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City teams up with Airbnb, Vrbo to crack down on illegal vacation rentals

HNN File
HNN File(HNN)
Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 2:02 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city is teaming up with Airbnb and Expedia, the parent company of Vrbo, to crack down on illegal vacation rentals on Oahu.

A new memorandum of agreement is aimed at tracking and regulating Oahu vacation rentals, including by ensuring legal rentals are properly taxed and illegal rentals are shut down.

“We know there are bad actors out there, and this will help us crack down on them. While this is not a panacea, it’s a step forward,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

“For our residents who depend on this income, we want to provide an avenue for people to list their rentals in a legal, and transparent manner.”

Under the MOU, the two platforms will provide detailed information on listings so the city can ensure they’re legal. There will also be changes made to listings to make sure they’re properly taxed.

The changes come as Oahu is slowly beginning to see tourism ramp up with the state’s pre-travel testing program, which allows incoming travelers who test negative for COVID-19 to skip quarantine.

Vacation rentals were not allowed to operate on Oahu until the island moved into Tier 2 of its reopening strategy. In October, Oahu vacation rentals had an occupancy rate of 27%.

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