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Hawaii Landlord Tenant Code Handbook

Hawaii Landlord Tenant Code Handbook

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Published by Biz Kellam
An important read for residential Landlords and Tenants in Hawaii.
An important read for residential Landlords and Tenants in Hawaii.

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Published by: Biz Kellam on Jul 29, 2011
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07/29/2011

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INTRODUCTION
This Handbook for the Hawaii Residential Landlord-Tenant Code is published by theOffice of Consumer Protection, a division of the State Department of Commerce andConsumer Affairs. It is designed to be a useful guide for all Hawaii residents andattempts to address the questions and concerns most frequently expressed by landlordsand tenants.
THIS HANDBOOK HIGHLIGHTS AREAS OF THE LANDLORD-TENANT CODE. ITDOES NOT DUPLICATE OR EXPLAIN THE COMPLETE TEXT OF THE CODE.PERSONS DESIRING TO REVIEW THE COMPLETE TEXT OF THE HAWAIIRESIDENTIAL LANDLORD-TENANT CODE SHOULD OBTAIN A COPY OFCHAPTER 521, HAWAII REVISED STATUTES.
The Hawaii Residential Landlord-Tenant Code is the name of Chapter 521, of theHawaii Revised Statutes (HRS). The section numbers that are cited throughout thishandbook refer to the sections of Chapter 521. This handbook is for informational andreference purposes only, and does not provide legal advice. The information in thishandbook is subject to change.The organization of this handbook is based upon the same general categories thatappear in the Code. The reader may note that the recurrent intent of the Code is equal justice for both landlords and tenants. Much of the confusion and difficulty so commonin landlord-tenant disputes would be minimized or eliminated if there were betteunderstanding and communication between landlords and tenants. One way of achieving this is through the use of clearly written agreements and understandings andinsuring that the agreements are signed by the landlord and the tenant in duplicate withcopies provided to each. Such points of agreement that are not clearly understoodshould be discussed, clarified and put into writing.
If you have questions on a landlord-tenant matter, call the Office of ConsumerProtection 586-2634 or consult an attorney. For the neighbor islands, please referto the phone numbers on the front cover.THIS MATERIAL CAN BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH SPECIALNEEDS IN BRAILLE, LARGE PRINT OR AUDIO TAPE. PLEASE SUBMIT YOURREQUEST TO THE OFFICE OF CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION SECRETARYAT (808) 586-2636.
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTIONRENTAL AGREEMENTS..................................................................................................4
Types of Agreements....................................................................................................4Contract Provisions.......................................................................................................4Term of Rental Agreements..........................................................................................4Rent..............................................................................................................................5Inventory.......................................................................................................................5Advantages and Disadvantages Of Different Types of Rental Agreements..................5Limitations on Rental Agreements and Practices.........................................................5Legal Requirements......................................................................................................5
SECURITY DEPOSITS.....................................................................................................6
Lawful Use of Deposits.................................................................................................6Amount of Deposit........................................................................................................6Retention of Deposit.....................................................................................................6Limitation Period to Recover Deposit............................................................................7When Dwelling is Sold..................................................................................................7Security Deposit Disputes.............................................................................................7
REPAIRS...........................................................................................................................7
Emergency Repairs......................................................................................................7Repairs to Correct Conditions Affecting Health and Safety ..........................................8Other Repairs...............................................................................................................9Schedule of Deadlines for Repairs...............................................................................9
PROHIBITED PRACTICES...............................................................................................10
Lockouts.......................................................................................................................10Retaliatory Evictions and Rent Increases.....................................................................10Turning Off Utilities.......................................................................................................11
TERMINATION OF TENANCY .........................................................................................12
Month-to-Month Tenancy..............................................................................................12Week-to-Week Tenancy...............................................................................................12Fixed Term Rentals......................................................................................................13Holdover.......................................................................................................................13
LANDLORD OBLIGATIONS.............................................................................................13
Conditions a Tenant May Expect From Landlord..........................................................13Rental Agreement; Disclosure......................................................................................14Access..........................................................................................................................15
 
TENANT OBLIGATIONS..................................................................................................15
Tenant Maintenance.....................................................................................................15Compliance With Rules ................................................................................................15Obligation to Pay Rental ..............................................................................................16Tenant's Absence Without Notice.................................................................................16Access..........................................................................................................................16Tenant Absence and Repair Needs..............................................................................16Inform Landlord of Repair Needs..................................................................................16
LANDLORD REMEDIES...................................................................................................17
Failure to Pay Rent.......................................................................................................17Court Action for Rent Payment.....................................................................................17Rent Trust Fund............................................................................................................17Tenant Negligence, Failure to Maintain, or Unlawful Use.............................................17Absence........................................................................................................................18Misuse..........................................................................................................................18Abandonment...............................................................................................................18Tenant Quits Before Occupancy...................................................................................18Landlord's Remedies for Improper Use........................................................................19Tenant's Refusal to Allow Reasonable Access.............................................................19Entry in Case of Emergencies......................................................................................19
TENANT REMEDIES........................................................................................................21
Tenant Unable to Gain Possession..............................................................................21Termination During First Week of Occupancy .............................................................21Termination at Any Time...............................................................................................21Unlawful Removal or Exclusion....................................................................................21Retaliatory Evictions and Rent Increases Prohibited....................................................22Non-Disclosure.............................................................................................................22Landlord's Entry Without Permission............................................................................22Unreasonable Entry......................................................................................................22Fire or Casualty Damage..............................................................................................22Tenant's Remedy for Repair.........................................................................................22
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS...............................................................................................25
Deposits........................................................................................................................25Taxes............................................................................................................................25Rent..............................................................................................................................26Abandoned Possessions..............................................................................................27Discrimination in Real Property Transactions...............................................................27
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NANT CODE DEADLINES.....................................................28

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