George Atta, Director of the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) issued a Declaratory Ruling that officially debunks the myth that illegal vacation rentals and B&B hotels can operate legally due to loopholes.
Many illegal vacation rental owners, property managers and some unscrupulous realtors have repeatedly claimed that “less than 30 day” rentals are legal in residential neighborhoods as long as no other new or unrelated renters utilize the property during a 30 day window encompassing the less than 30 day rental period.
Director Atta stated in the ruling; “The fact a dwelling or lodging unit is not rented for 30 days after being used as a transient vacation unit (i.e., after it is rented for less than 30 days) does not change the nature of the completed, less than 30-day rental which amounts to using the property as a (illegal) transient vacation unit.”
Director Atta also declared a 30 day contract or lease agreement does not necessarily make a short-term rental legal. As of late, many illegal vacation rental and B&B hotel operators have created bogus 30 day contracts in order to hide a less than 30 day stay from inquiring City inspectors.
Director Atta stated; “Agreements to rent property for 30 days or more do not describe or evidence transient vacation units or bed and breakfast land uses because they do not provide for rents of less than 30 days. However, transient vacation unit and bed and breakfast home land uses occur on real property that is in fact rented for less than 30 days, regardless of the terms of a contract. The LUO regulates uses of real property and not contracts. Therefore, although rental agreements and contracts may evidence the agreement between a property owner and renter, they do not always document land uses which actually occur on real property.”
Keep it Kailua applauds the Director and the City for clarifying the law. Illegal vacation rentals and B&B hotels are harming residential neighborhoods and communities by reducing housing stock for local residents and undermining the residential character of our neighborhoods by displacing local neighbors.
To read the entire Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting Declaratory Ruling, go to Honolulu DPP Declaratory Ruling.
For examples and further explanations of the law, go to Loophole Myth.