As with so many things during this unusual time in our lives, this week’s events moved very quickly and unexpectedly.
The Mayors of the outer islands – Maui, Kauai and Hawaii (Big Island) – all decided to allow transient vacation rentals to re-open on June 16 to host guests who are not subject to quarantine. This means guests who have been in Hawaii for 14 days, who live on the island of your rental or have travelled inter-island to the island of your rental are allowed to stay in your vacation rental.
Rentals to those subject to quarantine are still restricted, although owners can reside in the properties, but must abide by quarantine rules.
All three county mayors pointed out that the ability to rent only extended to legal vacation rentals.
The County of Honolulu ( Oahu ) is still considering their options and at the time of writing, vacation rentals were not permitted to operate.
Governor Ige extended the quarantine to out of state visitors to July 31.
Many members have been asking about property tax deferrals, so we contacted each of the counties.
The county of Hawaii said there were no options for deferral of property tax payments. The county of Kauai said they were still considering the matter. The county of Maui did not reply to repeated requests for information.
The county of Honolulu (Oahu) has already adopted a deferment plan without penalty or interest.
Some members may be aware that there are multiple lawsuits launched against the Governor, the Mayors, the state and counties in regards to vacation rentals and the quarantine in general. RBOAA has not joined in with any of those lawsuits; however, we think that one of them regarding vacation rentals may have been the impetus for the mayors to reverse their earlier positions. It was a well-reasoned argument that essentially stated that there was no legal justification for the ban on vacation rentals.
We are aware that the hotel industry is working very hard to garner whatever little tourist market there will be in Hawaii over the next few years. We have seen statements in the media which are, shall we say, “unverifiable”, about the benefits of hotels. Competition will be stiff for many months. Be prepared.