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Can You Evict Your Tenant? Act 57

Are you a landlord? Do you have concerns about your rights when it comes to evicting your tenants? If you’ve been dealing with unpaid rents and the burden of carrying costs, you may be ready to evict your tenant. Now that Hawaii’s economy has recovered from the worst of the pandemic, you have the option to require tenants who are behind on rent to vacate their rental property.

Thresholds and Dates for Eviction

If you want to take steps to evict your tenants, be aware that there are thresholds and procedures to follow according to Act 57. For example, you may not evict your tenants if the amount of back rent does not exceed the following thresholds on the following dates:

(a) August 7, 2021: four or more months behind on rent.
(b) September 6, 2021: three or more months behind on rent.
(c) November 6, 2021: two or more months behind on rent.
(d) January 6, 2022: one or more months behind on rent.
(e) August 7, 2022: Act 57 and the back rent thresholds expire.

Eviction Mediation

You must also provide notice to evict the tenant to both the tenant and the mediation center. That’s right — you must allow for the opportunity to mediate the eviction. The new law (Act 57) and the ensuing processes may seem a bit cumbersome to you, but they are intended to create a process in which you and your tenants can work with a neutral third party to resolve your differences. The new law also helps prevent the Judiciary from being overwhelmed with cases.

The pandemic has been hard on everyone — you and your tenants. There are no easy solutions. You need to get paid and your tenant needs housing. Act 57 is an attempt to meet those needs.

If you are in doubt about the steps you need to follow, be sure to seek legal counsel. You may also click the link for additional FAQs.

The restrictions you face as a landlord are challenging, but the good news is that they are temporary. So is the pandemic.

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