Bill banning short-term vacation rentals on Oahu

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Mayor Rick Blangiardi signed Bill 41, pertaining to short-term vacation rental properties on Oahu, on Tuesday, April 26.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi, Council Member Brandon Elefante, Council Member Esther Kiaʻāina, Deputy Director of the Planning and Permits Department Dawn Takeuchi Apuna and other community leaders will be in attendance.

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Council member Brandon Elefante said it was one of the most complicated bills he had worked on since taking office.

“This bill and this legislature will leave a legacy for future generations,” Elefante said. “It will increase Hawaii’s housing stock if the application is taken seriously.”

Mayor Rick Blangiardi said they estimate the number of illegal short-term vacation rentals at between 10,000 and 14,000 in Hawaii.

“We are going to hire inspectors in the field and the software we are going to buy. We looked at a number of programs and I was amazed at how detailed they are,” Blangiardi said. “Enforcement will be key and we absolutely intend to enforce this new bill.”

Bill 41 will limit vacation rentals to certain areas, including Turtle Bay, Makaha, Ko Olina and parts of Waikiki and require a minimum stay of three months instead of 30 days, which is the current regulation. Bill 41 will come into force 180 days after it is signed.

The crackdown on illegal short-term rentals has intensified in recent years throughout the pandemic.

In February 2022, as part of a new agreement with Maui County to promote responsible lodging, Airbnb recently removed over 1,300 listings in accordance with local laws.

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This is the first enforcement action taken by the company after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in July 2021 which allows the county to better enforce its rules in the short term. The agreement is similar to those signed with Kauai and Honolulu in 2020.

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