Trouble in Paradise? Thousands of Hawaii Vacation Rentals Could Be Shut Down

November 4, 2007 | By | Reply More
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Kona HawaiiOne of the great delights of traveling to Hawaii has always been the abundance of vacation rental properties in non-touristy areas. Just scan any vacation rental site ( for instance) and you will see hundreds of listings on every island. Well, not everyone is delighted with the proliferation of rental properties throughout the islands.

Increasing complaints by households in residential neighborhoods has led government officials to enforce zoning and rental laws requiring owners of rental properties and B&B’s to pay state taxes and obtain official permits, or face fines starting at $1,000, with penalties accruing from $100 – $1,000 per day. Permits must be in place by January 1, 2008 or properties face closure. Currently the islands of Oahu, Maui and Kauai are leading the initiative to enforce compliance with new rental laws with all islands expected to follow their lead.

So, where can you find a list of properties with permits in place? Well…..therein lies one of the major problems. It seems no one can agree who should compile and/or be responsible for the list. So none currently exists. If you’re looking forward to renting a vacation property in Hawaii in the coming year, here are steps you can take to protect yourself:

#1 You should be fine if you’re renting in a popular resort area. It’s the out-of-the-way properties in quieter areas that will come under scrutiny first.

#2 Ask the rental owner directly (or rental agency) if they have the required permit and ask for a copy of the permit if you wish.

#3 Check with the island’s Visitors Bureau about the current requirements and how to proceed with your rental questions.

Finally, if you do rent in a pristine, less-touristed area, be considerate of the neighbors who are not on vacation, and who make that beautiful area their home every day.

Category: Hawaii Travel Tips, Hotels, Inns, B&Bs