Request investigation of suspected illegal vacation rentals with online form

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) has created an online complaint form for the public to request an investigation of a suspected illegal vacation rental, or an illegal short-term rental advertisement.

The form can be found on the DPP’s short-term rental website, http://www.honolulu.gov/dppstr. The identity of persons making the complaints about suspected short-term rentals will be kept confidential.

Ordinance 19-18, also known as Bill 89, mandates the department implement a complaint system specifically for short-term vacation rentals. The ordinance also requires the department to respond to complainants within 30 days of a complaint being submitted.

The short-term rental complaint must identify the address of the suspected illegal vacation rental, provide facts that cause the complainant to believe a violation has occurred, and provide the complainant’s address where the director may send a response.

“Our residential neighborhoods should foster a spirit of community and a peaceful environment,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “While tourism is an important part of our local economy, we must not allow our residential neighborhoods to negatively impact local families. This new website allows DPP to identify suspected short-term rentals that are operating outside of the law and potentially affecting the quality of life for their neighbors.”  

Since the enforcement of Ordinance 19-18 began on Aug. 1, DPP inspectors have issued 242 notices of violation (NOVs) to owners of suspected illegal vacation rentals. Many of the NOVs were the result of residents’ complaints. In all of 2018, the DPP issued just 39 NOVs.

“We are grateful for the community’s active participation in helping us enforce our new short-term rental regulations,” said Kathy Sokugawa, DPP acting director. “Nearly every day we receive information about suspected illegal short-term rentals. We want to continue this support by providing this online form so the public is aware of what specific kinds of information is needed for the department to issue notices of violation. This will increase the pace of NOVs being issued.”

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