Airbnb In Hawaii: Short Term Rentals Will No Longer Be Allowed In The Island Of Oahu

Visitors who are looking for an Airbnb in Hawaii may have some problems in the near future. Oahu, Hawaii’s most visited island, has just passed a law that will require a minimum stay of 90 days (about 3 months) in short term rental contracts. These are terms of accommodation negotiated on platforms such as Airbnb, among others.

Currently, the minimum period of stay for those who rent vacation homes or even, during the pandemic, to work remotely with a view of the sea is 30 days.

The new law, approved by the City Council, was signed by Mayor of Honolulu Rick Blangiardi on April 27 and is expected to come into effect on October 23.

Blangiardi stated that this law aims to protect local communities and preserve natural resources in the decades to come.

According to the law, There are two kinds of STRs (short term rentals):

Bed and breakfast homes (B&Bs)
The homeowner or permanent resident is present during the transient stay. Up to two rooms may be rented, with a maximum of two adult transient occupants per room.

Transient vacation units (TVUs)
Commonly known as whole home or unhosted rentals. A maximum of two adult transient occupants are allowed per room.

The bill also emphasizes that any advertisement of a rental or dwelling unit that is not a registered short-term rental (STR) may not include daily or less than three-month rental rates, and must include the statement: “This property may not be rented for less than 90 consecutive days. Rental prices will not be reduced or adjusted based on the number of days the rental is actually used or occupied.”

Short-term rentals on the island of Oahu will also only be allowed in select areas of the island, which have already received zoning for resorts such as Waikiki, the region’s famous tourist district, Turtle Bay and Ko Olina. There will be some exceptions in residential areas close to resorts, where it will also be possible to obtain temporary accommodations, according to Hawaii News Now.

This new situation for Airbnb in Hawaii led the app to oppose the law approved by the Honolulu City Council. The rental app said in an official statement that the company was “deeply concerned” with the changes expressed.

In an interview with Lonely Planet, Toral Patel, Airbnb Hawaii’s Public Policy manager said that the company is encouraging the Council to make more exceptions. She explained that disaster relief workers and displaced residents rely on the platform for medium-term rentals due to natural disasters, citing the eruption of the Kīlauea volcano in 2018 that displaced thousands of residents on the Oahu island.

Airbnb also stressed that tenants such as medical workers, military personnel and nonprofits who require the use of short-term rentals in O’ahu should be included, once many of them travel to work to assist local communities and thus temporary accommodations are required.