Buying Advice

Maui Airbnb Rules and Zoning Restrictions: What is the Minatoya List?

If you are interested a buying a Maui property that can be used for short-term vacation rentals, you may have heard of the “Minatoya List.”

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Rentals in Maui

First, it is important to understand the types of properties that allow you to rent them out. In Hawaii, these rules differ by county, so they are different on each island.

In Maui, properties are categorized into two main types: those that allow long-term renters and those that allow short-term renters. Long-term rentals require a minimum lease agreement of six months, offering stability and consistency for both tenants and landlords alike. On the other hand, short-term rentals allow rental periods of less than six months, and can often operate on a daily basis, or Airbnb style, catering to vacationers and travelers seeking temporary accommodation.

The Legacy of Short-Term Rentals in Maui

Did you know that Maui has had a long-established system for short-term vacation rentals, even before the days of Airbnb and VRBO? It’s true! The zoning here has been tailored to accommodate hotels and short-term rental properties for decades. This means that many condos were built on land zoned specifically for hotels, making it a breeze to operate them as short-term rentals. We sometimes refer to these properties as “condotels.”

What is the Minatoya List?

However, things get a bit more intricate when it comes to condos built on apartment-zoned land. Back in the ’70s and ’80s, some of these condos were used for short-term rentals. In 1992, a legal counsel, Mr. Minatoya, wrote a ruling that if the condo was built before 1992 and was already being utilized for short-term vacation rentals approved by the association, it could be grandfathered in and continue to be used for short-term rentals. This effectively created what we now call the Minatoya List.

Fast forward to more recent times, around 2015-2016, there was concern about potential changes to these regulations. To safeguard the rights of property owners, the Association of Realtors in Maui collaborated with the county counsel. In 2018, the County Council officially ratified the Minatoya List, providing legal backing to condos on the list for short-term rentals.

Navigating Maui’s Vacation Rental Market

What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re a property owner on the Minatoya List, you can rest assured that your right to offer short-term vacation rentals is protected by law. And for those of you searching for vacation rental properties, navigating online platforms like Zillow or can be a bit tricky. These sites typically don’t differentiate between short-term and long-term rentals. But fear not! With my expertise and access to MLS technology, I can streamline your search process by providing listings tailored to your preferences.

Simplifying Your Maui Property Search

So whether you’re a seasoned property owner or a first-time visitor dreaming of a Maui getaway, understanding the ins and outs of zoning and the Minatoya List can help you better understand what you can and cannot do with your Maui property. If you found this information helpful and are eager for more insights into Maui real estate, I would love it if you left a comment below. And if you’re ready to embark on your Maui real estate journey, I’d be honored to be your Maui resource.

Comments (1) Show CommentsHide Comments (Remember)

Cool. Add your comment...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private, this form is secure and we never spam you.


May 9, 2024

I guess that with the new bill being proposed by the Mayor, the condos on the Minatoya list would lose their exemption if the Maui bill passes. We own a condo at Hale Kamaole and it is on the list. Sad to see this happening, guess we will then only use it as our secondary home. The implication is bad for the economy on Maui and many residents would need to leave the island over time as tax revenue and jobs will be declining.

More Articles from Hawaii Life