U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson has granted a preliminary injunction ordering Honolulu, Hawaii, not to enforce the provisions in a new Oahu law that boosts the minimum allowable stay for Oahu rentals outside of resort districts from 30 days to 90 days. The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed in federal court by the nonprofit Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance (HILSTRA), claiming the ordinance is unconstitutional because it interferes with owners' vested rights to own and rent property, and breaks state zoning law. The alliance contended that the measure had "immediate and devastating" impact because it makes no provision for property owners and operators who have purchased and legally rented their properties for 30 to 89 days. Honolulu set a grace period of April 21 for short-term rental owners to comply with the new rules, but HILSTRA said this did not provide sufficient relief for owners or for the businesses that provide services to and rely on such properties; collectively they pay millions in state and city transient accommodation and general excise taxes. "While this order does limit the [Department of the Corporation Counsel's] ability to enforce the 30-day contracts, it does not restrict 22-7's restriction of short-term rentals to the resort zone or the increased regulations on short-term rentals or the fine and fee structure put in place or the preservation of holding platforms accountable for posting requirements or other important tools that we put on the books," declared American Hotel & Lodging Association spokesperson Kekoa McClellan.
Yahoo! News (10/14/22) Allison Schaefers