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Are written agreements required?

In Hawaii it is legal to have a written or oral lease agreement, but written lease agreements are very strongly encouraged by Hawaii courts.


Must a landlord provide a condition report to tenant?

Before starting a tenancy, a landlord must write a detailed report of the condition of the property. This report should be completely accurate explaining the state of the property, including a precise list of items or furnishings and the condition they are in.


Is the landlord required to disclose his/her address?

The landlord or agent must provide the tenant, in writing, their name and address to receive rent, notices and demands. The tenant must be notified of any change of the landlord or agent’s information.

Please Note: Failing to provide disclosure as specified above may result in a $100 fine to the Landlord.


How much notice must a landlord give before entering the rental?

A 48 hour minimum notice is required for entry, except in cases of an emergency.


What is the limit on the amount of security deposit a landlord may collect?

The security deposit may not surpass the amount of one months rent.


Is it legal for a landlord to charge a Pet Deposit?

Landlords may charge a pet deposit, separate from the security deposit. The pet deposit may be discussed between the landlord and tenant, but may be no more than one months rent. A landlord may NOT charge a deposit for a service animal.


What procedures are taken with the security deposit at the end of a lease?

The security deposit must be returned 14 days after termination of lease. If the landlord must keep any portion of the security deposit, he must give the tenant written notice of any deductions made and the balance as well as the notice must be provided to tenant within 14 days after lease termination.

The landlord must notify the tenant in writing regarding the reasons for retention of any portion of the security deposit, and must forward the entire security deposit or the balance after deductions to the tenant within 14 days after the termination of the lease.


Are there regulations on the amount I may charge for fees?

There are no stated limits placed on the amount that can be charged for either an application fee or a late fee. Returned payment fees may not exceed $30 and must be reasonably related to expenses the landlord incurs as a result of a returned payment or applicable to the actual charge received from the bank.


Are there policies or laws respecting rent control or stabilization in Hawaii?

The state of Hawaii currently does not have any rent control or stabilization practices established.


Is it mandatory for a landlord to issue a rent receipt?

It is required for a landlord to provide a tenant with a receipt of any rent paid.


How much notice is required to increase the rent?

Landlords must give a tenant at least 45 days notice when increasing the rent in a month to month tenancy. In a fixed term, the rent is set by the terms of the rental agreement. For leases with tenancies less than month-to-month (week to week), 15 days notice is required.


How much notice is needed to terminate the tenancy?

In a month to month agreement, the landlord must give at least 45 days written notice to end the tenancy. For a tenancy less than month-to-month, a landlord must give at least 10 days, oral or written, notice. If the rented premises has a presumed demolition, or is transforming into a condominium or vacation rental, the landlord must give at least 120 days written notice. No notice is required in a fixed term tenancy for the termination date is already stated in the lease.

Important: For a term of one year or less, tenants may terminate a rental agreement if tenant or family member residing at rented premises is a victim of domestic violence. Notice must be given at least 14 days before the date of early termination stated on the notice, it can be no more then 104 days from the previous domestic violence act. For more information and instructions visit Hawaii HB858.


My tenant has not paid rent, how much notice do I have to give in order to evict them?

If the landlord wishes to file an eviction, a 5 day notice to cure or vacate must either be given to the tenant or posted on the door of the premises. The day of posting does not count, nor does any day in which the court is not open such as holidays or weekends.


May I demand my tenants to acquire renter's insurance?

Landlords may require tenants to obtain rental insurance, and can make the failure to do so a breach of the lease agreement.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.

Additional Hawaii property management resources available here, and legal questions can be asked - and answered - on our Landlord-Tenant Forum.