Mainland college students seek rentals in Hawaii. One realty company is apprehensive

Updated: Aug. 12, 2020 at 8:24 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - There's high demand from mainland college students who want to rent homes together in Hawaii to ride out the pandemic, but one realty company says it's rejecting the new business.

Realty Group Hawaii oversees about 35 long-term rentals on Oahu from Kakaako apartments to spacious luxury homes.

Principal broker Fannie Cline says she gets 10 to 15 inquiries per day and 90 percent are mainland college students wanting to rent in Hawaii for 3 to 6 months while they do their studies online.

"Everybody wants to come to Hawaii right," said Cline.

“We have some homes that are renting for $5,000 a month. We’re getting a lot of inquiries and they want to put five people in the house so that would be $1,000 per student.

She says the students promise to quarantine and their parents acting as co-signers say they've got good kids, but Cline doubts they'd obey the law.

“I kind of chuckle a little bit on the phone because, really, are your kids never going to set foot out of that house for 14 days,” said Cline.

“There was a lot of concern from our owners with the parents being the cosigner on the mainland and the kids running free here. There’s just not a lot of oversight you know we’ve all been college kids once,” she added.

She says some mainland college students have broken quarantine to try to look at homes for rent and she warns landlords can be held responsible. Her firm won't accept leases shorter than 6 months.

“Our other concern is the community, those around us and our neighborhoods that we have our listings in. We like to respect that culture in the community,” she said.

The U Experience controversy involving some Hawaii hotels got intense backlash, but Cline predicts there will be more of this type of college demand as the pandemic wears on.

Cline says she also gets calls from workers in the tech industry where groups of young professionals want to rent a house together.

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