Airbnb, Honolulu Mayor Caldwell Announce Short-term Rental Agreement

Airbnb and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help the City and County of Honolulu enforce its short-term rental rules. The agreement will facilitate compliance and allow hosts with compliant listings to continue supporting the City’s local visitor industry. 

Under the agreement, Airbnb will create two new fields on its listing – one for the City-issued Tax Map Key (TMK) number and another for the Transient Accommodations Tax License Number (TAT) issued by the State of Hawai‘i. Hosts listing a bed and breakfast (B&B) or transient vacation unit (TVU) on Airbnb will be required to provide this information in order to continue hosting on the platform.

“As the City works to build back from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, short-term rentals will continue to be a vital source of supplemental income for local residents and support the local visitor industry,” said Matt Middlebrook, Airbnb Regional Policy Lead.

“We are grateful to Mayor Caldwell and his team for working with us on an agreement that preserves the benefits of short-term rentals for residents and the local economy, while providing the City the tools it needs to help enforce current laws.” 

Matt Middlebrook, Airbnb Regional Policy Lead

As part of the agreement, every month Airbnb will share a report with the City that includes the URL for each listing and the corresponding host-provided TMK number and TAT number for each property listed on its platform. The City 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 the information.

To help educate hosts about Honolulu’s short-term rental regulations, Airbnb will display a link to the County’s licensing and information webpage in close proximity to the mandatory field as part of the host onboarding process. 

Honolulu joins Kauai County in striking similar agreements with Airbnb, thus enabling more effective and consistent enforcement of regulations throughout Hawaii. We hope that the other counties within the state will join this effort.