Can I put a tiny home on my Maui property and live in it?

living in a mobile home

Living in tiny homes, trailers, and RV’s on Maui.

I often get asked about whether or not you can put a tiny home or trailer on your property and live in it.  The short answer is YES, but there are conditions.

There are really 2 options, either a small building, or a vehicle such as a trailer or recreational vehicle (RV).

Small buildings:

What is a tiny house/home?  A tiny home is typically defined as being under 400 square feet.

Do you need a building permit?  Yes, any structure that people are living in will need a Maui County building permit.  Besides a building permit, you may also need electrical, plumbing, and waste water permits.  The biggest hurdle might be how you handle the waste water, and that’s a Department of Health concern – at the State level.

The zoning of a Maui property will determine how many dwellings are allowed.  Neighborhood restrictions may also apply, especially if it’s a newer development with CC&R’s (covenants, conditions, and restrictions).


So you’re thinking, what if I just park an RV at the back of the property and live in it… does that work?  You might get away with it for the short term, until somebody makes a complaint.  A complaint will trigger an inspection by the County that might result in a Notice of Warning.  This starts a dialog that requests remediation.  If nothing is done in response to the NOW, then a Notice of Violation will be the next step, and there will be consequences.

What if it’s parked in the driveway?  A vehicle must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles, and must be able to move.  Someone could be living in the vehicle, which comes and goes.  Is that legal?

Basically it boils down to this, it’s considered a dwelling if someone is living in it.  If your number of dwellings exceed what is permissible, you will have to remove it.

Find out more about the permitting process at the Maui County website, Planning Department.


living in the camper

Living in a camper or RV as an alternative to a real house

tiny little home on maui

Are you thinking about living in a tiny home on Maui?

Maybe I can help you find a suitable property with fewer restrictions.

Thanks for reading my blog…

Georgie Hunter R(S) e-Pro, Hawai’i Life Real Estate Brokers
26 Baldwin Ave, Paia HI 96779
E-mail or call/text: 808 283-0635

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