The Hawaii Residential Landlord-Tenant Code, Chapter 521 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) allows for a tenant to dispute the landlord’s deduction or retention of a security deposit in the following manner:
Tenant Action to Recover Security Deposit
Any action by the tenant to recover all or any portion of the security deposit must be commenced within one year
from the date the rental agreement terminated. See Security Deposit Disputes below.
Security Deposit Disputes
Legal action involving security deposit disputes may be undertaken by either party only in small claims court. In this type of small claims court action, lawyers are not allowed to represent either party. Where the court determines that the landlord:
- Wrongfully and willfully retained all or part of the security deposit, it may award the tenant damages equal to three times the security deposit, or part thereof, plus the cost of the suit.
- Wrongfully retained all or part of the security deposit, it shall award the tenant damages equal to the portion of the security deposit, or part thereof, wrongfully retained plus the cost of the suit.
- Retained the security deposit lawfully, it shall award the landlord damages equal to the portion of the security deposit, or part thereof, in dispute plus the cost of the suit.
Section 44(h)(1)(2)(3) & (4)
See also Hawaii Landlord Security Deposit Laws.
Return to Hawaii Landlord-Tenant Laws.