination Areas or areas designated for hotels.
County Planning Department Director Ka‘aina Hull said there are around 4,000 legal short-term rental properties. In 2016, the county found there were about 1,500 to 1,600 illegal operations. The county currently estimates there are around 250. Discovered illegal operations are fined $10,000 per day of operation.
Airbnb and Expedia Group, which owns VRBO and HomeAway, will require hosts to input a tax map key number to appear on the platforms. Each month the platforms will submit a report to the county including the link to the listing and the host-provided TMK number.
From there, the county will cross-check the validity of the TMK number and contact the platform to have illegal operations removed. Renters may only relist the property with a valid TMK number.
Both Airbnb and Expedia Group have also agreed to educate hosts about the county’s short-term-rental laws.
The partnership between the county and Expedia was the first cooperative agreement between a travel platform and a government entity in the state.
“Short-term rentals are a vital source of supplemental income for local residents, and for many the only source of income,” said Matt Middlebrook, Airbnb’s head of public policy in Hawai‘i, in a press release.
“We are grateful to Mayor Kawakami and County Planning Director Ka‘aina Hull for working with us on an agreement that preserves the benefits of short-term rentals for residents and the local economy, while providing the county the tools to bring rental owners and operators into compliance with local law. We hope this agreement serves as a fair, common-sense model for other counties looking to promote compliance and leverage the benefits of home-sharing.”
Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.