HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - We had two important stories about illegal vacation rentals last week – and they led to what feels like a breakthrough.
The first story was that VRBO sent letters to Kauai homeowners to try and get them to join the vacation rental industry – even though doing so would be illegal.
The other significant story was about a Kailua illegal operator advertised on the site, who was still taking in customers after seven years of city citations and $1.5 million in unpaid fines.
After our stories, VRBO stepped up to do the right thing. It apologized for the solicitation letters and finally removed the Kailua rental from its site.
It also alerted us to a sister site called stayneighborly.com, where complaints about vacation rentals are welcome.
Perhaps VRBO has seen the light that it need to be more than just a website, and become a partner with communities affected by out-of control rentals.
More likely, they’ve realized that without some degree of self regulation, crackdowns which politicians have been promising for years, will finally become reality.