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Honolulu: Deals with Airbnb and Expedia will help with enforcement

HONOLULU (AP) — Airbnb and Expedia Group have agreed to provide Honolulu with information that will help the city enforce its laws governing vacation rentals, the companies and the city said Tuesday.

Hosts will have to provide the “tax map key” property identification number issued by the state of Hawaii when they list a rental on the vacation rental websites. The hosts will also have to provide a Transient Accommodations Tax identification number for the property.

The public will be able to see these numbers on the listings.

Listings lacking these numbers numbers will be removed from the websites.

Honolulu authorities have long struggled to enforce the city’s vacation rental laws, as it’s difficult to prove in court when someone is illegally renting a property on a short-term basis.

Honolulu has about 800 legal vacation rental and bed-and-breakfast units. But studies have estimated the city has had about 10 times as many illegal ones.

“We know there are bad actors out there, and this will help us crack down on them. While this is not a panacea, it’s a step forward,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a statement.

Airbnb and Expedia signed separate agreements with Kauai County earlier this year.