Experts Chime In Where You Must Go In Hawaii

Hawaii Vacation Rental Proposal | Sweeping Changes, $10K Fines

Visitors have asked us multiple times to follow up on what may be right around the corner on Hawaii Island. New vacation rental rules being put forward were just unveiled. These would affect more than 150k rental units there, beginning in 2023.

There is also a range of new fees and fines being proposed for all Hawaii County vacation rentals, while the county is seeking to have a registration for every unit on the Big Island. Any unit advertised without a registration will be subject to a $10,000 fine, as proposed. For the first time, too, new rules will impact what is called “hosted” accommodations.

Big Island Vacation Rentals

Interestingly, the Big Island is also looking at new vacation nodes, which would be short-term rentals in some areas where they are not currently permitted.

The bill was unveiled online last week at a forum and will be followed by another one in January. It will then proceed through various processes, including committees, and is expected to land at the full council by February if it all goes to plan.

The county council plans on intentionally including all interested parties in the process. One council person said, “We wanted to make sure we were walking everyone through these proposed changes, so we’re going to take our time with it.”

For the first online session, about five hundred people attended virtually of the nearly 900 who had completed the registration process.

Current vacation rental rules only apply to standalone (“non-hosted”) accommodations.

Those are vacation rental units now rented for from one to 30 consecutive days. The new law is set to have a broader scope and will move to regulate all vacation rentals of less than six months.

Hosted rentals with an owner residing on the property may be banned.

Previously, hosted accommodations were not subject to vacation rental regulations. There will now, however, be a series of rules and fees for those owner-occupied properties, including properties with guest houses, second dwellings, and farm dwellings. It also sets up rules and fees for those hosted rentals where the property owner also resides.

At this time, it appears the county intends to ban some or all such “hosted rentals.”

Limits on the number of vacation rental guests per unit.

The new ruling proposes to limit the number of guests per vacation rental as follows.

  • One bedroom – two occupants, plus two extra occupants.
  • Two bedrooms – four occupants, plus two extra occupants.
  • Three bedrooms – six occupants, plus two extra occupants.

New rules for parties held at Hawaii vacation rentals.

In the event of a party, a vacation rental will be permitted to have up to twice as many rental occupants as is usually allowed. A party at the unit that includes those staying there could contain no more than double the number of people allowed to stay overnight (we assume that to mean for one night only). So the two-bedroom unit, with six sleeping there, could have a gathering of no more than 12 people, under the proposal.

More vacation rental owner fees to bolster county income beyond the current taxes.

Vacation rental owners will undoubtedly be paying more in fees going forward too. The county is looking at options for increasing its vacation rental-related income. You’ll recall that the county charges a 3% tax in addition to the state’s vacation rental tax, currently yielding nearly 18% in total taxes.

Vacation rentals in non-vacation rental zones.

It is being proposed that certain areas where vacation rentals are otherwise prohibited have vacation rental approval. Those include Hawaiian Paradise Park, Kona Bay Estates, Puako, Volcano Village, and Volcano Golf and Country Club.

What’s your take on the upcoming changes to Big Island vacation rental rules?

22-22-11 Draft BILL – Transient Accommodation Rental

Leave a Comment

Comment policy:
* No profanity, rudeness, personal attacks, or bullying.
* Hawaii focused only. General comments won't be published.
* No links or UPPER CASE text. English please.
* No duplicate posts or using multiple names.
* Use a real first name, last initial.
* Comments edited/published/responded to at our discretion.
* Beat of Hawaii has no relationship with our commentors.
* 750 character limit.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

106 thoughts on “Hawaii Vacation Rental Proposal | Sweeping Changes, $10K Fines”

  1. From reading your comment it seems to say everyone has to bear your burden of incompetence that you never accomplished anything in your life. McDonalds and fast food restaurants were supposed to be for students/Teenagers to have an income, not to make a career working at McDonalds. I am born and raised in Hawaii and grew up poor but I said to myself, I will never live like that again. So please think before you write.
    Please don’t respond, I wont read it.
    Its our given right to do as we see fit with our properties.

  2. Did any of you consider that maybe the County is trying to squash the plethora of vacation rentals because us locals can’t find a place to live? I have a friend, been in Hawaii 20 years, has to move to the mainland because she cannot even find housing, much less is it affordable. Do the right thing, turn your vacation rental into housing for those of us who live here otherwise you won’t have any local resources to work in the stores, restaurants, McDonalds, etc….then don’t complain when you try to go to McDonalds and it’s closed because no can find enough workers to keep open. COVID brought too many moved here, rents went up, gas went up, food went up…our salaries did not go up.

  3. It looks like the county and or state of Hawaii is trying to capture as much money as they can in the way of fees and taxes. Since tourism is their number one industry I can understand why. However Hawaii needs to identify and make transparent how that money is being used and it should improve the infrastructure and services offered that benefit residents and tourists alike.

  4. I was just informed by my STR owner that our reservation that we made 4 months ago for Maui must now be cancelled. Why? Because my family of 8 (my wife of 24 years, 6 children and me) is now considered persona non grata by the government of Maui. This is the second time our vacation to Maul has been cancelled (our 8 year-old tested positive for COVID the day before departure last year…of course, she never had a symptom but we had to cancel all of our plans at the last minute and some very disappointed children and frustrated parents…) So sick of the lunacy and corruption. This decision is short-sighted and has poisoned me against visiting HI ever again. Unless the Tourism Board can convince me otherwise I’ll take my money elsewhere.

  5. If the state and counties want to make it vacation rentals illegal (but they can’t, that’s against our rights as an American citizen) then they should give us landlords the right to evict when people after the 30 day notice to leave and be able to have the cops remove the people from the residence at the end of that 30 day notice expiration date.
    Also if taken to court for damages and back payment the county where the property resides on should give us landlords the power to secure our homes against long term damages resulting in loss of money per month and go after these individuals to force payment, I had to chase down a person that I won the case but the court told me I had to chase them down and the county won’t. Why are paying taxes


Scroll to Top