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Hawaii Landlord Tenant Laws

March 2, 2023

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Quick Facts

Required Disclosures   

Lead-based paint 
Landlord/agent ID 
Property condition 
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 
   
Security Deposits   

Amount Limit: 1 month’s rent 
Interest: N/A 
Return Within: 14 days 
  
Entry   

Notice: 2 days 
Permitted Times of Entry: Reasonable 
Fair Housing Protections   

Race  
Color   
National origin   
Religion   
Sex   
Familial status 
Disability 
Gender identity/expression 
Sexual orientation 
Marital status 
Ancestry 
Age 
HIV status 
Pregnancy 
  
Eviction Notices   

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 

Understand the essential landlord tenant laws in Hawaii before enforcing your own rental policies. Find more information in the Hawaii state law code or the Hawaii landlord-tenant guide

Required Disclosures 

Lead-based paint  

(Title X, Section 1018

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. 

Landlord/Agent Identification 

(HRS § 521-43(a)

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. 

Property Condition 

(HRS § 521-42(a)

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 

(HRS § 521-43(d)

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)). 

Security Deposits 

  • 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 

Protected Classes 

  • 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). 

Credit Reports 

  • 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 Histories 

  • 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. 

Entry 

  • 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)). 

Eviction Notices 

Evictions are complex legal processes often poorly understood by both parties. Before pursuing eviction in Hawaii, consider hiring an experienced real estate attorney and be sure to review the Hawaii eviction process in more detail.

  • 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 after sending a ten-day notice to cure or quit (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). 

2 thoughts on “Hawaii Landlord Tenant Laws

    1. Hey Tehane, The rules regarding this matter can vary from state to state. Nonetheless, in some states, landlords have the freedom to establish their own tenant screening criteria, which may include a person’s credit score as one of the parameters. Innago offers valuable real estate educational resources to its users, but it’s important to understand that we cannot provide legal advice.

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