Posted in Blog  
  on Mar 04, 2016

Explanation of the Hawaii Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

The Hawaii Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is covered in full under Chapter 521 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes. If you have specific questions that are not answered by this guide, then consult with this code or seek specialty legal advice regarding the matter at hand.

1. Rent Can Be Paid On a Weekly Basis.

Rental agreements can be in writing or agreed to orally. An oral rental agreement in Hawaii is treated as a month-to-month arrangement and cannot exceed one year. Rent can be paid monthly or paid weekly depending on the specifics that are in the lease. Tenants who are on a month-to-month agreement can have their rent raised to any amount with a 45 day notice.


2. Security Deposits Cannot Exceed One Month's Rent.

A security deposit in Hawaii cannot be more than one month's rent. This includes any additional deposits for pets, keys, or anything else a landlord may wish to include. The security deposit cannot be used to pay the last month of rent unless the landlord specifically agrees to this and a 45 day notice of vacating is provided to the landlord.

3. There Are Time Limitations For Actions.

A tenant has 1 year to commence a dispute on their security deposit if they feel like a portion of it was held back unfairly. Lawyers are not allowed to represent landlords or tenants in a small claims court dispute over a security deposit in Hawaii.

4. Landlords Have 3 Business Days To Begin Emergency Repairs.

Hawaii provides a good faith clause which requires landlords to complete emergency repairs as soon as possible. This includes anything that may affect the health and safety of the rental unit. Notification to a tenant regarding a delay in the commencement of repairs is required. If a landlord fails to make the repair, a tenant may do so and deduct up to $500 of the repair cost from the next month of rent.

5. Holding Over May Be Permitted.

Landlords have up to 60 days to sue to evict a tenant who is holding over from an expired lease. If this does not happen and a new rental agreement is not put into place, then Hawaii considers this to be a month-to-month rental agreement under the previous terms agreed upon.

The explanations covered here answer some of the most common questions that are covered by the Hawaii Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. This guide is not intended to serve as legal advice.


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