New vacation rental fines to be imposed starting Dec. 27

The Planning Department has transmitted its amended rules relating to fines for unpermitted transient vacation rental operations to the Office of the County Clerk, and the rules will take effect ten business days after filing, or on December 27, 2019.

After the 2018 election, Section 13-10 of the County Charter was updated to specifically state, “the penalty for the operation of a transient accommodation without a necessary permit shall not exceed a civil fine of $20,000 plus $10,000 per day for each day the unlawful operation persists, unless a higher fine is authorized by State law.”  The prior version of the Charter limited penalties to $1,000 initial and $1,000 per day.

In addition, the Maui County Code was updated on October 7, 2019 by Ordinance No. 5001 to be consistent with the Charter Amendment. 

The amended Rules for Administrative Procedures and Civil Fines for Violations of Chapter 16.13 and Title 19 of the Maui County Code are the last step in implementing the new fines. Some minor procedural changes are also included in the adopted amendments.  The new rules are online at the Planning Department’s homepage https://www.mauicounty.gov/121/Planning-Department.

“We are pleased to finally be able to implement the community’s wishes with imposing these higher fines on illegal vacation rentals,” said Mayor Michael P. Victorino.  “Enforcement of these illegal operations is an ongoing challenge in Maui County, and worldwide.  These higher fines should be an effective deterrent and will be one more tool in our toolbox as we continue our enforcement efforts.”

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