In Oahu, Hawaii, it is currently illegal to rent out your property for under 30 days without a permit or a NCU (Non-Conforming Use Certificate). The exposure of vacation rentals in Hawaii being illegal has made travelers uneasy. Illegal rentals can have trouble with parking, traffic, security, noise, fire safety, and, of course, angry neighbors. Don’t forget, these rentals can get shut down at any time, with no warning.
Note that not all vacation rentals are required to have licensure, which can get confusing. Some islands and certain areas zoned for hotels do not require this license. Hawaii Chee put together a list on how to safely book a vacation rental in Hawaii.
- Request for a link to the owner’s property and read the reviews of the property by other guests.
- If the vacation rental has a license number, Google search it. Some key places to look for the number to show up, include the owner’s website, Facebook, or a Hawaii Tax Assessor Website like http://qpublic9.qpublic.net/hi_maui_search.php… and http://honoluludpp.org/Portals/0/pdfs/HotIssues/NUCreport.pdf. Double check that the address matches up.
- Book directly with the owner! Ask for their phone number and speak to them about their vacation rental. It’s 2018, finding out if someone is who they say they are is just a few Google searches away.
- Ask if the owner is on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great source of credibility, if the owner has made other connections via this site, chances are they are the real deal.
- Do not pay via wire transfer.
- Beware of super cheap rates, if it appears too good to be true, it probably is!
- Be careful in choosing the platform you book through. Websites like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway do not confirm the legality of the vacation rental. Instead, choose a site like www.hawaiichee.com where all the vacation rentals listed are legal and you can book direct with the owner!