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.

MVRA was formed in 2002 for the purpose of establishing fair regulation of short term rental and B&B uses of single family homes in Maui County. At the time of its establishment there were fewer than 25 permitted short term rental homes and B&Bs in Maui County and more than 800 un-permitted operations of this type.

MVRA has established itself as the primary spokesperson for Maui's vacation rental industry. Members have participated in hundreds of community meetings, planning commission hearings and County Council meetings concerned with regulating short term rental uses in Maui County.

Major accomplishments

  • December 2008 passed the Bed and Breakfast ordinance that allows nearly all Maui homeowners the opportunity to get a permit to allow short term rental of rooms in their house or rental of a dwelling on the property where they live. Helped to permit more than 120 B&Bs
  • May 2010 successfully lobbied to keep tax rate for B&B homeowners from being set at hotel rate and established a rate that would consider the homeowner component of every bed and breakfast homes.
  • Ongoing 2010-2012 participated in general plan meetings to ensure that short term rentals would be included in all areas of Maui under the general plan.
  • May 2012 passed the Short term rental ordinance to allow Maui property owners the opportunity to get a permit to allow short term rental of heir second homes when managed locally by the owner or by licensed professional property managers. Helped to permit more than 200 Short term rental homes
  • 2012 thru 2013 worked closely with planning department to establish reasonable permit processing procedures for STRH and B&B permits.
  • May 2014 successfully lobbied to establish the commercial tax rate, instead of hotel tax rate for STRH permit holders.
  • From 2010 to 2016 donated more than $50,000 to Maui charities including more than $30,000 to the Visitor industry charity walk, more than $12,000 to various charitable efforts benefiting Maui public schools and $5000 to Maui Food bank.

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 B&B and STRH ordinances now law, 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.

In 2011 we focused our efforts 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. The ordinance was passed in 2012, allowing legal STRH homes with restrictions to protect surrounding neighborhoods.  These homes are blending into their neighborhoods with no disruption to the surrounding area.

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! The B&B ordinance 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. The 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 $200,000 and home owner tax rate ($2.86/$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 requires a STRH permit.   As with the B&B permit, you cannot begin to operate until the permit is issued.

Please support our efforts to keep legislation and taxation of short term rental properties fair.   Join MVRA today. If you are already a member please ask us how you can help with your time and efforts in this ongoing process.