Hawaii Landlord-Tenant Laws

Hawaii Rental Laws

Landlord-Tenant Code

Termination for Nonpayment Notice
(Eviction Notice)
5-Day Notice  §521-68
Termination for Lease Violation Notice10-Day Notice; Landlord must wait another 20 days before beginning eviction; Termination for Nuisances – 24 Hour Notice, if not cured landlord must wait 5 days before filing for eviction §666-3
Small Claim Court LimitHawaii Small Claim Court Limit is $5,000
Handling Abandoned Property
The landlord may store, donate or sell the tenant’s abandoned property. A reasonable effort must be made to reach the tenant. The landlord must wait 15 days from the delivery of the notice before disposing of the tenant’s belongings. Any proceeds from a sale must be held in escrow for 30 days  §521-56
Penalty for Self-Help EvictionTwo months rent or two months free rent
Tenant Withholding Rent for Repairs §521-64  Tenant’s remedy of repair and deduction for minor defects
Required Disclosures Owner or agent’s identity §521-43; Move-in Checklist §521-42; Tax excise number §521-43 
Non-Refundable FeesNo. Also, no other fees can be collected at the beginning of the lease except a security deposit and the first month’s rent
Security Deposit Rules Security Deposit Amount Limit: One Month plus One Month for Pet Deposit  §521-44
Deadline to itemize charges and return deposit: 14 Days
Month-to-Month NoticeTenant 28 Days Notice; Landlord 45 Days to terminate
Payment of RentNo statute on late rent fees and grace period
Property Entry
Notice
Two Days

Nonpayment of Rent

     §521-68  Landlord’s remedies for failure by tenant to pay rent.  (a)  A landlord or the landlord’s agent may, any time after rent is due, demand payment thereof and notify the tenant in writing that unless payment is made within a time mentioned in the notice, not less than five business days after receipt thereof, the rental agreement will be terminated.  If the tenant cannot be served with notice as required, notice may be given the tenant by posting the same in a conspicuous place on the dwelling unit.  If the tenant remains in default, the landlord may thereafter bring a summary proceeding for possession of the dwelling unit or any other proper proceeding, action, or suit for possession.

     (b)  A landlord or the landlord’s agent may bring an action for rent alone at any time after the landlord has demanded payment of past due rent and notified the tenant of the landlord’s intention to bring such an action. [L 1972, c 132, pt of §1; am L 1978, c 167, §1; gen ch 1985]

Termination Based on Violation of Lease

   §521-72  Landlord’s remedies for improper use.  (a)  If the tenant breaches any rule authorized under section 521-52, the landlord may notify the tenant in writing of the tenant’s breach.  The notice shall specify the time, not less than ten days, within which the tenant is required to remedy the breach and shall be in substantially the following form:

Building extensions for a leasehold

“(Name and address of tenant)           (date)

You are hereby notified that you have failed to perform according to the following rule:

(specify rule allegedly breached)

     Be informed that if you (continue violating) (again violate) this rule after (a date not less than ten days after this notice), the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and sue for possession of your dwelling unit.”

No allowance of time to remedy the breach of any rule authorized under section 521-52 shall be required when the breach by the tenant causes or threatens to cause damage to any person or constitutes a violation of section 521-51(1) or (6).

     (b)  If the breach complained of continues or recurs after the date specified in the notice, the landlord may bring a summary proceeding for possession within thirty days after such continued or recurring breach. [L 1972, c 132, pt of §1; am L 1976, c 90, §7; am L 1983, c 146, §2; gen ch 1985]

Tenant Withholding Rent for Repairs

     §521-64  Tenant’s remedy of repair and deduction for minor defects.  (a)  The landlord, upon written notification by the department of health or other state or county agencies that there exists a condition on the premises which constitutes a health or safety violation, shall commence repairs of the condition within five business days of the notification with a good faith requirement that the repairs be completed as soon as possible; provided that if the landlord is unable to commence the repairs within five business days for reasons beyond the landlord’s control the landlord shall inform the tenant of the reason for the delay and set a reasonable tentative date on which repairs will commence.  Health or safety violations for the purpose of this section means any condition on the premises which is in noncompliance with section 521-42(a)(1).

     (b)  If the landlord fails to perform in the manner specified in subsection (a), the tenant may:

     (1)  Immediately do or have done the necessary repairs in a competent manner, and upon submission to the landlord of receipts amounting to at least the sum deducted, deduct from the tenant’s rent not more than $500 for the tenant’s actual expenditures for work done to correct the health or safety violation; or

     (2)  Submit to the landlord, at least five business days before having the work done, written signed estimates from each of two qualified workers and proceed to have done the necessary work by the worker who provides the lower estimate; provided that the landlord may require in writing a reasonable substitute worker or substitute materials, and upon submission to the landlord of receipts amounting to at least the sum deducted, the tenant may deduct $500 or one month’s rent, whichever is greater, for the tenant’s actual expenditures for work done to correct the health or safety violation.

     (c)  The landlord, upon written notification by the tenant of any defective condition on the premises which is in material noncompliance with section 521-42(a) or with the rental agreement, shall commence repairs of the condition within twelve business days of the notification with a good faith requirement that the repairs be completed as soon as possible; provided that if the landlord is unable to commence repairs within twelve business days for reasons beyond the landlord’s control the landlord shall inform the tenant of the reason for the delay and set a reasonable tentative date on which repairs will commence.  In any case involving repairs, except those required due to misuse by the tenant, to electrical, plumbing, or other facilities, including major appliances provided by the landlord pursuant to the rental agreement, necessary to provide sanitary and habitable living conditions, the landlord shall commence repairs within three business days of receiving oral or written notification, with a good faith requirement that the repairs be completed as soon as possible; provided that if the landlord is unable to commence repairs within three business days for reasons beyond the landlord’s control the landlord shall inform the tenant of the reasons for the delay and set a reasonable tentative date on which repairs will commence.

     (d)  If the landlord fails to perform in the manner specified in subsection (c), the tenant may immediately do or have done the necessary work in a competent manner and upon submission to the landlord of receipts amounting to at least the sums deducted, deduct from the tenant’s rent not more than $500 for the tenant’s actual expenditures for work done to correct the defective condition.

     (e)  At the time the tenant initially notifies the landlord under subsection (c), the tenant shall list every condition that the tenant knows or should know of noncompliance under subsection (c), in addition to the objectionable condition that the tenant then intends to correct or have corrected at the landlord’s expense.  Failure by a tenant to list such a condition that the tenant knew of or should have known of shall estop the tenant from requiring the landlord to correct it and from having it corrected at the landlord’s expense under this section for a period of six months after the initial notification to the landlord.  Total correction and repair work costs under this section chargeable to the landlord’s expense during each six-month period shall not exceed an amount equal to three months’ rent.

     (f)  In no event may a tenant repair a dwelling unit at the landlord’s expense when the condition complained of was caused by the want of due care by the tenant, a member of the tenant’s family, or other person on the premises with the tenant’s consent.

     (g)  Before correcting a condition affecting facilities shared by more than one dwelling unit, the tenant shall notify all other tenants sharing such facilities of the tenant’s plans, and shall so arrange the work as to create the least practicable inconvenience to the other tenants. [L 1972, c 132, pt of §1; am L 1974, c 180, §4; am L 1975, c 104, §2; am L 1976, c 90, §5; am L 1981, c 235, §3; am L 1982, c 211, §1; gen ch 1985; am L 1995, c 42, §1]

Landlord-Tenant State Laws