How Can I Start Renting Out My Home or Condo to Visitors?

How Can I Start Renting Out My Home or Condo to Visitors?

  • Gary Mooers
  • 06/28/21

Aloha! If you’ve been thinking about buying a home to take advantage of Maui’s ongoing tourism renaissance, then it’s imperative that you familiarize yourself with the process of obtaining all of the necessary permits and in order to legally rent your dwelling as a short-term rental. Today the GM Maui team is here to give you a brief overview of the process to help you get started on securing an income stream from your real estate investments. 

Home or condo?

To begin with, there are different zoning restrictions for short-term rentals for homes and condos on Maui and throughout the county. Typically, condos are often zoned for short-term rentals, whereas family homes will usually require far more legwork in order to become eligible. For short-term rentals of a home, there is currently a five-year ownership requirement in order to apply for a permit. Unfortunately, these permits cannot transfer with the sale of a property; new owners must wait another five years and reapply. It’s also important to note that there are also geographic caps for the total number of permits that will be issued by the county. 

Read the rules carefully

You’ll want to become familiar with all of the applicable laws that govern short-term rentals in Maui County – you never want to assume or take a guess and suffer the consequences later on! There are different zoning restrictions and other bylaws that govern short-term rentals across the county, depending on the property’s location and the type of structure. 

What permits might I need? 

Depending on your unit, you could be looking at any of the following: 

  • Bed and Breakfast permit: generally located in districts zoned for hotels but can also be found in apartment districts or other pre-existing circumstances. Owners (or, in some cases, a manager) must live on-site. 
  • Conditional permit: typically utilized for a specific county zone within a finite time frame
  • Short-Term Rental Home (STRH) permit: per the county website, “the purpose of the Short-Term Rental Home Permit is to facilitate the permitting of short-term rental homes in certain areas, subject to appropriate restrictions and standards; to allow for varied accommodations and experiences for visitors while retaining the character of residential neighborhoods.”

Additionally, it would be wise to stay in touch with the county every step of the way to ensure that you are adhering to all of the steps contained within the process: 

2200 Main Street

One Main Plaza Building, Suite 619

Wailuku, HI 96793

Phone: (808) 270-8205

Fax: (808) 270-1775

Playing the waiting game

After you’ve studied up on all the applicable laws and regulations, been in touch with the county, and turned in all of your completed paperwork, how long will it take until you can open the doors of your home or condo to visitors? According to the website, it may take several months before an application is processed. It’s imperative to double-check all your materials to ensure that they have been completed without any missing information, as this could further delay what is already a months-long process. Slow and steady wins the race, and taking care of all the little details along the way will have you welcoming visitors from around the world to your property as soon as is possible. Until next time!


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