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  • Contributor 78 posts since
    Mar 18, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    900. Mar 25, 2012 8:05 AM (in response to jwe)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    jwe, Great to know that we have recourse to recover damages.    This would include recovery of legal fees to defend as well?

     

    The tab for all of this would be presented to the taxpayers of Hawaii.  The average islander, most of whom unfortunately are not really represented by their legislators, are just pawns like us.

     

    Meanwhile the deals are made between the legislators and the BIG Interest Groups, who by the time this goes to courts and gets shot down will nevertheless have received some financial gain or other benefit that can't really be retrieved, even with litigation.

     

    They know this and so it does not matter to them if we sue or not.   That's why they and perhaps the governor may, in the face of the legal controversy just ram this through.        Apparently this is the way it works in this State (of Hawaii).

     

    But, we are in it for the long haul and they may have underestimated the difficulty of picking the low hanging fruit off of this tree.

  • Contributor 78 posts since
    Mar 18, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    901. Mar 25, 2012 8:17 AM (in response to islandadventures)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    islandadventures,  just to add to what you said about rboaa.org...

     

    I only found out about them this past month when I learned about this legislative mess.

     

    I joined their email list and It has been very helpful as they are sending very timely updates on the measures and next steps.    A good way to keep informed and helpful for people just getting up to speed on what's going on.

    They also provide insight and support legally, they have lobbyist/legal engagement on this.

     

    if you go to their website there is a "contact us" button to sign up and from you get alerts to your email which include "next steps" and helpful reminders of when to send letters, etc.

  • jwe Contributor 284 posts since
    Feb 18, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    902. Mar 25, 2012 4:47 PM (in response to surfingseapearl)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    you may also want to check out the Facebook group 

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/194035220703875/214262362014494/

     

    and www.rboaa.org

  • New Member 10 posts since
    Mar 23, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    903. Mar 25, 2012 9:53 PM (in response to cruisin9)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    Has everyone sent in their testimony comments or letters yet?  The hearing is on Tuesday.  Our letters are our best shot at killing this in committee.

  • New Member 10 posts since
    Mar 23, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    904. Mar 25, 2012 10:07 PM (in response to cruisin9)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    And we all need to support "Rental By Owner Awareness Association" (RBOAA).

  • Contributor 39 posts since
    Feb 21, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    905. Mar 25, 2012 10:29 PM (in response to islandadventures)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    @islandadventures This is getting very confusing. I think you are referring to

    HB1706 SD1.

     Gail Baker

    Discount Window Coverings

    530-587-5577

    discountwindowcoverings.hdspd.com

  • Contributor 26 posts since
    Mar 24, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    906. Mar 25, 2012 10:40 PM (in response to fairwayshomeowner)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    Previous post corrected to HB1706 HD1, thank you!

     

    Everyone plesae remember to submit your testimony at this link

    http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=hb&billnumber=1706

  • Contributor 34 posts since
    Feb 19, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    907. Mar 25, 2012 11:29 PM (in response to aina_nalu_a208)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    If RBOAA could set up a system to join electronically and maybe offer Paypal as a payment option, it would be a lot easier to join. Just sayin...

     

    Meera Kohler

    Sent from my iPhone

  • New Member 25 posts since
    Mar 17, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    908. Mar 25, 2012 11:58 PM (in response to islandadventures)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    I followed the links and submitted my testimony here

     

    http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx

     

    Where it asks you to "Enter a measure to retrieve..." put HB1706

     

    You can figure out the rest...

     

    Mahalo,

  • New Member 10 posts since
    Mar 23, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    909. Mar 26, 2012 12:31 AM (in response to luvmaui)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO
  • New Member 3 posts since
    Feb 21, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    910. Mar 26, 2012 12:45 AM (in response to cruisin9)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    I have been looking through the posts and I have not seen reference to a large property management group that went under in 2009.  I am going to paste the article below as it points out the flaws in allowing on group to control a large number of units and $.  This business left close to a million dollars unpaid to guests, owners and taxes under the state of Hawaii.  There has been no pursuit of the owner and the money is all lost.  With individuals owning you have a diversified ownership group with less risk.  What the state needs is 20 good auditors that can pursue the people not paying taxes and all is good with the state tax fund regarding this venue!

     

    http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2009/Mar/22/br/hawaii303220012.html

     

     

    Kona property management firm closes, leaving clients wondering where their money is

    Property Network Ltd. has closed shop, owing what may be a sizable amount of money to area rental property owners, and leaving clients, renters and vacationers in a bind as officials investigate the issue as a civil case.

    Company owner Robert M. Smith is nowhere to be found.

    "He closed the office, laid everybody off and off he went," said Christine Giron, whose vacation rental at Kona Pacific condominium in Kailua, Kona, had been managed by Property Network since 2006. "He's definitely off of the island. Possibly he's left the country. Nobody really knows where he is."

    Giron, who lives in Tacoma, Wash., said Property Network owes her $4,500 to $5,000 paid by tenants who have rented her property. Giron hasn't received a payment from Property Network since December.

    According to Giron, the company had at least 140 clients in the area.

    "What a perfect scenario. He probably owed small amounts like $5,000 or less to a lot of people," Giron said. "If you take those small amounts and multiply it by the 140 people or 150 people that I believe he managed properties for — that's a lot of money."

    Although a sizable amount of money is unaccounted for, officials say that no criminal investigation is pending, and it is likely that the matter will be investigated as a civil case because the company was operating legitimately in the state and the issue is essentially a contractual dispute.

    Robert Smith and Dennise M. Smith opened Property Network in June 1991 in Alii Sunset Plaza. The brokerage company, which dissolved March 1, dealt with sales, rentals, leasing and exchanges of residential, investment and commercial properties.

    Some of the calls to four known numbers listed for the company and the Smiths found the numbers to be disconnected. No one answered at other numbers listed, and voicemail boxes were full and unable to take messages. The company's Web site had been shut down.

    Jo Ann Uchida, a complaints enforcement officer with the Regulated Industries Complaint Office, a division of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, said complaints have been received by the state regarding Property Network and an investigation is pending.

    RICO deals solely with civil cases, not criminal cases, she said.

    Big Island prosecutors contacted on the Property Network issue would not comment and expressed no knowledge of any activity, civil or criminal.

    Capt. Paul Kealoha with the criminal investigation section of the Big Island Police Department said he hasn't seen any reports filed concerning Property Network Ltd. He added that the case would most likely be a civil matter unless investigation turns up criminal activity such as fraud or a scam.

    Kona attorney Joseph Fagundes said if an investigation reveals that funds remained in a trust account, the matter is a civil proceeding. However, if the money is converted to a different account, it then becomes theft, a criminal offense.

    Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dale Ross Yamada said that the county Office of the Prosecuting Attorney does not have any cases concerning Property Network Ltd. or its owners.

    Laura Harlak, an executive officer with the Kona Board of Realtors, said Wednesday that Property Network Ltd. was no longer a member.

    Vivian Landrum, executive director for the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, said that Property Network Ltd. was not a chamber member.

    However, she said, "It seems they were trying to let everyone know what was going on and were trying to solve everything before they closed." She said that's the information she has received from people who have contacted her about the issue.

    Landrum said she has not come across similar incidents on the island.

    In January, Don Burner, of Spokane, Wash., set up what might be a final vacation for his parents, who are in their late 80s. When he called to confirm the accommodations, which began Saturday, he found that no calls were being answered by Property Network Ltd. and the company's Web site had been shut down.

    Brunner said that he paid Property Network $1,843.23 on Jan. 17 with his credit card for a vacation condominium. He notified the credit card company of the issue on Tuesday and the company is working to recoup the lost money.

    After tracking down the owner of the vacation property, who then had to find the rental agreement between Property Network and Brunner, he learned that he would have to pay for the accommodations again upon arrival.

    "Here in Washington state, any money that is collected to be transferred to another person like that is supposed to be put in to a trust account," he said. "Why the money's not available or where it went I do not know ... That money shouldn't have been able to be secured or collected by anyone other than the owner, leading me to believe that he commingled the money we put down for the condominium with his own money.

    "Quite frankly, this could very well be one of the last vacations (his parents) take together in Hawaii," Brunner said. "If it weren't for that fact I would say I wouldn't be going to Hawaii ... How many people are heading out there thinking they have accommodations when they really don't?"

    The only contact that Christine Giron has had with Property Network was a letter sent by Robert Smith on Feb. 15 notifying her of the closure.

    In the letter, Smith wrote that he would be reconciling accounts and dispersing funds, and directed owners and customers not to contact former employees but to contact him. However, he left no means for contacting him.

    "Nobody got any money in January, February and March and the letter said that money would not be disbursed until 60 days after March 31," Giron said. "That means nobody would see any money until June at the earliest — if anyone ever sees any of it."

    A complaint was filed against Property Network, with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, in 2006.

    A tenant who was not given notice in a timely manner to vacate a residence that was no longer managed by the company filed a complaint that resulted in $1,500 in fines to the state's Real Estate Commission and another $1,625.68 in restitution to the tenant for the cost of having to rent a new property.

    Property Network Ltd. also didn't renew its accreditation that lapsed Feb. 6 with the Better Business Bureau.

    While the state investigates Property Network, Giron said she can only hope that Robert Smith will disburse the money owed as he wrote in his Feb. 16 letter.

    "I have people in my unit right now. They had paid for it in full to Property Network Ltd., and I'm never going to see a dime of that, but I can't just kick them out," Giron said, adding, "Isn't it historically in the United States that if somebody steals money from somebody else in this country it is considered a crime and acted upon as a criminal case?"

  • New Member 3 posts since
    Feb 21, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    911. Mar 26, 2012 12:45 AM (in response to cruisin9)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    I have been looking through the posts and I have not seen reference to a large property management group that went under in 2009.  I am going to paste the article below as it points out the flaws in allowing on group to control a large number of units and $.  This business left close to a million dollars unpaid to guests, owners and taxes under the state of Hawaii.  There has been no pursuit of the owner and the money is all lost.  With individuals owning you have a diversified ownership group with less risk.  What the state needs is 20 good auditors that can pursue the people not paying taxes and all is good with the state tax fund regarding this venue!

     

    http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2009/Mar/22/br/hawaii303220012.html

     

     

    Kona property management firm closes, leaving clients wondering where their money is

    Property Network Ltd. has closed shop, owing what may be a sizable amount of money to area rental property owners, and leaving clients, renters and vacationers in a bind as officials investigate the issue as a civil case.

    Company owner Robert M. Smith is nowhere to be found.

    "He closed the office, laid everybody off and off he went," said Christine Giron, whose vacation rental at Kona Pacific condominium in Kailua, Kona, had been managed by Property Network since 2006. "He's definitely off of the island. Possibly he's left the country. Nobody really knows where he is."

    Giron, who lives in Tacoma, Wash., said Property Network owes her $4,500 to $5,000 paid by tenants who have rented her property. Giron hasn't received a payment from Property Network since December.

    According to Giron, the company had at least 140 clients in the area.

    "What a perfect scenario. He probably owed small amounts like $5,000 or less to a lot of people," Giron said. "If you take those small amounts and multiply it by the 140 people or 150 people that I believe he managed properties for — that's a lot of money."

    Although a sizable amount of money is unaccounted for, officials say that no criminal investigation is pending, and it is likely that the matter will be investigated as a civil case because the company was operating legitimately in the state and the issue is essentially a contractual dispute.

    Robert Smith and Dennise M. Smith opened Property Network in June 1991 in Alii Sunset Plaza. The brokerage company, which dissolved March 1, dealt with sales, rentals, leasing and exchanges of residential, investment and commercial properties.

    Some of the calls to four known numbers listed for the company and the Smiths found the numbers to be disconnected. No one answered at other numbers listed, and voicemail boxes were full and unable to take messages. The company's Web site had been shut down.

    Jo Ann Uchida, a complaints enforcement officer with the Regulated Industries Complaint Office, a division of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, said complaints have been received by the state regarding Property Network and an investigation is pending.

    RICO deals solely with civil cases, not criminal cases, she said.

    Big Island prosecutors contacted on the Property Network issue would not comment and expressed no knowledge of any activity, civil or criminal.

    Capt. Paul Kealoha with the criminal investigation section of the Big Island Police Department said he hasn't seen any reports filed concerning Property Network Ltd. He added that the case would most likely be a civil matter unless investigation turns up criminal activity such as fraud or a scam.

    Kona attorney Joseph Fagundes said if an investigation reveals that funds remained in a trust account, the matter is a civil proceeding. However, if the money is converted to a different account, it then becomes theft, a criminal offense.

    Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dale Ross Yamada said that the county Office of the Prosecuting Attorney does not have any cases concerning Property Network Ltd. or its owners.

    Laura Harlak, an executive officer with the Kona Board of Realtors, said Wednesday that Property Network Ltd. was no longer a member.

    Vivian Landrum, executive director for the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, said that Property Network Ltd. was not a chamber member.

    However, she said, "It seems they were trying to let everyone know what was going on and were trying to solve everything before they closed." She said that's the information she has received from people who have contacted her about the issue.

    Landrum said she has not come across similar incidents on the island.

    In January, Don Burner, of Spokane, Wash., set up what might be a final vacation for his parents, who are in their late 80s. When he called to confirm the accommodations, which began Saturday, he found that no calls were being answered by Property Network Ltd. and the company's Web site had been shut down.

    Brunner said that he paid Property Network $1,843.23 on Jan. 17 with his credit card for a vacation condominium. He notified the credit card company of the issue on Tuesday and the company is working to recoup the lost money.

    After tracking down the owner of the vacation property, who then had to find the rental agreement between Property Network and Brunner, he learned that he would have to pay for the accommodations again upon arrival.

    "Here in Washington state, any money that is collected to be transferred to another person like that is supposed to be put in to a trust account," he said. "Why the money's not available or where it went I do not know ... That money shouldn't have been able to be secured or collected by anyone other than the owner, leading me to believe that he commingled the money we put down for the condominium with his own money.

    "Quite frankly, this could very well be one of the last vacations (his parents) take together in Hawaii," Brunner said. "If it weren't for that fact I would say I wouldn't be going to Hawaii ... How many people are heading out there thinking they have accommodations when they really don't?"

    The only contact that Christine Giron has had with Property Network was a letter sent by Robert Smith on Feb. 15 notifying her of the closure.

    In the letter, Smith wrote that he would be reconciling accounts and dispersing funds, and directed owners and customers not to contact former employees but to contact him. However, he left no means for contacting him.

    "Nobody got any money in January, February and March and the letter said that money would not be disbursed until 60 days after March 31," Giron said. "That means nobody would see any money until June at the earliest — if anyone ever sees any of it."

    A complaint was filed against Property Network, with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, in 2006.

    A tenant who was not given notice in a timely manner to vacate a residence that was no longer managed by the company filed a complaint that resulted in $1,500 in fines to the state's Real Estate Commission and another $1,625.68 in restitution to the tenant for the cost of having to rent a new property.

    Property Network Ltd. also didn't renew its accreditation that lapsed Feb. 6 with the Better Business Bureau.

    While the state investigates Property Network, Giron said she can only hope that Robert Smith will disburse the money owed as he wrote in his Feb. 16 letter.

    "I have people in my unit right now. They had paid for it in full to Property Network Ltd., and I'm never going to see a dime of that, but I can't just kick them out," Giron said, adding, "Isn't it historically in the United States that if somebody steals money from somebody else in this country it is considered a crime and acted upon as a criminal case?"

  • New Member 3 posts since
    Feb 21, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    912. Mar 26, 2012 12:46 AM (in response to cruisin9)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    I have been looking through the posts and I have not seen reference to a large property management group that went under in 2009.  I am going to paste the article below as it points out the flaws in allowing on group to control a large number of units and $.  This business left close to a million dollars unpaid to guests, owners and taxes under the state of Hawaii.  There has been no pursuit of the owner and the money is all lost.  With individuals owning you have a diversified ownership group with less risk.  What the state needs is 20 good auditors that can pursue the people not paying taxes and all is good with the state tax fund regarding this venue!

     

    http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2009/Mar/22/br/hawaii303220012.html

     

     

    Kona property management firm closes, leaving clients wondering where their money is

    Property Network Ltd. has closed shop, owing what may be a sizable amount of money to area rental property owners, and leaving clients, renters and vacationers in a bind as officials investigate the issue as a civil case.

    Company owner Robert M. Smith is nowhere to be found.

    "He closed the office, laid everybody off and off he went," said Christine Giron, whose vacation rental at Kona Pacific condominium in Kailua, Kona, had been managed by Property Network since 2006. "He's definitely off of the island. Possibly he's left the country. Nobody really knows where he is."

    Giron, who lives in Tacoma, Wash., said Property Network owes her $4,500 to $5,000 paid by tenants who have rented her property. Giron hasn't received a payment from Property Network since December.

    According to Giron, the company had at least 140 clients in the area.

    "What a perfect scenario. He probably owed small amounts like $5,000 or less to a lot of people," Giron said. "If you take those small amounts and multiply it by the 140 people or 150 people that I believe he managed properties for — that's a lot of money."

    Although a sizable amount of money is unaccounted for, officials say that no criminal investigation is pending, and it is likely that the matter will be investigated as a civil case because the company was operating legitimately in the state and the issue is essentially a contractual dispute.

    Robert Smith and Dennise M. Smith opened Property Network in June 1991 in Alii Sunset Plaza. The brokerage company, which dissolved March 1, dealt with sales, rentals, leasing and exchanges of residential, investment and commercial properties.

    Some of the calls to four known numbers listed for the company and the Smiths found the numbers to be disconnected. No one answered at other numbers listed, and voicemail boxes were full and unable to take messages. The company's Web site had been shut down.

    Jo Ann Uchida, a complaints enforcement officer with the Regulated Industries Complaint Office, a division of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, said complaints have been received by the state regarding Property Network and an investigation is pending.

    RICO deals solely with civil cases, not criminal cases, she said.

    Big Island prosecutors contacted on the Property Network issue would not comment and expressed no knowledge of any activity, civil or criminal.

    Capt. Paul Kealoha with the criminal investigation section of the Big Island Police Department said he hasn't seen any reports filed concerning Property Network Ltd. He added that the case would most likely be a civil matter unless investigation turns up criminal activity such as fraud or a scam.

    Kona attorney Joseph Fagundes said if an investigation reveals that funds remained in a trust account, the matter is a civil proceeding. However, if the money is converted to a different account, it then becomes theft, a criminal offense.

    Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dale Ross Yamada said that the county Office of the Prosecuting Attorney does not have any cases concerning Property Network Ltd. or its owners.

    Laura Harlak, an executive officer with the Kona Board of Realtors, said Wednesday that Property Network Ltd. was no longer a member.

    Vivian Landrum, executive director for the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, said that Property Network Ltd. was not a chamber member.

    However, she said, "It seems they were trying to let everyone know what was going on and were trying to solve everything before they closed." She said that's the information she has received from people who have contacted her about the issue.

    Landrum said she has not come across similar incidents on the island.

    In January, Don Burner, of Spokane, Wash., set up what might be a final vacation for his parents, who are in their late 80s. When he called to confirm the accommodations, which began Saturday, he found that no calls were being answered by Property Network Ltd. and the company's Web site had been shut down.

    Brunner said that he paid Property Network $1,843.23 on Jan. 17 with his credit card for a vacation condominium. He notified the credit card company of the issue on Tuesday and the company is working to recoup the lost money.

    After tracking down the owner of the vacation property, who then had to find the rental agreement between Property Network and Brunner, he learned that he would have to pay for the accommodations again upon arrival.

    "Here in Washington state, any money that is collected to be transferred to another person like that is supposed to be put in to a trust account," he said. "Why the money's not available or where it went I do not know ... That money shouldn't have been able to be secured or collected by anyone other than the owner, leading me to believe that he commingled the money we put down for the condominium with his own money.

    "Quite frankly, this could very well be one of the last vacations (his parents) take together in Hawaii," Brunner said. "If it weren't for that fact I would say I wouldn't be going to Hawaii ... How many people are heading out there thinking they have accommodations when they really don't?"

    The only contact that Christine Giron has had with Property Network was a letter sent by Robert Smith on Feb. 15 notifying her of the closure.

    In the letter, Smith wrote that he would be reconciling accounts and dispersing funds, and directed owners and customers not to contact former employees but to contact him. However, he left no means for contacting him.

    "Nobody got any money in January, February and March and the letter said that money would not be disbursed until 60 days after March 31," Giron said. "That means nobody would see any money until June at the earliest — if anyone ever sees any of it."

    A complaint was filed against Property Network, with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, in 2006.

    A tenant who was not given notice in a timely manner to vacate a residence that was no longer managed by the company filed a complaint that resulted in $1,500 in fines to the state's Real Estate Commission and another $1,625.68 in restitution to the tenant for the cost of having to rent a new property.

    Property Network Ltd. also didn't renew its accreditation that lapsed Feb. 6 with the Better Business Bureau.

    While the state investigates Property Network, Giron said she can only hope that Robert Smith will disburse the money owed as he wrote in his Feb. 16 letter.

    "I have people in my unit right now. They had paid for it in full to Property Network Ltd., and I'm never going to see a dime of that, but I can't just kick them out," Giron said, adding, "Isn't it historically in the United States that if somebody steals money from somebody else in this country it is considered a crime and acted upon as a criminal case?"

  • Contributor 175 posts since
    Feb 22, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    913. Mar 26, 2012 8:52 AM (in response to mvaughn)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    I haven't been able to get a fax through to any of the representatives on the CPN committee... their fax machines never even try to negotiate.  I've been trying for two days now.

     

    I think their tired of throwing away all the paper coming in

     

    Has anybody else seen a similar issue?

  • Contributor 78 posts since
    Mar 18, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    914. Mar 26, 2012 9:01 AM (in response to blackburied)
    Re: Hawaii Trying to Kill VRBO

    Blackburied,   I have only been using email up until now, so haven't tried.  Is there a phone number to call that you can let them know?   If you do get a person, ask them too if they'd like us to buy them some paper, I'll chip in.

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