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Rental papers stir smear claim from candidate

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City Council candidate Richard Turbin has filed a police report and turned over what he says is a fake document someone is circulating as part of a smear campaign against him.

The document appears to be a rental agreement for Turbin’s beach house in Haleiwa for a two-week period in May and June.

City ordinance prohibits renting homes or portions of homes for periods shorter than 30 days unless the owner has a nonconforming use certificate to operate a bed and breakfast or transient vacation unit in an area zoned for residential use. The city no longer issues certificates for B&Bs or vacation units that began operating after December 1989.

Turbin does not have a certificate for any of his rental properties, and said that he does not rent his North Shore property or his rental unit in Kahala for less than 30 days at a time. He said the Haleiwa beach house was rented to someone other than the person named in the fake document during the period listed.

There are no signatures on the document.

Turbin says someone apparently asked his rental agent for a contract and the agent gave out a blank rental agreement. He said it appears someone then filled in the document with no intention of renting the house.

"It seems to be a setup," he said.

The only contact information on the agreement for the renter is an e-mail address. The Star-Advertiser sent messages to that address but has not received a response.

Turbin is running in for the Council seat representing East Honolulu from Ala Moana to Hawaii Kai.

He said he believes the fake contract is being circulated in an attempt to smear his campaign.

He said the topic of illegal B&Bs comes up whenever he appears at candidate forums and someone always asks him whether he is operating illegal vacation rentals.

"I’m upset this has come up in the midst of the campaign," he said.

Turbin says people are questioning him about his rental properties because several websites advertise his Kahala property and at least one lists daily and weekly rates.

He said his wife submitted information to someone who was building a website. He said the person listed daily and weekly rates by mistake, then went out of business before correcting the mistake. He said the advertisement should have stated minimum 30-day rentals.

Turbin said other websites list the Kahala property without his permission.

And although Turbin says he and his wife tell their rental agents to rent their properties for minimum 30-day periods, he said he is not absolutely sure none of the agents rented out any of their properties for less than 30 days.

When the Council was considering a measure to remove restrictions on B&Bs two years ago, the Kahala Neighborhood Board voted to oppose the measure. Turbin, a long-time neighborhood board member, was not present for the vote. The Council did not approve the measure.

The Star-Advertiser endorsed Turbin over his general election opponent Stanley Chang.

 

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