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Is Hawaii Vacation Rental Law Hindering Homeowners From Making Quick Cash?

(Honolulu, Hawaii) When will the ban on short-term rentals be lifted in Hawaii? For goodness sake, with the world economy hitting our pocketbooks, why can’t we just legally put up our homes as vacation rentals several times a month while we check into a hotel to relax and enjoy what Hawaii has to offer?

President Obama rents a couple of weeks each Christmas at their Hawaii Winter White House in Kailua. If the homeowner who rents to the first family does not have a legal permit to operate short-term rentals, then according to the city’s long-standing ban on short-term rentals, the President’s stay was illegal. (Not on the President’s part of course, just on the part of the homeowner.)

I commend property managers who creatively book homes for less than 30 days each month. Some people interpret the law that vacation rentals are prohibited if a client rents less than one full month. Many homeowner associations prohibit residents from renting out their houses or condos for less than one month, three months, or six months, but did you know that you do not have to rent out your home for the full 30 days to comply?

The law states that as long as you leave a 30-day window, you’re okay. So, unless your association specifically states you cannot have short-term tenants less than one month, you can rent your home for a short amount of time during a 30 day period. You can get around the short-term rental rules by making sure you don’t rent out 15 days before, or 15 days after your contract.

Since the 1980s, Honolulu’s land-use ordinance has required anyone renting property for a period of “less than 30 days” to obtain a permit to do so. The law was crafted to discourage a spike in short-term vacation rentals, which had residents in many communities complaining of wild parties and other neighborhood disruptions. The city has not issued any new permits in two decades.

If you are a homeowner, and you would like to profit once in awhile by renting out your personal residence, or an investment property as a vacation rental, write your local council representative and lobby to make vacation rentals legal again. People in your neighborhood are cashing in and doing well. In fact, many homes in Kailua have been paid off because of this lucrative vacation rental business. It is just a bummer this ridiculous law can’t be dropped immediately.

For more information on vacation homes, contact me.

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kate

June 28, 2011

What do those of us who don’t vacation rent but live right between 2 vacation rental homes do? We spent millions on our homes trying to find a nice place to raise our family but we have renters that don’t respect our property, come onto our property, party loudly, park in our driveway blocking our entrance, leave overfilled rubbish cans out for days until collection comes around, and many times the renters FILL the houses with people, like 20 people in a 4 bedroom house…the list goes on and on. While the “owners of the property are on the mainland. They could care less what we have to go through dealing with their renters because they know the state won’t do anything to them. From what I understand there is a stiff fine for illegal vacation rentals. Seems to me the state is missing out on some really heavy cash flow if they would keep up with the fining process. Also, why doesn’t the state shut down the websites such as vrbo??

kaaawa local

July 25, 2014

Right on Kate — sounds like you are describing my situation exactly. A couple of rich real estate developers from elsewhere bought the lot next to us 2 yrs ago in Kaaawa, CPR’d it into two totally illegal vacation rentals, and now they’ve got new waves of people in there every week partying, being drunk and obnoxious, leaving rubbish in our yard, and smoking out our house with open fires. My little keiki were coughing and choking late one night from the last group of 40 or so people staying over there. It’s been consistently like this for us. The problem is, they always pack um in, and there’s no way u can control a drunken mob, no matter how nice you ask. For all you “pro-vacation rental” guys, why don’t you try living next to one? See how you like that.
They do not belong here. They make all the money, we suffer all the side effects. None of that money stays in Kaaawa, except maybe 7-11.
Auwe.
And i also saw both their TVU ads on that website, with no permit #.
These particular owners are egregious. Kaaawa is a sleepy, tight community. These jerks are cashing out on our pain.
If you want to make residential vacation rentals work, then you need to find a way to eliminate operations like the one next to us.
Better yet, just stay in waikiki or any other legitimate hotel.
Kate, mahalo for speaking out. Money will dominate everything unless we stick up for our rights.

kate

June 28, 2011

What do those of us who don’t vacation rent but live right between 2 vacation rental homes do? We spent millions on our homes trying to find a nice place to raise our family but we have renters that don’t respect our property, come onto our property, party loudly, park in our driveway blocking our entrance, leave overfilled rubbish cans out for days until collection comes around, and many times the renters FILL the houses with people, like 20 people in a 4 bedroom house…the list goes on and on. While the “owners of the property are on the mainland. They could care less what we have to go through dealing with their renters because they know the state won’t do anything to them. From what I understand there is a stiff fine for illegal vacation rentals. Seems to me the state is missing out on some really heavy cash flow if they would keep up with the fining process. Also, why doesn’t the state shut down the websites such as vrbo??

kaaawa local

July 25, 2014

Right on Kate — sounds like you are describing my situation exactly. A couple of rich real estate developers from elsewhere bought the lot next to us 2 yrs ago in Kaaawa, CPR’d it into two totally illegal vacation rentals, and now they’ve got new waves of people in there every week partying, being drunk and obnoxious, leaving rubbish in our yard, and smoking out our house with open fires. My little keiki were coughing and choking late one night from the last group of 40 or so people staying over there. It’s been consistently like this for us. The problem is, they always pack um in, and there’s no way u can control a drunken mob, no matter how nice you ask. For all you “pro-vacation rental” guys, why don’t you try living next to one? See how you like that.
They do not belong here. They make all the money, we suffer all the side effects. None of that money stays in Kaaawa, except maybe 7-11.
Auwe.
And i also saw both their TVU ads on that website, with no permit #.
These particular owners are egregious. Kaaawa is a sleepy, tight community. These jerks are cashing out on our pain.
If you want to make residential vacation rentals work, then you need to find a way to eliminate operations like the one next to us.
Better yet, just stay in waikiki or any other legitimate hotel.
Kate, mahalo for speaking out. Money will dominate everything unless we stick up for our rights.

Cornelia

July 9, 2011

The genius store called, they’re rnnuing out of you.

Cornelia

July 9, 2011

The genius store called, they’re rnnuing out of you.

Beverly Amaral

August 5, 2011

Aloha Sandra,

I agree with you and on August 10th there is going to be a hearing on this. It is unfortunate that it takes one or 2 properties to make it bad for the rest of the Vacation rental owners on Oahu who don’t have these problems and pay their taxes as well on these rental income.

Beverly Amaral

August 5, 2011

Aloha Sandra,

I agree with you and on August 10th there is going to be a hearing on this. It is unfortunate that it takes one or 2 properties to make it bad for the rest of the Vacation rental owners on Oahu who don’t have these problems and pay their taxes as well on these rental income.

Jennifer

August 8, 2011

Kate–We have vacation rentals next to us and have never encountered the type of thing you describe. It’s the loud kids at the other neighbors house that I’d like to see banned. I sure hope you aren’t in a position of power. Outlaw VRBO??? You’ve got to be kidding? Last time I checked, this was a free country, one built upon free enterprise. There are many places in Hawaii where you have many people living in homes–not just vacation rentals. With the economy the way it is, people are doing what they need to do to survive. Maybe they’ll outlaw families living in homes next. It would eliminate the problem of kids disturbing the tranquility of the neighborhood and impeding traffic as they play in the street. In addition the school bus holds up traffic as it makes its rounds–it would fix that problem too. Yeah, lets just ban kids, doesn’t that sound like a great idea? Don’t laugh, it’s no more ridiculous than the ban on vacation rentals and your proposal to outlaw VRBO.

Jennifer

August 8, 2011

Kate–We have vacation rentals next to us and have never encountered the type of thing you describe. It’s the loud kids at the other neighbors house that I’d like to see banned. I sure hope you aren’t in a position of power. Outlaw VRBO??? You’ve got to be kidding? Last time I checked, this was a free country, one built upon free enterprise. There are many places in Hawaii where you have many people living in homes–not just vacation rentals. With the economy the way it is, people are doing what they need to do to survive. Maybe they’ll outlaw families living in homes next. It would eliminate the problem of kids disturbing the tranquility of the neighborhood and impeding traffic as they play in the street. In addition the school bus holds up traffic as it makes its rounds–it would fix that problem too. Yeah, lets just ban kids, doesn’t that sound like a great idea? Don’t laugh, it’s no more ridiculous than the ban on vacation rentals and your proposal to outlaw VRBO.

Sandra Sagisi Moser

August 8, 2011

Thanks all for your response. Seriously, we are bleeding financially. This is a free country. Why put a stop at opportunities to feed our families. Most vacationers are out on the beach all day and contributing to our economy. Let us legalize short-term rentals.

Sandra Sagisi Moser

August 8, 2011

Thanks all for your response. Seriously, we are bleeding financially. This is a free country. Why put a stop at opportunities to feed our families. Most vacationers are out on the beach all day and contributing to our economy. Let us legalize short-term rentals.

Oahu Homeowners Push to Legalize Short-Term Vacation Rentals in Hawaii « Hawaii Real Estate Market

August 11, 2011

[…] The Planning Commissioners need to understand that we are facing the worst economic times ever, with many of us out of jobs and/or experiencing slow business. Though the hearing was about blocking illegal operators, this is a great time to revisit legalizing short-term vacation rentals, don’t you think? That was the sentiment through phone calls that I received on my last blog titled, Is Hawaii Vacation Rental Law Hindering Homeowners from Making Quick Cash? […]

Oahu Homeowners Push to Legalize Short-Term Vacation Rentals in Hawaii « Hawaii Real Estate Market

August 11, 2011

[…] The Planning Commissioners need to understand that we are facing the worst economic times ever, with many of us out of jobs and/or experiencing slow business. Though the hearing was about blocking illegal operators, this is a great time to revisit legalizing short-term vacation rentals, don’t you think? That was the sentiment through phone calls that I received on my last blog titled, Is Hawaii Vacation Rental Law Hindering Homeowners from Making Quick Cash? […]

nuka

December 21, 2011

Sandra, There are many things one can do to make some “quik cash”. Some illegal and some absolutely immoral. Willing to ruin a once pristine neighborhood for a little “quik cash.”? That makes me sick. I barely recognize the town I grew up in. I can’t afford to live there because of these vacation rentals take away from residential properties available. We have zoning laws for a reason. Think RESIDENTIAL. If you bought a property you can’t afford,sell it. Your illegal vacation rentals are you like turning a trick. Some people will do anything for money.

nuka

December 21, 2011

Sandra, There are many things one can do to make some “quik cash”. Some illegal and some absolutely immoral. Willing to ruin a once pristine neighborhood for a little “quik cash.”? That makes me sick. I barely recognize the town I grew up in. I can’t afford to live there because of these vacation rentals take away from residential properties available. We have zoning laws for a reason. Think RESIDENTIAL. If you bought a property you can’t afford,sell it. Your illegal vacation rentals are you like turning a trick. Some people will do anything for money.

Wendy Hirokawa

January 7, 2012

My husband, like many others, can’t find a job. I’m the only bread winner for our family. It would lift a great burden to be able to vacation rental our house. I know some renters are not ideal, but we would only want to rent to a family visiting our islands. I don’t think anyone would want a group of party people tearing up their house. People that are not responsible wouldn’t have managed to purchase a house here in our beautiful islands.

Sandra Sagisi Moser

January 8, 2012

Wendy and others. I hear you. The burden is heavy. Homeowners have the option to screen and chose professionals as tenants.
I thank all for joining my vacation rental blog.
Mahalo,
Sandra

Wendy Hirokawa

January 7, 2012

My husband, like many others, can’t find a job. I’m the only bread winner for our family. It would lift a great burden to be able to vacation rental our house. I know some renters are not ideal, but we would only want to rent to a family visiting our islands. I don’t think anyone would want a group of party people tearing up their house. People that are not responsible wouldn’t have managed to purchase a house here in our beautiful islands.

Sandra Sagisi Moser

January 8, 2012

Wendy and others. I hear you. The burden is heavy. Homeowners have the option to screen and chose professionals as tenants.
I thank all for joining my vacation rental blog.
Mahalo,
Sandra

Heather Hamilton

February 13, 2012

Thank you Sandra for your article!

I wish people would not let a few bad apples ruin the bunch. Vacation rentals through taxes and tourism can bring in much needed revenues to our local and state economy. If there are problems, they can be regulated through a simple licensing process and reasonable expectations of quiet hours, number of occupants and garbage removal can be met. I do think that homeowners have a responsibility to educate their tenants and notify them of the “rules”. If we work together we can have a situation where we all can benefit.

The ban on short-term rentals is a violation on our rights as property owners!

Heather Hamilton

February 13, 2012

Thank you Sandra for your article!

I wish people would not let a few bad apples ruin the bunch. Vacation rentals through taxes and tourism can bring in much needed revenues to our local and state economy. If there are problems, they can be regulated through a simple licensing process and reasonable expectations of quiet hours, number of occupants and garbage removal can be met. I do think that homeowners have a responsibility to educate their tenants and notify them of the “rules”. If we work together we can have a situation where we all can benefit.

The ban on short-term rentals is a violation on our rights as property owners!

TerrY

November 26, 2013

I stubled on this blog while researching the ban on Short-Term Vacation Rentals. Interesting to read the various opinions on both sides of the debate. I am a proponent of individuals having the constitutional right to rent out their property as they deem appropriate, both short-term and long-term. However, I believe homeowners adjacent to rental properties have the right to expect tenants to abide by quiet hours, occupancy limits, parking restrictions, trash removal, etc., so that their behavior does not enfringe on theneighbors. As we know, there are thousands of housholds illegally renting out portions of their home, renting out short-term, and long-term without permits and not paying the TAT – severely shortchanging all the neighbors at the present in taxes that could go towards the community coffers. That said, by allowing short-term vacation rentals, the tax base significantly increases and goes directly into our local economy. Each community can post community rules that vacation rentals must abide by that are based on residential property owners norms (such as, no street parking, no trash out until after 10:00 pm the night before trach pickup, no more than 8 individuals in one rental unit for a 4 bedroom home, etc….) tenants who violate the rules will encur fines against the owner, which can be levied and if not paid, legal action to include legal fees, all fines to be distributed to the community as they deem appropriate. If a vacation rental property owner can legally charge a family who rents his unit $100 an hour for each hour the renter stays in the unit past check-out, then the commuity should be able to charge the vacation rental owner $500 for a loud party that the neighbors had to call the police to quiet down. The Vacation Rental Owner can ensure the rental Agreement includes pentalties that the renter will have to pay for such violations.

I want to help change the law – would be interested in knowing who is active in the community on grass roots level activities to solicite House and Senate representatives to push for lifting the ban.

Regards,

TerrY

Sandra Sagisi Moser

January 14, 2014

Terry and all. I appreciate the pros and cons if vacation rentals in moderation and not abusing the system.

Just saying, with the economy the way it is, I dream of bed and breakfasts at cozy homes.

TerrY

November 26, 2013

I stubled on this blog while researching the ban on Short-Term Vacation Rentals. Interesting to read the various opinions on both sides of the debate. I am a proponent of individuals having the constitutional right to rent out their property as they deem appropriate, both short-term and long-term. However, I believe homeowners adjacent to rental properties have the right to expect tenants to abide by quiet hours, occupancy limits, parking restrictions, trash removal, etc., so that their behavior does not enfringe on theneighbors. As we know, there are thousands of housholds illegally renting out portions of their home, renting out short-term, and long-term without permits and not paying the TAT – severely shortchanging all the neighbors at the present in taxes that could go towards the community coffers. That said, by allowing short-term vacation rentals, the tax base significantly increases and goes directly into our local economy. Each community can post community rules that vacation rentals must abide by that are based on residential property owners norms (such as, no street parking, no trash out until after 10:00 pm the night before trach pickup, no more than 8 individuals in one rental unit for a 4 bedroom home, etc….) tenants who violate the rules will encur fines against the owner, which can be levied and if not paid, legal action to include legal fees, all fines to be distributed to the community as they deem appropriate. If a vacation rental property owner can legally charge a family who rents his unit $100 an hour for each hour the renter stays in the unit past check-out, then the commuity should be able to charge the vacation rental owner $500 for a loud party that the neighbors had to call the police to quiet down. The Vacation Rental Owner can ensure the rental Agreement includes pentalties that the renter will have to pay for such violations.

I want to help change the law – would be interested in knowing who is active in the community on grass roots level activities to solicite House and Senate representatives to push for lifting the ban.

Regards,

TerrY

Sandra Sagisi Moser

January 14, 2014

Terry and all. I appreciate the pros and cons if vacation rentals in moderation and not abusing the system.

Just saying, with the economy the way it is, I dream of bed and breakfasts at cozy homes.

Sophie

January 2, 2015

Isn’t it ironic how other illegal land leases aren’t even being addressed, but the person who is trying to save their own home is attacked by the state?!!!

And on top of that, other violations like dog barking, illegal businesses that are FAR MORE DISRUPTIVE like other illegal uses such as car repair and race car operations, as well as other violations are NOT being cited by Planning and Building Depts. How very interesting.

How disproportionately corrupt this state is!!! So wrong to treat law abiding citizens who are trying to survive with such contempt, but violent criminals are released every day in this state by “authorities.” Something is VERY wrong with that picture!

Sophie

January 2, 2015

Isn’t it ironic how other illegal land leases aren’t even being addressed, but the person who is trying to save their own home is attacked by the state?!!!

And on top of that, other violations like dog barking, illegal businesses that are FAR MORE DISRUPTIVE like other illegal uses such as car repair and race car operations, as well as other violations are NOT being cited by Planning and Building Depts. How very interesting.

How disproportionately corrupt this state is!!! So wrong to treat law abiding citizens who are trying to survive with such contempt, but violent criminals are released every day in this state by “authorities.” Something is VERY wrong with that picture!

Sophie

January 2, 2015

And then there is this:

Hawaii Property Owners Have Private Right to Enforce County Land Use Laws

By Bruce Voss July 24, 2012

Hawaii property owners now have a right to sue in court to enforce county land use ordinances, but must wait to file suit until the county has had an opportunity to enforce the law.

That important ruling was issued this month by the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals in Pavsek v. Sandvold, a case arising from allegedly illegal use of residential property for transient vacation rentals. The Pavseks own land along Waialua’s Laniakea Beach, best known as the set for the ABC television series “Lost”. The Pavseks claimed that some of their neighbors were repeatedly renting out their properties for short-term visits, in violation of the City & County of Honolulu Land Use Ordinance. The Pavseks alleged that they had complained to the City “to no avail”. Frustrated by what they saw as the City’s inaction, the Pavseks filed a lawsuit in state court, asking the judge to stop the allegedly illegal rentals.

At issue was whether a state statute, HRS 46-4, creates a so-called “private right action” to sue in court to enforce county land use laws. The state court judge dismissed the lawsuit, finding that he did not have jurisdiction to issue an injunction.

On appeal, the ICA ruled that “directly affected” property owners do have a private right to sue under county land use laws. However, that right is subject to the “doctrine of primary jurisdiction”-a fancy legal way of saying that property owners must first demand that the county enforce the laws. In this case, the Pavseks must first pursue resolution of their claim regarding illegal vacation rentals with the City Department of Planning & Permitting and then the Zoning Board of Appeals, before they can go to court.

The ruling creates a dilemma for property owners who are aggrieved by a county’s failure or refusal to enforce its own land use laws. The property owner must first spend its own time and money in an administrative proceeding-and essentially accuse the county of not doing its job-before it can go to court to get an injunction to enforce the law.
(From Google search)

Sophie

January 2, 2015

And then there is this:

Hawaii Property Owners Have Private Right to Enforce County Land Use Laws

By Bruce Voss July 24, 2012

Hawaii property owners now have a right to sue in court to enforce county land use ordinances, but must wait to file suit until the county has had an opportunity to enforce the law.

That important ruling was issued this month by the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals in Pavsek v. Sandvold, a case arising from allegedly illegal use of residential property for transient vacation rentals. The Pavseks own land along Waialua’s Laniakea Beach, best known as the set for the ABC television series “Lost”. The Pavseks claimed that some of their neighbors were repeatedly renting out their properties for short-term visits, in violation of the City & County of Honolulu Land Use Ordinance. The Pavseks alleged that they had complained to the City “to no avail”. Frustrated by what they saw as the City’s inaction, the Pavseks filed a lawsuit in state court, asking the judge to stop the allegedly illegal rentals.

At issue was whether a state statute, HRS 46-4, creates a so-called “private right action” to sue in court to enforce county land use laws. The state court judge dismissed the lawsuit, finding that he did not have jurisdiction to issue an injunction.

On appeal, the ICA ruled that “directly affected” property owners do have a private right to sue under county land use laws. However, that right is subject to the “doctrine of primary jurisdiction”-a fancy legal way of saying that property owners must first demand that the county enforce the laws. In this case, the Pavseks must first pursue resolution of their claim regarding illegal vacation rentals with the City Department of Planning & Permitting and then the Zoning Board of Appeals, before they can go to court.

The ruling creates a dilemma for property owners who are aggrieved by a county’s failure or refusal to enforce its own land use laws. The property owner must first spend its own time and money in an administrative proceeding-and essentially accuse the county of not doing its job-before it can go to court to get an injunction to enforce the law.
(From Google search)

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