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Oahu Homeowners Push to Legalize Short-Term Vacation Rentals in Hawaii

(Honolulu, Hawaii) The city continues to regulate vacation rental laws, and after hearing from proponents on August 10, 2011, it was loud and clear that there are many Oahu residents who want to do away with Honolulu’s 1989 ban on new transient vacation rentals or bed and breakfasts.

The City and County of Honolulu’s Planning Commission heard an earful on Wednesday at a public hearing aimed at requiring vacation rental operators to include permit numbers on all advertising material—a proposal brought on by DPP. This will make it difficult for illegal rentals to generate extra cash in the industry and properly identify the homeowners who ARE licensed.

DPP’s proposal to require “all advertisement include operators’ permit numbers” sounds like a great idea. Seems it will also weed out illegal and financially abusive landlords. Since we are on the subject, I personally believe that the city should lift that stupid ban on short-term rentals in residential areas. We really do need income-producing opportunities in real estate. Why not come up with fair and just enforcing rules, instead of banning short-term Transient Vacation Units, or TVU’s? Why stop income-generating avenues, when there are visitors who are willing to live in our homes on a short-term basis? 

Perhaps, we can get even get a shot at having President Obama and his family as our client. Wouldn’t it be great if he picked our property as his Winter White House, instead of vacationing in Kailua or Lanikai every year?

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?

Hey, permitting with regulations IS a good thing. Many of you TVU landlords have a second shot at airing your opinion at the next round of hearings on August 24. Come up with solutions and present them to the Commission. Hopefully,  Commissioners will take Wednesday’s testimonies seriously and make a recommendation to the City Council. It’s about time we revisit legalizing vacation rentals again. 

So, my friends, plan ahead and fax your concerns in advance to Honolulu City Council Chairman, Ernie Martin, at  (808)-768-1222. He believes that enforcement issues need to be tightened, and the more he hears from proponents of additional short-term TVU’s, the more he will understand that not every vacation rental owner is abusive. Let’s hope DPP Commissioners will consider sending the issue back to the Council this year. Perhaps council members will reconsider lifting the ban on residential short-term rentals. 

Is it time to re-open and approve new short-term vacation rentals in the industry? With a doomed economy, I say YES to bringing light and a dang good shot in the arm in revitalizing Oahu’s residential visitor industry.

Tell me what you think by commenting on my blog below.

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Keith R. Gurney

August 12, 2011

The current laws for Oahu Short Term Vacation Rentals may need to change…However, rather than becoming more restrictive we need to look for ways to grow this business opportunity. It is perfect for our marketplace and could represent hundreds of millions of dollars to our economy.
Today, Hawaii is facing unprecedented economic times. As our Government Leader and Elected Official we need for you to stand up for the general public and not the vocal few in Kailua who would like to see a total ban on Home Owner Vacation Rentals.
Tourism represents our largest source of income to our State. Rather than looking for ways to reduce this revenue source we should be seeking ways to grow it. Homeowner Vacation Rentals represent a great opportunity for us. This industry is growing around the world as people look for short-term rentals and vacation home exchanges. Rather than pushing these folks to other marketplaces we should be seeking ways to further attract them to Hawaii. As such, any changes in the law should seek to expand this opportunity and not further constrain it.
Let’s take this time to study the industry, and seek public and private input to the process prior to making any decisions that are based sole on hear say opinions and don’t represent the general public at large. To do otherwise would not be in anyone’s best interest.

Keith R. Gurney

August 12, 2011

The current laws for Oahu Short Term Vacation Rentals may need to change…However, rather than becoming more restrictive we need to look for ways to grow this business opportunity. It is perfect for our marketplace and could represent hundreds of millions of dollars to our economy.
Today, Hawaii is facing unprecedented economic times. As our Government Leader and Elected Official we need for you to stand up for the general public and not the vocal few in Kailua who would like to see a total ban on Home Owner Vacation Rentals.
Tourism represents our largest source of income to our State. Rather than looking for ways to reduce this revenue source we should be seeking ways to grow it. Homeowner Vacation Rentals represent a great opportunity for us. This industry is growing around the world as people look for short-term rentals and vacation home exchanges. Rather than pushing these folks to other marketplaces we should be seeking ways to further attract them to Hawaii. As such, any changes in the law should seek to expand this opportunity and not further constrain it.
Let’s take this time to study the industry, and seek public and private input to the process prior to making any decisions that are based sole on hear say opinions and don’t represent the general public at large. To do otherwise would not be in anyone’s best interest.

Austin Imamura

November 1, 2012

I live in Hawaii Loa Ridge. Over the past several years, one of my neighbors has used his residence as a short term rental. Other than on one occassion, noise levels and behavior have been acceptable and guests have generally been well behaved and respectful. Another neighbor may feel differently, but did not experience it first hand next door, like I did.

My view of short term rentals is that, if properly licensed, regulated and taxed properly, that it should be allowed as part of home ownership. I also do not see any value in capping the number of permits issued. My business involves people’s jobs and employment, and am well aware of the effects of a deflating and declining dollar. We have a tough economy in Hawaii to begin with. And more and more Hawaii residents will require supplemental, if not primary sources of income to make ends meet. A B&B is a good way to help these folks, particularly those with fixed incomes, or those involving loss of a primary wage earner.

What better way to share our Aloha than by extending our beautiful and blessed surroundings, and welcoming guests, while enabling residents who wish to live in better neighborhoods to do so by simply sharing where they live. Like anything else, some level of abuse should be expected, but these can be dealt with, even permits revoked for repeat abusers, but lets not use the exceptions to limit an otherwise legitimate enterprise for all homeowners in Hawaii.

Austin Imamura

November 1, 2012

I live in Hawaii Loa Ridge. Over the past several years, one of my neighbors has used his residence as a short term rental. Other than on one occassion, noise levels and behavior have been acceptable and guests have generally been well behaved and respectful. Another neighbor may feel differently, but did not experience it first hand next door, like I did.

My view of short term rentals is that, if properly licensed, regulated and taxed properly, that it should be allowed as part of home ownership. I also do not see any value in capping the number of permits issued. My business involves people’s jobs and employment, and am well aware of the effects of a deflating and declining dollar. We have a tough economy in Hawaii to begin with. And more and more Hawaii residents will require supplemental, if not primary sources of income to make ends meet. A B&B is a good way to help these folks, particularly those with fixed incomes, or those involving loss of a primary wage earner.

What better way to share our Aloha than by extending our beautiful and blessed surroundings, and welcoming guests, while enabling residents who wish to live in better neighborhoods to do so by simply sharing where they live. Like anything else, some level of abuse should be expected, but these can be dealt with, even permits revoked for repeat abusers, but lets not use the exceptions to limit an otherwise legitimate enterprise for all homeowners in Hawaii.

Sandra Sagisi Moser, RA

November 1, 2012

Yes, Austin, that is my fight. Homeowners should have the free agency to exercise their homes as vacation rentals or bed and breakfasts. I am not in favor of government dictating what we can do when times are financially strained.
We need to live and sharing our homes to visitors is certainly one avenue to share our beautiful state with others.
For goodness states, homeowners have the option to screen their visitors.
Tha is for your comment.

Sandra Sagisi Moser, RA

November 1, 2012

Yes, Austin, that is my fight. Homeowners should have the free agency to exercise their homes as vacation rentals or bed and breakfasts. I am not in favor of government dictating what we can do when times are financially strained.
We need to live and sharing our homes to visitors is certainly one avenue to share our beautiful state with others.
For goodness states, homeowners have the option to screen their visitors.
Tha is for your comment.

Denise Carpenter

December 2, 2012

I totally disagree. When I bought my townhouse at Kuilima 15 years ago, it was a residential neighborhood with families, children, dogs, and permanent residents. Now all three residents around me are transcient, weekly renters who come here with a carefree attitude (as expected from visitors). They are here to have fun. But the crime has gone up, now you don’t know who your neighbors are and the it is a violation of the by-laws (not using your unit for the purpose of running a business) and day by day rentals are a business. If I had known this was what I was in for, I would never have bought here. The whole atmosphere has changed and it’s all illegal and no one is willing to do a thing about it. Residents are being pinpointed and harassed so they will move so they can invoke the “resort” atmosphere. But this is my home!

Denise Carpenter

December 2, 2012

I totally disagree. When I bought my townhouse at Kuilima 15 years ago, it was a residential neighborhood with families, children, dogs, and permanent residents. Now all three residents around me are transcient, weekly renters who come here with a carefree attitude (as expected from visitors). They are here to have fun. But the crime has gone up, now you don’t know who your neighbors are and the it is a violation of the by-laws (not using your unit for the purpose of running a business) and day by day rentals are a business. If I had known this was what I was in for, I would never have bought here. The whole atmosphere has changed and it’s all illegal and no one is willing to do a thing about it. Residents are being pinpointed and harassed so they will move so they can invoke the “resort” atmosphere. But this is my home!

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