HONOLULU (KHON2) – The City Department of Planning and Permitting has given out 37 notices of violation for short-term rental advertising.
The City and County of Honolulu law, making it illegal to advertise short-term rentals of less than 30 days, was only introduced on August 1st.
Notices of violation have been given out in areas such as Waikiki and Kailua. Hawaii State Rep. Chris Lee, who represents Kailua, said the community has been waiting for regulation like this for a long time.
“We have had people who’ve complained for years about neighboring houses that have had parties and cars blocking driveways as vacationers come in and out. [They] can start to see some relief so I think this is definitely a step in the right direction.”Rep. Chris Lee
Within a month, he said he’s already seen some changes.
“We’ve already heard from a number of residents that there are already homes that are converting from vacation rentals back into long term rentals. People have already moved in,” said Lee.
Department of Planning and Permitting has also seen an impact. The department said it’s seen short-term rental advertisements online drop from about 5,000 to nearly 3,400.
12 notices of violation have also been given out for illegally using a dwelling for short-term rental purposes.
“That’s something that clearly impacts the availability of housing not just in Kailua but in the whole island,” said Lee.
Fines for violating the law start with an initial $1,000. If an advertisement still isn’t removed, then there are daily fines from $1,000 up to $10,000.
The department said, out of the 37 notices of violation, seven have been corrected. No fines have been issued out yet, but the Department of Planning and Permitting is preparing to send them out to at least one short-term rental operator.
Rep. Lee also said new bills could be introduced in the legislature to further expand on county laws for short-term rentals.
“The state, I would imagine, would come back to take a look at how do you make sure those people are paying taxes, are abiding by the law and operating legally, to make sure they are contributing to the community in the same way,” said Lee.