Hundreds of illegal vacation rentals go out of business

LIHU’E – In just over a year, illegal vacation rentals in Kaua’i have dropped from around 1,500 in 2017 to less than 50, officials reported last week.

And this is due to two partnerships with Expedia Group and Airbnb which warned against illegal operations in August 2020, not allowing operators to upload their rentals without proper tax identification.

“Our successful collaboration with Expedia Group highlights what can be done when we work together to protect our community while welcoming responsible vacation owners and their guests,” Mayor Derek Kawakami said Thursday.

The June 2020 partnership between the county and Expedia, owner of Vrbo, was the first of its kind in the state and has helped the county track and regulate vacation rentals while allowing compliant property owners to continue. to operate.

“I am proud of the county staff who have worked tirelessly to implement an effective and efficient enforcement program,” Planning Director KaÊ»aina Hull said in a statement. “Our partnership with Mayor Kawakami and the Expedia Group team has dramatically reduced illegal rentals without depleting valuable county resources.”

In addition to the requirement to include TMK identification, the agreements require that Expedia Group and Airbnb provide monthly reports of all properties on their sites and remove listings that county staff identify as illegal.

According to county public information officer Kim Tamaoka, illegal vacation rental operations outside the vacation destination area are negatively impacting residential and rural neighborhoods that are not designed for housing and accommodation. temporary uses.

These impacts include, but are not limited to, increased traffic volumes, noise nuisance in the evenings and early mornings, increased pressures on utilities and infrastructure, and further erosion of character and character. neighborhood environment, she said.


Laurel Smith, editor and photographer, can be reached at 245-0424 or [email protected]

About Michael B. Billingsley

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