Hawaii Landlord Tenant Laws
March 2, 2023
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|Required Disclosures |
Copy of Lease
Rent and Fees
Application Fees: Permitted
Rent Control: N/A
Late Fee Limit: 8% of amount due
Grace Period Minimum: N/A
Amount Limit: 1 month’s rent
Return Within: 14 days
Notice: 2 days
Permitted Times of Entry: Reasonable
|Fair Housing Protections |
Rent Demand Notice: 5-day pay-or-quit notice
Notice for Lease Violation: 10-day cure-or-quit notice
Unconditional Notice to Quit: Immediate quit notice
Hawaii Landlord-Tenant Law
Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992.
Landlords must disclose to the tenant in writing the name and address of the person authorized to manage the premises and the person responsible for receiving notices.
Prior to the beginning of the tenancy, the landlord must inventory the premises and provide a written record detailing its condition, as well as the condition of any furnishings or appliances. Both the landlord and the tenant should sign a copy.
Copy of Lease
Landlords should provide each tenant with a copy of the written Hawaii lease agreement.
Rent and Fees
- Rent Due Date: Unless otherwise specified in the rental agreement, rent is due at the dwelling unit on the first of the month (HRS § 521-21(a)).
- Application Fees: Rental application fees are not regulated in Hawaii.
- Rent Increases: There is no statewide rent control in Hawaii.
- Late Fees: 8% of the amount due (HRS § 521-21(f)).
- Grace Period: There is no mandatory grace period in Hawaii.
- NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: If the tenant’s rent check bounces, the landlord may charge a fee of $30 (HRS § 490:3-506.5).
- Withholding Rent/Repair and Deduct: If the landlord fails to begin a necessary repair within five days of notification, the tenant may arrange for the repairs and deduct up to $500 from rent, provided they submit receipts (HRS § 521-64(a)).
- Deposit Limit: 1 month’s rent, plus an additional pet deposit less than or equal to 1 month’s rent (HRS § 521-44(b)).
- Interest: Landlords in Hawaii are not required to pay interest on security deposits.
- Return Within: 14 days (HRS § 521-44(c)).
- Deposit Location: Landlords are not required to keep security deposits in a separate bank account.
- Withholding: Landlords may withhold funds from the security deposit for repairs, unpaid rent, failure to return keys, cleaning, damages, pet damages, or unpaid utility bills. The landlord must also send the tenant a written itemization of any deductions (HRS § 521-44(a)).
Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections
- Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). Hawaii state law adds gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, marital status, ancestry, age, HIV status, and pregnancy (HRS § 515-3).
- Hawaii landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC § 1681), which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. They must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial.
- Criminal background checks may be used during tenant screening in Hawaii.
- Hawaii landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property.
- Advanced Notice: 2 days (HRS § 521-53(b)).
- Permitted Times: Hawaii landlords may only enter at reasonable times. Landlords may enter for inspections, repairs, decorations, alterations, improvements, services, or showings (HRS § 521-53(a)).
- Emergency Entry: In case of an emergency, the landlord may enter without providing advanced notice (HRS § 521-53(b)).
- Rent Demand Notice: 5 days to pay or quit (HRS § 521-68(a)).
- Notice for Lease Violation: 10 days to cure or quit. What happens with a lease violation? If the tenant is in material noncompliance with section 521-51(1), the landlord may terminate the lease and sue for possession of the property (HRS § 521-69(a)).
- Unconditional Notice to Quit: Immediate notice to quit. This notice applies when a tenant’s noncompliance causes or threatens irremediable damage to any person or property (HRS § 521-69(a)).
Other Laws and Facts About Hawaii
- The Hawaii average rent is $2,850.
- The median rent rate in Honolulu is $2,670.
- In Hawaii, it is illegal to include a provision in any rental agreement that gives the landlord the right to evict a tenant for using medical cannabis for health purposes (HRS § 521-39).