There’s nothing like the privacy of a charming bed and breakfast to round out your dream vacation. Hawaii B&B’s take you out of the city and into the peace-and-quiet of a secluded beach or a tropical forest. Because these quaint cottages offer a more private getaway than most corporate hotel chains, it’s no wonder more and more tourists are choosing to stay at B&B’s.

Look for legal vacation rentals, like this B&B in Kailua.

Sadly, this growing trend has also caught on with scammers in Hawaii. During the past few years, a rash of illegal B&B’s and transient vacation rentals (TVU’s) have been popping up throughout residential neighborhoods and creating a constant flow of overnight vacationers. Not only have they been a nuisance in peaceful suburban communities, but they’ve also been the culprit of property tax rates for locals doubling over the past four years, according to BnB Coalition.

You can check out their website ( for more tips. But the main way of telling if a B&B or TVU is a sham is by asking if they have:

(1) A Non-Conforming Use Certificate AND (2) An exact address (including apartment number).

If they answer “no” to either, then you’ve got yourself a fake.

If they answer “yes” and provide an address, then be sure to double check it. Plug it into this website (, and if proof of proper permits and zoning pop up, you’re good to go. Otherwise, ditch that B&B and find another.


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