City issuing notices of violation to illegal short-term rental operators
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, September 11, 2019
The Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) has issued 37 notices of violation (NOV) to operators of vacation rentals suspected of violating the new ordinance regulating short-term rental advertising, and more NOVs are anticipated in the coming weeks.
In addition to the ad violations, the DPP has issued 12 NOVs since Aug. 1 for illegal use of a dwelling unit for a short-term rental.
Ordinance 19-18 (Bill 89) took effect on Aug. 1 and made it illegal to advertise properties for short-term rentals of less than 30 days. Property owners with non-conforming use certificates (NUC) may advertise for less than 30 days, but must include their NUC registration number in their advertisements.
Violating the law would subject the owners to an initial fine of $1,000 and daily fines of $1,000 to $10,000 if the advertisement isn’t removed. To date, no fines have been issued.
Of the 37 NOVs, seven have been corrected, meaning the operator has either removed the ad, or changed it to comply with the ordinance. Although no fines have been issued, the DPP is preparing to issue a Notice of Order, which carries the fines, to at least one operator.
The law and increased enforcement efforts appear to be having an impact on the number of advertisements on hosting platforms. Since Aug. 1, a search of several platforms on the internet shows a decrease in ads from about 5,000 to nearly 3,400 as of the first week in September.
Ordinance 19-18 is intended to allow DPP to better regulate short-term vacation rentals, which have negatively impacted residential neighborhoods across the island. Enforcement of the advertising restrictions began on Aug. 1 and a second component of the law will be effective on Oct. 1, 2020. This will require the registration of a limited number of new bed and breakfasts, and require hosting platforms to file monthly reports to the DPP.
Anyone wishing to report a suspected illegal vacation rental can call the DPP at 768-8127.