Hawaii Landlord-Tenant Laws

A summary of Hawaii Landlord Tenant Laws based on state law statutes as they apply to residential lease agreements executed between landlords and tenants.

Required Disclosures (by Landlords)

Landlord must provide tenant with move-in checklist. Tenants also have the right to be present at a move-out inspection. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 541-42)

Landlord must disclose name of owner or agent; if owner lives in another state or on another island, landlord must disclose name of agent on the island. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 521-43)

Landlord must furnish its tax excise number so that tenant can file for a low-income tax credit. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 521-43)

Security Deposit Limit

A maximum of one month’s rent may be charged as a security deposit. Two months if a pet occupies the unit. However, the deposit must be refundable except when a portion is used to cover damage at the end of tenancy.

Deadline for Returning Security Deposit

As soon as the tenant surrenders the unit, the deposit must be returned within 14 days.

Small Claims Lawsuits

There is no limit on the dollar amount you can sue for in landlord-tenant cases in Hawaii.

Late Fees

There’s no state statute addressing late fees, so in order to charge one, it must be written in the lease agreement.

Increasing Rent

At least a 45 day written notice must be given to increase rent or change another term of a month-to-month tenancy. Longer term leases dictate their own rates and increases. So if one is not written in the rental agreement, then one cannot be charged.

Retaliation or Discrimination

No rent increase can occur if deemed to be a discriminatory or retaliatory action.

Tenant’s Right to Withhold Rent

In rare instances where landlords fail to maintain a safe, healthy, habitable unit for the residents, rent may be withheld after a landlord is given a reasonable amount of time to fix serious problems. The tenant must first give written notice allowing the landlord 12 business days to start the repairs. If the landlord fails to do so, the tenant may pay for the repairs and deduct up to $500 from the rent for the actual cost

Termination and Eviction

An immediate unconditional notice to quit and vacate may be used when occupants are causing or threatening to cause irremediable damage to any person or property.

A five day notice to quit may be used for a second failure to abate a nuisance within 24 hours of receiving notice. Other violations may be served with a 10 days notice to cure: if it has not ceased, must wait another 20 days to file for eviction; 24 hour notice may be provided to cease a nuisance: if it has not ceased in 24 hours, a 5 day notice to cure must be served before filing an eviction.

Access to Rental Property

Landlords must provide two days notice of entry.

Domestic Violence

The court may prohibit the defendant from entering or visiting the petitioner’s residence.

Hawaii Lease Agreement

See Hawaii Residential Lease.

Hawaii Landlord-Tenant Law Statutes

Hawaii Rev. Stat. §§ 521-1 to 521-78.