Hawaii Landlord Attorney
When you’re in the business of renting and leasing real estate, a Hawaii landlord attorney should be a vital part of your team. At DeVries & Associates, we focus our practice on the unique needs of landlords, property managers, and other real estate businesses.
Drafting and Negotiating Leases
In Hawaii, leases must comply with a series of landlord-tenant laws. You’ll need to set out certain disclosures, terms, conditions, and processes to meet these standards. For example, your leases must outline the names and addresses of your agents and property managers. You also need to comply with the state’s notice requirements when you increase the rent. Depending on where your property is located, you’ll also need to comply with federal and local laws and regulations, including fair housing laws.
At DeVries & Associates, we pride ourselves on attention to detail. Before we draft a lease for our clients, we spend time getting to know their goals and priorities. And if negotiations arise between a landlord and its tenants, we aggressively represent and advocate for their interests.
Just as importantly, we help our clients build legal compliance strategies that help them follow the complex patchwork of federal, state, and local laws that impact landlord operations in Hawaii. To learn more about our services and approach, schedule a consultation with a Hawaii landlord attorney at our office.
Entering and Accessing Your Property
As a landlord, you need to enter your properties for inspections, maintenance, and other functions. However, you typically must give your tenants at least two days of notice before you enter the property. While there are exceptions to this rule for emergencies, it’s important to build systems that ensure your compliance and properly notify your tenants of your activities. For assistance with issues involving property access, contact a Hawaii landlord attorney at DeVries & Associates.
Terminating Leases and Evictions in Hawaii
Terminating a leasing and evicting a tenant are some of the most difficult and contentious issues landlords have to contend with. If your tenant is violating the terms of the lease or rental agreement or has unpaid rent, you can ask the courts to evict them. It’s important to remember that you should never engage in “self-help” evictions, where you bypass the legal eviction process and force a tenant out by changing the locks, shutting off the utilities, or engaging in other unlawful activities.
If a tenant puts your property or other tenants at risk of serious harm, you might be able to expedite the eviction process. For more information, consult with a Hawaii landlord attorney at our office.
We also assist clients with the process of terminating a lease. This might occur when you sell a rental property or opt not to renew a lease with a particular tenant. A Hawaii landlord attorney can also guide you through this sensitive process in a way that complies with the law, protects your interests, and protects your business’ goodwill within the community.
Security Deposit Issues and Hawaii Landlords
Even if you carefully select your tenants, you’re still going to deal with property damage issues. In Hawaii, you can charge up to one month of rent as a security deposit. This amount increases to up to two months of rent if your tenant has a pet on the premises.
After a tenant vacates your rental property, you’ll have to inspect it and itemize any damage that you discover. You may keep all or a portion of the security deposit if the tenant:
- Caused damage to your property
- Owes you unpaid rent
- Did not return all of the keys when they vacated the property
Typically, you must provide your former tenant with an accounting of your expenses and a refund of their remaining security deposit within 14 days. If you do not meet these requirements, your tenant call file a small claims lawsuit, demanding its reimbursement.
If your tenant leaves personal furniture and items in your rental unit, you must follow Hawaii’s laws dealing with abandoned property. This involves:
- Sending a written notice to the former tenant
- Retaining the property for at least 15 days
- If the tenant does not claim the property within this time period, you can sell or dispose of it
If you’re unsure how to handle abandoned property, consult with an experienced Hawaii landlord attorney.
Discuss Your Property Management Goals With a Hawaii Landlord Attorney
At DeVries & Associates, we know that landlords are an important part of Hawaii. You provide us with places to live and work, create jobs, and foster business growth through development. We’re honored to provide legal services to Hawaii landlords. To schedule a consultation with a Hawaii landlord attorney at our office, contact us today.