The tiniest mention of Hawaii brings to mind the word “paradise”. While a travel bucket list item for many; it can certainly be a lucrative place to own residential rental property. With the average rents doubling every twenty years and the demand out-doing the supply, Hawaii is clearly a great place to invest in.
At a Glance:
Late Fees: No limits specified in Hawaii statutes.
Security Deposit: A limit of an amount equal to one month’s rent plus one month for a pet, if applicable.
Returned Payment Fee Limit: No stated limits set forth in statutes, however the “reasonable charges” rule applies – $30 seems to be the typical charge.
Notice to Enter: 2 Days notification from landlord to tenant, except in emergencies where no advance notice is needed.
Late Fee/Returned Check Fee:
In Hawaii there is no written law that restricts the amount of what to charge when the rent is late or if a payment if returned unpaid by the bank. Using caution and reasonable judgement when assessing these amounts is suggested as charging an extremely large fee may be called into question if taken to court. Although there are no statutes regarding an amount on a bounced check, $30 seems to be customary. There are also additional civil and criminal penalties available to the landlord if he so choose to explore that road.
In accordance with §521-44 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, no more than an amount equaling one month may be accepted as a security deposit. If a pet is permitted, an additional month may be taken, however it may only be used in conjunction with damage done by a pet or pets. NOTE: A security deposit is not permitted for service or assistance animals.
Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) §521-42 explains in detail what maintenance and repairs a landlord is responsible for. Basically, a landlord must make sure that the premises is safe and fit. If there are common areas such as halls, laundry rooms, etc, the too must be kept in good repair, clean and safe.
Right of Entry:
In order for a landlord or the landlord’s contractors, agents or workers to make repairs, inspect the premises, provide upgrades or services or to show the property to buyers, mortgagees or prospective tenants, Hawaii landlords must give an advanced two-day notice to the tenant. As long as the time is reasonable, the tenant cannot unfairly withhold permission for the landlord to enter.
For emergencies a notice need not be given.
Notice to End Lease:
If the lease has a definitive end date, then no notice is required unless expressly stated in the lease itself. For leases that go month to month, the landlord must provide an advance notice of 45 days and the tenant must provide 28 days. Notices must be in written form. In the case of a week to week term, notice of 10 days is the requirement.
No one wants to think about eviction but better to know ahead of time. In Hawaii, if a tenant does not pay the rent when it is due, the landlord must send a 5 Day Notice to Remedy or Quit. This kind of notice provides the tenant with 5 days to pay the total amount due or move out. If the tenant does not vacate the premises or pay the rent, the landlord may then file suit to have that tenant forcibly removed. Other notice periods are:
- If tenant is threatening to or actually causes damage to any person, or property, no advanced notice is needed.
- When a tenant breaks a clause in a lease, a 10-day advanced notice must be provided to the tenant to fix the behavior or move. IF the tenant ignores the notice, the landlord must wait another 20 days after that notice was provided before filing in court.
- For nuisance complaints such as noise, the landlord will give a 5-day notice, however the tenant must comply within 24 hours or the landlord can go to file in court on the 5th
IMPORTANT: At no time may a landlord lock-out, change locks or take it upon himself to physically remove the tenant. There are court procedures to follow and by not doing so, the landlord can face a very large headache and much expense.
If a tenant should move out of the property and leave personal effects behind, there is protocol to be followed. This can be found in HRS §521-56.
Questions? Ask a Hawaii Attorney!
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