Last year, Maui short rentals which includes services like Airbnb and Vrbo, saw a major disruption to their business model. In 2018, the Maui County Planning Department has entered into a contract with LODGINGRevs to help the county identify illegal operations of short term rentals.
LODGINGRevs is a tech company that is an expert in short term rental compliance across the United States. Their website states through their highly specialized computer algorithms and programming, they are able to identify the location of properties or names of operators who are out of compliance with the online advertisement of their vacation rental.
Increase to Illegal Short Term Rental Fines
A proposed bill to raise fines against illegal vacation rentals received the go ahead by the County Council committee. The proposed increase comes after many parties have continued to ignore the fines.
The council’s Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee voted to increase the initial fine to $20,000 and daily fine to $10,000. Previous fines were at $1000 for the initial and daily fines.
Meanwhile, LODGINGRevs work over the last year has resulted in less illegal short term rentals than estimated. The department’s Zoning Administration and Enforcement Division has reported that tracking down and enforcing illegal short term rentals is a large task.
Close to 30,000 short term rental advertisements are promoted daily for Maui County alone.
The recent enforcement of illegal short term rentals can be traced back to the missed opportunity on collecting transient accommodation taxes. The Hawaiia Tourisn Authority reports visitors who stay in short term rentals spent less on accommodations, food, entertainment, and shopping.
For a state that largely thrives on tourism, many argue it’s a positive step for the state. While proponents cite feedback from visitors who stated that if not for accommodations like short term rentals, they would not hav been able to make the trip.
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