Hawaii Proposal Would Punish Short-Term Rentals Like Sexual Assaults
Hawaii lawmakers want to make unlicensed short-term rentals a class C felony.
by Eric Boehm, Reason, January 24, 2017
Renting out a home or apartment without paying a fee to the state and keeping detailed records about renters could land Hawaiians in jail for up to five years, if two state lawmakers get their way.
A bill under consideration by the state legislature in Honolulu would make unlicensed short-term rentals a class C felony under state law. If passed, the bill would put short-term rentals on par with other class C felonies, including the illegal possession and use of explosives, third degree sexual assault, and second degree theft.
The bill would also require homeowners using services like Airbnb or HomeAway to report the names and contact information of all renters to a public database maintained by the state Department of Taxation. Failure to do that, or failure to pay mandatory licensing fees to the state, would result in fines of up to $5,000 and jail time.
The bill is sponsored by state Sens. Russell Ruderman (D-Hawaii) and Gil Riviere (D-Oahu). Neither returned requests for comment.
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