General information

What is the MVRA?

The Maui Vacation Rental Association provides information about current issues regarding single family Short Term Rental homes (STRH) and Bed & Breakfast homes (B&B) on the island of Maui, including details of the benefits they bring to Maui. MVRA is a non-profit trade association made up of property owners, rental booking agencies and members of the business community. Since 2001, MVRA has been working diligently with County government, the local community, and property owners to establish fair and effective regulations and licensing for vacation rentals.

Maui Vacation Rental Association Position Statement

Approved 2/8/08

The Maui Vacation Rental Association believes that Vacation Rentals play an important role in a healthy economy and diversified tourism. Vacation Rentals are acknowledged all over the world as an alternative to resort and hotel type of accommodations. Home owners have an opportunity to participate directly in and benefit from tourism. The Maui Vacation Rental Association believes that this industry needs a fair regulation and license process in order to control proliferation and problems caused by poorly managed establishments and to preserve the character of neighborhoods.

The Maui Vacation Rental Association will continue to work in good faith with government and the public to find middle ground and establish new laws, to benefit the community as a whole.

MVRA distinguishes the following types of vacation rentals in the county of Maui:

B&B (new definition)
Short-term rental of rooms or an entire dwelling where the owner is living on the same parcel as visitors.

STRH (short term rental home, previously known as TVR)
Short-term rental properties with an on on-island local owner to manage the property, or a professional on-island real estate licensed property manager.

Both of these categories are a vital component of the island's visitor industry and provisions must be made for the existence of both of these types of accommodations in all zoning areas of Maui.

Questions & Answers

With the new B&B ordinance complete, and work still to be done on the Short Term Rental Home ordinance, many homeowners have questions. We will try to answer some of them in this section.

Why should I join MVRA, what can the organization do for me?

MVRA is recognized by the industry, the press and the County as the primary organization that represents the vacation rental industry. As a result we have an established voice in what happens to our industry. The more participation that the organization has both through a strong membership base and through the volunteer efforts of the members, the more we can get accomplished for the industry.

In 2008 we were pleased to have participated in the passage of a meaningful B&B ordinance that should allow most people living on their property the opportunity to obtain a B&B permit. Without MVRA’s participation in this process, there would not have been a new ordinance or the one that would have been passed would have continued the highly restrictive nature that excluded most operations from compliance.

For 2011 we have our sights set on achieving the same kind of ordinance for STRH (short term rental home) properties, to allow the legitimate existence of STRHs outside of the hotel district. This will be a more difficult task than the B&B ordinance because there continues to be a local contingent that opposes any STRH use on Maui. But MVRA must educate our County officials to the benefits of this industry and the need for reasonable regulation of it.

As we go forward the goals of MVRA are to continue to protect the industry and to provide information and services that will benefit our members. Without the broad based support of those in the industry, we risk the possibility that there will be no industry.

I read that it’s OK to have a B&B on the property that I live on. Can I start operating?

No! We do have a new B&B ordinance that allows property owners in most zoning areas to be able to apply for a B&B permit that will allow them to be in compliance with local zoning regulations, but before operating, one must first obtain a permit. The process of obtaining a permit, while more streamlined than before, is still a complicated multi-step process that will take several months to complete. MVRA will be working with our members to help guide them through this process most efficiently.

I own my property and live in the ohana and would like to rent out the main house to visitors. Can I get a B&B permit for this use?

If your property is located in residential, urban, rural or Ag zoning, you may be eligible to obtain a B&B permit for this type of use. In the past the B&B permit only applied to properties in the residential or urban zoning districts and only allowed for the short term rental use of rooms in the dwelling that the owner lived in. However, the newly established B&B ordinance allows you to live in one dwelling on the property and rent out another (permitted) dwelling on the property to visitors. This second dwelling could be an ohana or could be the main dwelling on the property.

I would like to get a B&B permit, but I heard that my property taxes would go up. Is this true?

The B&B ordinance calls for the loss of your home-owner exemption of $300,000 and home owner tax rate ($2.00/$1000) upon the issuance of a permit. This means that if you have been receiving a home-owner exemption, your property taxes will go up. How much they go up is determined each year at budget time. MVRA will be working on behalf of our members to ensure that the designated tax rate each year is fair.
This additional taxation will become a component that you consider when setting your rental rate. For example should your taxes go up by $2400/year and you rent 2 rooms, then you would have to raise your room rates by $5/night to make up this difference (assuming that you have about 65% occupancy).

I have a property that I live in part of the year and would like to rent out to visitors when I am not in Maui. Can I get a B&B permit to do this?

No! If you do not live on the property full time (as your primary residence), you are not eligible for a B&B permit. Renting an entire house for a term of less than 6 months without the owner living on the property is currently prohibited outside of the “Hotel” district. Some STRH owners have applied for a County conditional permit to allow this type of use. But it is important to understand that the conditional permit is a general purpose permit intended to allow the consideration of any non permitted uses. It is not technically a vacation rental permit. As a result this permit process is difficult, and based on the prohibition in the current County code the planning department has a policy to recommend denial of permits for a STRH where an owner or a resident manager does not live full time on the property.

MVRA is working hard to get the county to pass a permitting process specifically for STRH properties. If you would like to see this happen please support our efforts by joining MVRA today. If you are already a members please ask us how you can help with your time and efforts in this ongoing process.