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The Hawai‘i Landlord Tenant Code

Rent in Hawaii is one of the highest in the United States, so it is not surprising that many Hawaii residents will aspire to become landlords. While others will aspire to rent a piece of paradise to enjoy all Hawaii’s beauty and aloha.

By REAL. Updated Jul 29, 2022 | Real Estate | 9 min. read

The cost to rent in Hawaii averages around $2,000 with studios averaging about $1,400 on Oahu and one-bedroom apartments averaging around $1,900 in Honolulu. How much does it cost to rent in Kaneohe? A two-bedroom home averages about $2,500.

Aside from the business aspect, renting in Hawaii can also offer an opportunity to establish positive relationships between landlords and tenants. The aloha spirit often pervades in Hawaii homes, and transcends even landlord and tenant relationships. Often in Hawaii, landlords and tenants will become close friends, even like family members, as sharing one’s home is a part of the culture of Hawaii.

However, there are times when the aloha spirit does not enter into rental relationships. Therefore, if you are planning on renting in Hawaii either as a tenant or a landlord, it is important to know that there are certain laws that help to protect both parties.

What are the Hawaii rental laws?

The Hawaii Residential Landlord-Tenant Code is the name of Chapter 521 of the Hawaii Revised Statues (HRS), which govern rental laws in Hawaii. The Code includes information on rental agreements, security deposits, repairs, lockouts, terminating rental agreements/tenancy, landlord and tenant obligations, and landlord and tenant remedies.

Hawaii Tenant Rights

In Hawaii, there are certain items that a tenant should expect when renting a property, which are defined in Sections 41 and 42 of the Code as the landlord’s obligations. Here are some of the main points on renters rights in Hawaii:

Moving In

Rental Agreements and Paying Rent

Rental Condition and Repairs

Entering the Rental Unit

Locks

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Hawaii Landlord Rights

Just like renters, landlords also have certain rights and can expect certain things from their tenants. Here are the main points from the Code:

Unit Maintenance

Rules and Rental Agreements

Security Deposit and Receiving Rent

Entering the Unit

What should I do if I have a landlord/tenant problem?

The above are some of the main points of the Hawaii Landlord Tenant Code. However, if you have further questions or need assistance, call the Hawaii landlord tenant hotline at 808-586-2634. Staff from the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs operate a Landlord/Tenant Information Center from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Fridays, except on state holidays. They can help to clarify any information in the Hawaii Residential Landlord/Tenant Code.

If your tenant or landlord is not abiding by the Hawaii rental rights, the following steps may be taken to address any problems:

While everyone hopes for the ideal landlord and tenant relationships, filled with aloha and peaceful living, it is also reassuring to know that certain rights exist for tenants and landlords in Hawaii that can help to establish baseline understandings if there are any conflicts. Consult the Hawaii landlord tenant hotline or an attorney for more information.

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