HOW ILLEGAL VACATION RENTALS IMPACT YOU
- RESIDENTIAL BECOMES COMMERCIAL: By turning a residential home into a TVU (Transient Vacation Unit) it turns that property into a business, thus becoming a commercial property. This falsely raises the prices for EVERYONE. Homeowners are forced to pay raised property taxes and long term renters must pay vacation prices to rent and commercial prices to buy. More often than not, this leaves the working class unable to buy OR rent a home.
- HOMEOWNERS: Many law-abiding residential homeowners are forced to pay larger property taxes than they planned, often causing many actual homeowners to be strained or lose homes. Homeowners who live in their homes also lose their quality of life, as they are also forced to live next to mini-hotels. They don’t know their neighbors and have many quality of life issues as a result (noise/parking/traffic/pollution/safety).
- HOTEL JOBS WITH BENEFITS: Illegal TVU’s also take away LEGAL hotel jobs that a large majority of local tax-paying people depend on. Hotel jobs also provide local people with health insurance, sick leave, retirement plans and other valuable benefits they rely on to support themselves and their families.
- DISPLACEMENT: Thousands of Hawaii’s local people have already been displaced from their homes, jobs, families, and communities. TVU’s force local people who work for our visitor industry, businesses, schools, charities, and other services to look for housing elsewhere. On an island, people can’t move inland.
- QUALITY OF LIFE: TVU’s are causing a housing shortage in Hawaii. The limited housing forces many working families into one dwelling- or dwellings not fit for living in- thus, hurting livelihoods and quality of life for local people.
- HOMELESSNESS: Its now documented through the City & State that TVU’s force many into being homeless, via a DOMINO EFFECT. When the working class get squeezed out to other areas, the people there are then squeezed out to parks, beaches and other locations that were once beautiful and SAFE to visit. Many of our homeless population previously had support systems (friends or family) who could help them during hard times, but many of those people have been displaced to other areas and states.
- Here is a PDF example from our partners in Kailua, Save Oahu’s Neighborhoods of how TVU’s cause a domino effect of housing problems: TVU Housing Impacts
- THE NORTH SHORE SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES PLAN: The plan specifically states on page 107 3.8 that the community does not want transient vacation units in residential areas. It states: ”The community feels strongly that any additional overnight accommodations for visitors in the NSSCP area should be prohibited until community concerns about illegal vacation rentals are resolved and enforcement mechanisms to eliminate the current illegal operations are in place.”
- CREATES MORE NEED FOR DEVELOPMENT: Many preservation groups are losing support due to the perceived need for more housing and hotels. Nobody wants to see our beautiful and scenic area’s become overdeveloped, so this group proposes we use our existing homes for housing.
- SUSTAINABLITY: Unlike most people on vacation, local people are the ones who work, donate and volunteer in their communities ( at beach clean ups, churches, schools, farms, working with City Council to make things better, are just a few examples) Local people also support local businesses in the slow and ‘off season’.
- POLLUTION: Many illegal TVU homes now operate on a large scale. Most do not have proper infrastructure to accommodate the large number of people passing through. For example, there are a few homes at Rocky Point that provide 40+ beds. There is often much sewage runoff into the ocean in the Winter months (our rainy and busy season).
- BUSINESS OWNERS: Many business owners can’t find or keep hourly employees, since the employees can’t find or afford housing. Many local businesses are ‘slow’ as a result of losing employees and local customers (hair salons, restaurants etc. have gone out of business). Local restaurants lose money due to visitors eating in, at homes where they have a kitchen.
- DUE PROCESS: Unlike other proposed developments and zoning changes (to commercial in a residential area etc) this type of mini-hotel business or zoning change to our neighborhoods has not gone though the ‘due process’ that other hotels and community issues are given. There has been no official opportunity for public’s right to give input on this change at the Neighborhood Board, City Council or State levels.
- ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act): Most of the illegal short term rentals are not in compliance.
- DISASTER PREP: The Civil Defense is working with the hotels on a plan regarding disaster prepardness. Each hotel is coming up with a plan on how they will take care of their visitors in a time of disaster. This includes, food, transportation to airport etc. Additionally, Oahu’s shelters are only capable of sheltering 35% of evacuees in time of need.
- SEX OFFENDERS IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS: ‘Megans Law’ for registered sex offenders: How can neighbors know if there’s a sex offender in the neighborhood, if they don’t know who their neighbors are?
- HOME BASED BUSINESSES: Home businesses are allowable under certain circumstances: a Hawaiian jewelry making business for example. The residence is used to conduct an ordinary business. For a TVU or B&B, the residence itself is the business, and the existence of that business creates ‘commercial’ property prices and activity in neighborhoods, the others do not.
- OUT OF STATE OWNERS: A majority of vacation rental owners in Hawai’i live out of state, and do not pay taxes in Hawaii on their income, so most of this generated income does not support Hawai’i people, the City or State. Many owners who are not on site don’t know what their renters do while at these houses, and do not participate in community concerns.
- ILLEGAL EMPLOYMENT: Some TVU owners say they provide “employment” (primarily yard maintenance and a cleaner). However, they do not provide the few people they hire any legal benefits like health insurance, sick leave, vacation, retirement plans etc. Nor do they pay other fees and taxes that other business owners must pay.
- 1 %: For most of these owners, it’s also a second (or third+) home, so they can afford to risk an empty house when there are no vacationers- and yet still have another home to reside in. Enforcement of the existing law will not ruin their lives, but the lack of housing available for working class people continues to ruin many lives.
- EXCUSES: Many TVU owners often use the excuse of having to “pay the mortgage” or property taxes. However, LONG-TERM renting can just as easily help to pay the bills. Hawai’i is now known to have the highest long term rental rates in the country(higher than New York City!). Or perhaps re-think buying a home if it must rely on an illegal business.
- THEFT & FRAUD: The homes used as short term rentals are easily identifiable. This makes these homes a primary target for theft and other crimes. Thieves often wait for visitors to head out to the beach and then help themselves to belongings and valuables inside. The same goes for rental cars. Visitors also often rent via the internet, and upon arrival find homes in very bad condition- with no way of getting a refund. [see recent news article about a court case regarding this] We want visitors to have great experiences!
Thank you for making socially responsible choices when choosing to live in or visit Hawai’i. MAHALO for your support!