The short answer is yes, vacation rentals are legal on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi – as long as they meet a specific set of criteria. There is a lot of misinformation and confusion around the legality of vacation rentals in Waikīkī, Honolulu and Oʻahu, so let’s set the record straight.

Noting that the State of Hawaii has four counties and each one has its own regulations regarding vacation rentals, this article will focus on the rules governing the island of Oahu, set forth by the City & County of Honolulu.

We’ll get into the nitty-gritty detail below, but in summary, Ordinance 19-18 (Bill 89) clarifies where less-than 30-day vacation rentals are allowed. It does not ban short-term rentals on Oahu, and there are still plenty of Oahu vacation rental properties available to book including our Waikiki properties. To be legal, a short-term rental must be located on land that is zoned explicitly for ‘resort/resort mixed use’ or have a permit (called a NUC) to operate outside of these areas.

Note, vacation rentals with a lease term over 30-days are legal for Oahu properties unless the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) states otherwise. If you’re able to visit Oahu for at least 30-days your options for legal short-term rentals open up a great deal, especially on the North Shore and in Kailua. It’s perfectly fine to book a 30-day vacation rental, even if you plan to occupy the premises for less than that time. Either way, the owner can only have one tenant per 30-day period.

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Image Credit: Andy Stenz Photography