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.