HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kauai officials are publicly condemning a national vacation rental company for sending out mailers to homeowners, urging them to rent out their properties to visitors.
Kauai Prosecutor Justin Kollar said VRBO and Homeaway, owned by the same company, sent out the mailers.
In the mass mailers, VRBO promised homeowners $1,000 in income for January.
“These mailers only confirm the predatory practices of some in the homeshare industry and this needs to stop,” said Michael Dahilig, Kauai County planning director, in a news release.
“VRBO’s and Homeaway’s unethical actions highlight their complete disregard for the impacts their reckless corporate actions create for our communities by taking housing away from our local residents.”
The mailers cite “unprecedented demand” for vacation rentals on Kauai, and were sent out to residents in a number of communities, including Anahola, Kapaa, Lihue and Waimea.
A report published earlier this year estimated that 1 in 8 Kauai homes is a vacation rental.
Homeowners with vacation rentals outside of county-designated areas are considered illegal, and violators can face fines of up to $10,000 a day.
“I take seriously any organization actively recruiting Kauai’s homeowners into engaging in illegal activities harming our communities,” Kollar said, in the news release. “These companies should be ashamed of themselves, and aware that any of their activities will be investigated for criminal wrongdoing and potentially prosecuted.”