Purchasing a house on Maui is expensive. As a result, many people rent the home they live in. Disputes between landlords and tenants happen frequently and can be frustrating for both parties. Disagreements can often be settled outside of court. In other situations, filing a lawsuit is necessary to resolve differences between the parties.
The Hawaii Residential Landlord-Tenant Code is a useful reference when you have difficulty with your tenant or landlord. The Code has information relevant to most situations you will encounter and will save you time and money if you read and follow its common sense procedures before you have a dispute.
The following are some rough guidelines you should follow to avoid many common landlord/tenant disagreements.
Avoid Disputes Before They Happen
One method of avoiding disputes is to use a written rental agreement. Reducing the terms agreed upon to writing will protect both the landlord and tenant and both parties should insist on signing one. Make sure all important information is recorded in the agreement including when rent is due, the length of lease or rental term and any specific requirements pertaining to a security deposit, pets and smoking. All important notices and correspondence should be in writing as well.
Proper Eviction Procedure
In a month-to-month tenancy, 45 days notice is required to evict a tenant. The end of the notice period should correspond to the end of a normal rental period. For example, if the rental agreement specifies a month-to-month tenancy you should give notice on the 15th of the month before you want the tenancy to end.
Nonpayment of Rent
A landlord may demand payment of rent anytime after it is due and may also notify the tenant that if payment is not made within five days, the rental agreement will terminate. If the tenant does not make full payment of rent, the landlord may sue to evict the tenant and also to recover the unpaid rent.
If you have a dispute with your tenant or landlord, do not hesitate to assert your legal rights.