Hawaii Eviction Laws
Unless a landlord carefully follows Hawaii eviction laws, their attempt to remove a tenant might be unsuccessful. At DeVries & Associates, we understand that eviction issues are inevitable when you rent and lease property to others. While careful tenant selection can help reduce your need for evictions, nothing can prevent them completely. Learn more about Hawaii eviction law below.
What Is an Eviction?
Eviction is the legal process of removing a tenant from a rental property. While this procedure might seem onerous and unnecessary to landlords, it’s always important to remember that evictions deeply impact people. Hawaii eviction laws try to balance the interests of both landlords and tenants. While you want to protect your rental property and business, your tenant probably needs time to pack their things and find new housing. While it’s sometimes imperfect and frustrating, you need to follow the state’s eviction procedures.
“Self-help” evictions are illegal in Hawaii. You cannot simply change the locks on a property, turn off the utilities, or harass a tenant. These illegal actions can lead to a delayed or unsuccessful eviction — and even criminal penalties in some cases. When you work with a skilled eviction lawyer at DeVries & Associates, we’ll guide you through the entire eviction process and ensure that you follow Hawaii eviction laws.
Generally speaking, there are two types of eviction in Hawaii:
- For cause: a tenant fails to pay rent, violates the terms of their lease, or is a serious safety risk
- Without cause: a lease or rental agreement has expired and you aren’t interested in renewing it
The process of evicting a tenant for cause is very different than when you simply want to find a new resident.
How to Evict Someone for Cause Under Hawaii Eviction Laws
When a tenant’s behavior or non-payment gives you cause for an eviction, you must carefully follow Hawaii eviction laws and provide a series of written notices. They include:
Notice to Pay Rent
When you’re owed rent, the first step in an eviction is sending your tenant a written notice demanding payment. This notice should advise the tenant that they have five days to catch up on their rent and if they do not meet this requirement, you’ll start the eviction process.
Notice to Remedy
If your tenant is violating the terms of their lease, your first written notice must tell them that they have ten days to remedy their violations. Again, it must also indicate that continuing lease violations will lead to an eviction proceeding.
If your tenant causes serious harm to your property or someone on its premises, you might be eligible for an eviction without notice.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can simply kick them out of your property. An eviction without notice still requires a court hearing, you just don’t have to send the tenant a preliminary notice beforehand.
If the tenant ignores your notice and doesn’t correct the problem (or notice isn’t required), the next step is filing a petition with the court. The judge will schedule an eviction hearing and you’ll need to serve your tenant with a hearing notice.
At the hearing, your eviction lawyer will present your reasons for the eviction. Your tenant will then have a chance to outline their defenses. Based on all of the information, the judge will either approve or deny your request. While this process might seem routine and simple, it’s always important to prepare for an eviction hearing and organize your evidence. At DeVries & Associates, we work with our clients, examining the evidence and crafting compelling eviction claims. To learn more about our approach to evictions, contact us today.
How to Evict Someone Without Cause
Sometimes, you may want to evict a tenant without cause. While the tenant pays their rent on time, follows the rules, and doesn’t cause problems, you might want to repurpose a property, sell it, or simply change tenants. Under these circumstances, you’ll have to wait until the lease expires and provide certain notices.
When there isn’t a set expiration date in a lease, you need to provide a written notice to your tenant and give them 45-days to vacate the premises before starting the eviction process.
Fixed Term Tenants
Once the lease expires, you must start the eviction process within 60 days. You do not need to give advanced notice to the tenant. However, if you wait more than 60 days to evict them, they will automatically become month-to-month tenants, and you’ll have to send them a 45-day notice.
Discuss Hawaii Eviction Laws with a Hawaii Eviction Attorney
The attorneys at DeVries & Associates understand the nuances of Hawaii eviction law and help their clients protect their properties, rental income streams, and business interests. We are a landlord-focused firm that helps guide our clients, both large and small, through their property management issues. Contact us today.