AirBnB and VRBO Oahu Vacation Rental Apocalypse Looming

So you finally got the deal of a lifetime thanks to AirBnB or VRBO and are headed to Honolulu YAY!!. You’ve made your plans have done all your research and ready to go. There may be one thing you’ve overlooked. The pending Oahu Vacation Rental Apocalypse.

Oahu visitors who have booked accommodations through vacation rental booking apps after August 1 should immediately check on the status of their reservation. A new law has passed that restricts vacation rentals on the island, and some visitors are being told that their rentals are no longer available (or legal).

The new law limits the number of vacation rental permits to 1,700. New permits will only be given to properties in resort areas (Waikiki, Ko Olina, Turtle Bay) and to whole-house properties with the owner living in the house (beginning October 2020). Permits will be offered in other areas only to properties that are rented for 30 days or more.

The laws will be enforced through a “electronic sting” by targeting advertised properties that do not list a permit number, host data including name, address, tax ID numbers, length of stays and amount paid. Violators can face fines of up to $10,000.

A similar but more restrictive law was vetoed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. The changes take place after a long battle, with the hotel industry and hotel worker labor unions lobbying for more robust regulation of the booming short-term property rentals, and residents in areas like Kailua have long decried the rapid growth of the illegal vacation rentals in their neighborhoods.

The inventory of Vacation rentals in Hawaii will surely be impacted, and many visitors may find that their accommodations will become illegal on August 1. This can be distressing for people who have already booked and paid for accommodations on Oahu, only to learn that rentals are no longer available.

We here at Hawaii Aloha Travel can help Oahu visitors affected by the changes in the short-term vacation rentals law. Our local experts will find the best possible deals for visitors who now find themselves without suitable accommodation. We are eager to help any Oahu visitors inconvenienced by the new vacation rental regulations.