Airbnb will now assist Kaua‘i County in enforcing its short-term rental laws by removing listings without a valid Tax Map Key from its platform.
Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami and Airbnb signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today. Kaua‘i law allows short-term rentals in designated Visitor Destination Areas (VDAs) or areas designated for hotels. The new agreement will make it easier for the county to enforce against short-term rental operators outside these designated areas.
“Following months of dialogue, we are pleased that Airbnb has partnered with the county to promote only legally permitted short-term rental operators on our island and we look forward to continued partnership,” Kawakami said.
As outlined in the MOU, hosts on Airbnb will be required to input a TMK number on listing pages in order to appear on Airbnb’s platform. Every month Airbnb will share a report with the County Department of Planning that includes the URL for each listing and the corresponding host-provided TMK number. The County will use this monthly report to verify the TMK numbers. Hosts that fail to provide a TMK or input an invalid TMK will be removed from the platform and only allowed to relist once they provide a valid number.
“Short-term rentals are a vital source of supplemental income for local residents, and for many the only source of income,” said Matt Middlebrook, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy in Hawaii. “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. We hope this agreement serves as a fair, common-sense model for other counties looking to promote compliance and leverage the benefits of home-sharing.”
In addition, under the agreement, Airbnb also commits to educating hosts about the County’s short-term rental laws to promote compliance. Airbnb will share a link of the County’s licensing and information web page on its responsible hosting page and share information about the County’s requirements with hosts ahead of the launch of the mandatory TMK field on its listings.