Vacation Rentals in Waikiki are ILLEGAL!

Don’t lose money on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii, because yes, they have sprouted like mushrooms in the last years, catering to more tourism. In case you’ve booked vacation rentals in Waikiki for example through VRBO, AirBnB, Booking.com on Oahu in Hawaii, please take note that your vacation rental might be illegal and you might lose your money!!!

Why are Vacation Rentals in Waikiki illegal?

Bill 89 CD2: New Regulations on Short-Term Rentals was adopted by City Council and signed into law by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on June 25, 2019.

Illegal Vacation Rentals in Waikiki
Mayor Kirk Caldwell Signing Bill 89 making Vacation Rentals in Waikiki mostly illegal

AirBnB has a page describing some of the issues they have with Bill 89.

The main points of the new law are as follows:

  • It only allows a limited number of new Bed and Breakfast Homes (B&B) in non-resort areas under a new registration process, with annual renewal required.
  • It continues to prohibit Transient Vacation Units, or “unhosted” rentals, in non-resort areas, unless the dwelling has a Nonconforming Use Certificate or (NUC).
  • It regulates accommodation hosting platforms, such as Expedia or Airbnb, requiring monthly reports to be filed with the Department of Planning and Permitting
  • It makes illegal any form of advertising short-term rentals which are not in compliance with zoning regulations as provided in Bill 89.

The new regulations impose stricter penalties and fines on illegal operators and provide greater enforcement tools beginning as early as August 1, 2019, with other provisions of the law to go in effect in October 2020.

For example, owners of properties being advertised illegally will be notified, and if the ad is taken down in 7 days, no fine will be imposed for a first offense. If not taken down within this deadline, fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 can be imposed for each day the advertisement remains on display.

Your Vacation Rental in Waikiki might get cancelled…


Simple. If the owner of the vacation rental you booked is caught, he will be fined and your booking will be cancelled. You don’t want to be in the middle of not having accommodation, plus not be able to get your money back! You don’t want to stress out on your vacation, right?

Alternatives to Vacation Rentals in Waikiki


The new law bans all vacation rentals outside of resort areas, so it is safe to book a hotel in Waikiki or resort to begin with. If you booked a house, you might want to check if the vacation rental you booked is illegal or not. Here’s a map showing the resort zone in Waikiki (in red) to help you.

Want a Vacation Rental in Waikiki?

There are still vacation rentals in Waikiki available. Make sure you talk to companies that have LEGAL vacation rentals like Midway Realty.

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