Owning a Vacation Rental Property on Maui

Buyer Heidi Dollinger October 27, 2023

A Short-Term Rental in Maui County is defined as any rental for less than 180 days. There are many properties in Maui’s resort areas that allow short-term nightly rentals.
Maui Now reported in January 2023 that Maui County has the largest vacation rental supply highest occupancy levels and nightly rates compared to all counties in Hawaii.
As an owner, do I need a license to rent a Maui condo or a vacation rental? First, make sure the property you are buying is allowed for use as a vacation rental. The condominium complex should be zoned for short-term rentals or legally recognized by Maui County to be a short-term rental property. You will also want to confirm that the condominium bylaws and CCRs allow for use as a short-term rental. As long as short-term vacation rentals are allowed, you do not need a special permit, but you will need to obtain a Hawaii Tax ID number. Property owners must comply with applicable state and county laws obtain a GET & TAT tax license and collect and pay applicable taxes. There is a nominal $20 or so fee to obtain a GET license and $5 for a TAT license. GET (general excise tax) is 4.712%. State TAT (transient accommodation tax) is 10.25%, and the MCTAT (Maui County transient accommodation tax) is 3%. These taxes are typically passed along to guests and are charged on top of the nightly rate. 
Hawaii GET tax ID application and information
Hawaii TAT transient accommodation tax information
Maui County MCTAT transient accommodation tax information
Link to Maui County's List of properties allowing Short-term occupancy
There are some single-family homes in residential areas not zoned for short-term rentals that are currently being used as legally permitted short-term rental homes. These properties would need to have had a special permit issued by Maui County in the past allowing use for short-term rentals. Short-term rental home permits are not transferrable and the legal use of a home as a short-term rental would likely not be able to continue when the home sells. At the end of 2021, Maui County passed a moratorium on any new short-term rental home permits being issued. Prior to the moratorium, there was a law in place requiring an owner to own a property for at least 5 years prior to applying for a short-term rental home permit.

How Do I Find a Property Management Company and What is the Cost?

Full-service vacation rental management fees can be 25% + of the rents collected before taxes and cleaning fees are added. There are some rental programs that will market your individual unit and some rental programs that operate like a hotel rental pool where all the rental pool participants share in the income.
If you are looking for a property management company for your Maui property, contact me. I do not personally manage any rentals, but I can help you find a local company that would be a match for your needs. Each company works a little differently as far as what they offer so it is important to take the time to interview them and understand what they can offer and how each of them works.

Can I Self-manage My Maui Vacation Rental?

Yes, in most cases, you can choose to self-manage your Maui vacation rental condo. You may choose to take bookings directly or on platforms such as Airbnb or VRBO.
If you are renting a property and you live on the mainland or you do not reside on the same island as where the property is located, by Hawaii law you will need to designate an on-island contact, someone who lives on the island of Maui who can be your contact and your guests’ contact in case of emergency. 

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