Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

Are Maui short-term rentals illegal?

In April I wrote an post about short-term rentals. Then last week we had the bomb-shell announcement by the Maui County mayor. So are Maui short-term rentals illegal now? In short – no.

Maui short-term rentals are not illegal at this time. And even if the Mayor’s proposed legislation passes, it will impact up to half of vacation rentals and not until January 1, 2026, for South Maui. You can however expect the cost of the remaining vacation rentals to increase due to supply and demand.

What happened?

Maui has been grappling with a shortage of affordable housing for decades. This was exacerbated last summer when 2200 housing units were destroyed in the Lahaina and Kula fires. Last week Maui Mayor Bissen announced proposed legislation that would remove some 7000 legally operating short-term rentals by January 1, 2026.

This would have disastrous consequences on the County’s budget from a tax perspective, thousands of residents who would lose their jobs and businesses and property values for all condo owners. The unfortunate thing is, even if property values plummet by say half and locals were able to purchase distressed properties, the monthly HOA (maintenance) fees, maintenance work, shoreline encroachments, never mind mortgages would still make these condos unaffordable for locals. These are 40-60 year-old buildings with big maintenance needs. Also, they are mainly small condos with limited storage, deed restrictions and only one parking stall each.

What will happen next?

Maui needs housing. Desperately. The mayor has said he expects lawsuits. Hopefully Maui’s full- and part-time residents and politicians can find a multi-pronged approach to easing the housing crisis that doesn’t decimate the economy.

For the next year and a half at least you can still stay at Maui short-term rentals. And hopefully for years to come.

Want to help? Please consider supporting the Maui Vacation Rental Association.

Sugar Beach 104
Pull up a chaise lounge and take in the view at Sugar Beach Resort