Oahu TLA

Dated: 04/13/2018

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Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) in Hawaii

TLA Hotel with pets!

What is TLA?

             TLA is the allowance for lodging and meals for personnel arriving and departing Hawaii. It’s used to partially reimburse a service member for normal expenses while they are in staying in a hotel.  You will be reimbursed as long as your are staying in a TLA approved hotel (Click Here for the List), and you will also receive per diem meals and incidental expenses (M&IE). Here are some great links to check out:

Click Here to Calculate Per Diem

Click Here for List of TLA Approved Hotels

Computing TLA 

When is TLA Authorized?

  • When active duty member arrives at an OCONUS station.

  • TLA is authorized for 10 nights of lodging when members are PCS’ing off island.

How Does TLA Get Paid?

            TLA is paid after the service member files a claim for the expenses incurred. You must provide your lodging receipts.

The Clock Started on My TLA… Now What?

Start looking ASAP!  Once the service member is set up on TLA, families must aggressively and diligently search for housing.  Families are allowed up to a total of 60 days of TLA as long as the member secures housing within 30 days of arrival.

If you're renting: Make sure you are looking on Craigslist, on Facebook, on HiCentral.com (Hawaii MLS), and anywhere else rentals are posted. Please be careful of scammers! 

If you're buying: Work with your realtor to make sure that you are looking at the right houses! Check out your top picks, and don't waste time on ones that you know you are not interested in! Remember, you should have an accepted offer within 15 days of arrival if you don't want to pay out of pocket for hotel costs because it takes about 45 days to close on your house!

If you're living on base/privatized military housing: Go to the housing offices and get yourself on the wait list! 

An adequate search record must be provided to the TLA office for each 10-day period of TLA authorization. Failure to do so will jeopardize further TLA authorization. You may ask, what is an “adequate search”?

Adequate Search Consists of:

  • Starting with the first 10 day period, at least 5 suitable units must be looked at and recorded on the Record of Housing Search Form. If you are eligible for or interested in PPC housing such as Island Palm or Hickam Communities, you must be seen at least once during each 10- day period.

  • The second 10-day period of TLA and thereafter, at least 10 suitable units must be looked at and recorded on the record of housing search form.

  • Each of the 10 units is suitable for the pay grade(s) involved-  This just means that you are not looking for housing that you can not afford. If you BAH is $2900, you should not be looking at apartments that costs $4,000 per month. The Maximum Housing Cost Allowance (MHCA) is the total of BAH plus the maximum out of pocket cost, which is at 20%.  If you look at housing over the maximum cost, those units will not count towards total number of units seen for the housing search.

  • Each of the 10 units meets the requirements of the individual- Remember that unsatisfied individual desires for a particular type of housing may not be sufficient justification not to rent. For example, fenced yard, storage space, parking, pets, etc. does not constitute sufficient justification not to rent. You must do your due diligence before you see the property!

  • Members should only consider those units within reasonable commuting time- You may consider more distant units in addition to the minimum 10 units required on the housing search form.

Inadequate Searches:

An inadequate search is one that does not meet the criteria above. It includes reasons such as:

  • “Bad” or high crime neighborhoods. Make sure to do you research before you go look at a property

  • Distance to schools or lack of public transportation

  • No military housing clause in lease

  • Household goods have not arrived

  • Rented already/left message or no call back to messages

  • Dirty without sufficient justification

  • Desire for a particular type of housing, i.e., single family, townhouse, etc (mostly for base housing)

  • Other reasons without sufficient justification.


  • TLA will only be paid if a member is on island and staying at a local hotel

  • NO lease, PPV offer, or no search sheet- NO TLA

  • Search Sheets must be filled out completely in order to receive TLA unless a lease has been signed or an  housing offer letter is received.

  • Family members must be command sponsored and listed on the orders and flight itinerary in order to receive TLA.

**Some Branches may require a letter of availability from a military hotel in order to stay in the economy.** 

The purpose of this blog is to help service members and their families with the TLA process. All contents provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representation as the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any links on the site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. Image title

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Ling Jackson

MEET LING JACKSON A graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and proud member of the Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority, I started my career as a high school math teacher, and later moved in....

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