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Hawaii Tenant Remedies if Unable to Gain Possession

The Hawaii Residential Landlord-Tenant Code, Chapter 521 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Section 61 allows a tenant the following remedies if a landlord fails to have a rental property ready for occupancy by the start of a lease:

Tenant Unable to Gain Possession

If the landlord fails to have the unit ready for occupancy at the beginning of the agreed term and in the agreed condition:

  • The tenant does no have to pay rent during the time the tenant cannot move in.
  • The tenant may notify the landlord and terminate the rental agreement at any time during the period that the tenant is unable to move in.
  • The tenant may recover reasonable damages from the landlord for the cost of securing alternative housing. This recovery may be made by either of the following:
    1. Filing a lawsuit.
    2. If the tenant eventually takes occupancy of the unit, by taking the difference between the cost of the alternate housing and the agreed rent and deducting that amount from the rent. Receipts for the other amounts must be presented to the landlord.

Section 61

See also Hawaii Termination of Lease Agreement.

Return to Hawaii Landlord-Tenant Laws.