Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami has reached landmark agreements with Expedia Group and Airbnb, two online hosting platforms for vacation rentals that will help the county enforce its vacation rental laws. It is the first time that a Hawaii government has entered into a cooperative agreement with a travel platform.
Kauai allows short-term rentals to operate in areas that are designated for hotels and in designated vacation rental areas (VDA) or properties with a special vacation rental permit. The county’s recent agreements with Expedia Group and Airbnb are designed to help it track and regulate vacation rentals while allowing legal properties to continue operations.
It was agreed that vacation rentals will be required to display a government-issued tax map key, or TMK, in order to appear on their platforms. Currently listed properties without a TMK number have 60 days to provide one, or they will be deactivated, and new properties must provide a TMK number prior to being listed.
Expedia Group and Airbnb also have both agreed to provide monthly reports to the county featuring the TMK numbers. This will help the Kauai County to determine if a vacation rental is compliant with County laws. Airbnb has agreed to remove properties that do not comply.
“We are grateful to Mayor Kawakami and County Planning Director Ka‘āina Hull for working with us on an agreement that preserves the benefits of short-term rentals for residents and the local economy, while providing the County the tools to bring rental owners and operators into compliance with local law,” said Matt Middlebrook, Airbnb’s head of public policy in Hawaii, in a statement.
“The signing comes at a critical time as Kauai takes steps toward the safe recovery of its visitor industry,” stated Amanda Pedigo, vice president of government affairs at Expedia Group. “Expedia Group is committed to continued collaboration with the Mayor’s office and community stakeholders in the months ahead.”
The agreements have been in the works for nearly a year.