State of Hawaii Provides Guidance for Homeowners and Renters

Our homes have taken on a new significance to us in recent weeks, as shelter-in-place orders have millions of Americans spending more time than usual at home.

Gorgeous Kilauea home on Kapuna Road, currently available for long-term rental on Kaua‘i.

Long-Term Rental Vacancies

Following Governor Ige’s recent emergency proclamations concerning the coronavirus, many homeowners and tenants across the state have been reaching out to us for guidance. Non-resident Hawai‘i homeowners are opting for the ease and freedom of our comprehensive long-term property management services.

With travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders, many existing and new clients have expressed a desire to convert their short-term vacation rental properties into long-term rentals, making them available to Hawai‘i residents. As a result, we currently have long-term rental property vacancies across Hawai‘i for those residents hoping to make a move.

We are also receiving many questions about the changing landscape of landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities in the era of coronavirus. According to a recent government press release dated April 1, 2020, these emergency proclamations invoked special legal requirements applicable to both landlords and tenants in Hawai‘i.

Lush greenery and ocean views from this Kilauea home now available as a  long-term rental on Kaua‘i.

Covid-19 Landlord-Tenant FAQs & Gov’t Resources

To address the many public concerns and questions, the Office of Consumer Protection has created an FAQ page to address how any new provisions impact the relationship between landlords and tenants.  The guidance provided is current as of March 31, 2020 and may be subject to change if any new actions are taken at either the state or federal level.

Dining room with vaulted ceilings in this Kilauea home now available as a  long-term rental on Kaua‘i.

Some of the key pieces of information in the guidance include:

  • The provisions of the Landlord-Tenant Code are still in effect and have not been suspended by any of the proclamations issued by the Governor.
  • Your landlord cannot currently require you to move unless there is a material breach of the lease or the premises are unfit for occupancy.
  • Tenants are still legally obligated to pay their rent.
  • The Judiciary has stated that legal proceedings relating to summary possession or eviction have been postponed to at least April 30, 2020.
  • Landlords are prohibited from increasing rent during the period of the state of emergency declared by the Governor.

You can review the Hawai‘i State government’s complete lists of questions and answers here:  COVID-19 LANDLORD TENANT FAQS.

Additional government resources and information are available at the Dept. of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website, under Landlord and Tenant Information.

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Noah Hamilton

May 29, 2020

What are they saying about tenants that won’t vacate a home before a sale. The moratorium has put a stop to all evictions.

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