Hawaii Tenant's Right to Rent Disclosure
The Rent Rules Hawaii Tenants Need to Know
All Hawaii tenants have a basic obligation to pay their rent. Hawaii’s landlord-tenant law does grant these tenants the right to be informed about certain rules and obligations relating to the rent. Certain terms must be included in the lease, while others do not. Here are the required rent disclosures for tenants in Hawaii.
Basic Rent Terms in Lease Agreement
Although not required by law, it is in a landlord’s best interest to include certain details about the rent terms in the lease agreement.
The more specific the lease is, the less likely the landlord and tenant are to have disputes or misunderstandings.
- Rent Amount- The lease should include the exact dollar amount the tenant has agreed to pay in order to live in the unit.
- When Rent Is Due- The lease should include the exact day of the week, month, or year when the rent is due each rent term.
- Where Rent Is Due- The lease should include where the tenant will be paying their rent. Can they pay rent online? Do they have to deliver it to the office of the landlord? Will the landlord come to collect the rent each month?
- Terms of Lease- The lease agreement should specifically state how long the lease is valid for. Is the tenant a weekly tenant? Is the tenant month to month? Has the tenant agreed to lease the unit for a year or more? Having this information in writing will help if there are any disputes about the lease term in the future.
- Acceptable Forms of Payment as Rent- The landlord should let the tenant know what forms of payment the landlord will accept as rent. In most cases, the tenant has the right to pay their rent in at least two different ways. For example, a landlord could allow the tenant to pay their rent online via an electronic funds transfer or by a money order.
Rent Terms When Not Listed in Lease
If the specifics about the rent are not listed in the lease agreement, then the following assumptions will be made under Hawaii’s landlord tenant law.
- Rent Amount- The tenant will pay the fair market rent amount in order to live in the unit.
- When Rent Is Due- When not otherwise stated in the lease, rent will be considered due at the beginning of each term for leases that are one month or shorter. So, for weekly tenants, rent would be due at the beginning of each week and for monthly tenants, the rent would be due at the beginning of each month. For leases that are longer than one month, the rent will be due in equal payments at the beginning of each month.
- Terms of Lease- If no other term is specifically listed in the lease agreement, then a tenant in the state of Hawaii is considered to be a month to month tenant.
Rent Due Date for Public Assistance Tenants
If a tenant in Hawaii is receiving public assistance and the current due date for the rent is three days or fewer from the day the public assistance check is received, then the tenant can request a new due date. The tenant can do this by making a one-time payment to cover the period of time between the old due date and the new due day.
The new due date cannot be more than three days after the date the public assistance checks are mailed.
Grace Period in Hawaii
Hawaii’s law does not list any specific rules for grace periods. It is therefore up to the landlord if he or she will allow the tenant to pay their rent without penalty for a certain number of days after the actual due date. If the rent was due on the first of every month, allowing the tenant to pay their rent up until the fifth of each month with no penalty would be considered a grace period.
Late Fees in Hawaii
Hawaii’s landlord-tenant law does not place any limitations on a landlord’s ability to charge a tenant a late fee for not paying their rent on the due date or within the grace period if the landlord has one.
Rent Increase in Hawaii
Landlords in Hawaii have the right to increase a tenant’s rent.
In order to do so, the landlord must provide the tenant with written notice. The amount of written notice required will differ depending on the term of the lease agreement.
- Weekly Tenants:
To raise the rent on tenants with lease agreement of less than one month, a landlord in Hawaii must give the tenant at least 15 days’ notice prior to the desired date of the rent increase.
To raise the rent on a tenant with a lease term of one month or more, a landlord must notify the tenant in writing at least 45 days prior to increasing the tenant’s rent.
Hawaii Tenant Right to Repair and Deduct
Tenants in Hawaii have the right to make deductions from their rent payment in certain situations. If a landlord has been notified of a health or safety violation at the property and does not complete the repair within five days of receiving the notice, the tenant can do the repair or hire someone to do the repair.
If the tenant does the repairs, the tenant can either send the landlord a bill for the work or deduct a maximum of $500 from their monthly rent payment for the cost of the work. If the tenant hires someone to do the repairs, the tenant must provide the landlord with at least two quotes and go with the lower quote. The tenant can then deduct $500 or an entire month’s rent from their normal payment, whichever is greater, to have the work done. In either case, the tenant must provide the landlord with receipts for the work that was done.
Termination for Nonpayment of Rent
If a tenant has not paid their rent, a landlord can send them a Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. If the tenant has not paid their rent within five days of receiving this notice, the lease agreement will be terminated and the landlord can file to evict the tenant from the premises. If the landlord is just filing to receive rent and not to remove the tenant from the premises, the landlord does not have to wait the five-day period and can file with the court any time after he or she has demanded that the tenant pays their rent. The landlord could be awarded the unpaid rent plus reasonable court costs and attorney’s fees.