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Can i rent out a room in my house in Hawaii

Renting Out a Room in Paradise: Hawaii’s Home-sharing Landscape

The tropical allure of Hawaii, with its breathtaking beaches, verdant mountains, and unique culture, makes it a dream destination for many. So, if you’re a homeowner in Hawaii, the idea of renting out a room might seem tempting. But can you? Let’s delve into the intricacies of home-sharing in Hawaii.

Hawaii’s Legal Framework on Home-sharing

The state of Hawaii has been grappling with the explosive growth of vacation rentals and home-sharing platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and others. To strike a balance between the state’s tourism-driven economy and the concerns of residents, specific regulations have been put in place.

  1. Zoning Laws: Where your property is located plays a pivotal role. Residential-zoned areas in Hawaii often have restrictions against short-term rentals (typically defined as rentals for periods less than 30 days). However, if you’re considering long-term room rentals, this is generally more permissible.
  2. Bill 89 (2019): This Oahu-specific bill introduced tighter controls on short-term rentals. It allows a limited number of new Bed and Breakfast Homes (B&B) in non-resort areas under strict regulations but prohibits Transient Vacation Units (TVU), or whole-home rentals, in residential zones.
  3. Registration & Licensing: Even if your property is in an area where renting is permissible, you might need to register it and obtain a license. This is especially true for B&Bs in Oahu post-Bill 89.
  4. Taxes: If you’re earning income by renting out a room, remember you’re obligated to pay the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) and the General Excise Tax (GET). Ensure you’re collecting these from your renters and passing them on to the state.

The Benefits and Challenges


  • Supplementary Income: Given Hawaii’s high cost of living, renting out a room can provide an essential financial cushion.
  • Cultural Exchange: Hosting travelers can lead to enriching cross-cultural interactions.


  • Regulatory Navigation: Keeping up with the ever-changing regulatory landscape can be taxing.
  • Privacy Concerns: Sharing your home requires adjusting to reduced personal space and ensuring the security of your belongings and household.

Considerations Before You Begin

  • Respect Your Neighbors: Ensure that your home-sharing doesn’t disrupt the peace and quiet of your neighborhood.
  • Insurance: Review your homeowner’s insurance to check if it covers renting. You might need additional coverage.
  • House Rules: Establish clear house rules to ensure a smooth experience for both you and your tenant.


Renting out a room in your Hawaiian home is feasible, but it comes with its set of responsibilities. Staying informed about the legalities, being respectful of community sentiments, and preparing your home can ensure a harmonious home-sharing experience in paradise. The Simple answer is Yes.

Celester Thomas

Company Blog – Soldier to Soldier Hawaii Realty

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