Hawaii is home to over 190 thousand rental properties. But with inflation on the rise, tenants and landlords are struggling to make ends meet. The inevitable result is the need for evictions.
But, evicting tenants is a delicate process that requires keen attention to the law. You can't remove legal tenants from your property without cause. Read on to learn how evictions work in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Legal Reasons For Honolulu Eviction
Lease agreements are legal documents that, when followed, guarantee your tenants the right to live on your property. Moreover, Hawaii has specific legal protections for tenants, making it less landlord-friendly. Here are some legal reasons you can evict in Honolulu:
If the tenant violates a lease provision, you have grounds for eviction. One of the most common lease violations is not paying rent. However, bad tenants violating quiet hours or damaging property are also common.
You must have physical documentation of this lease violation. Otherwise, you will be unable to prove to the court that you have grounds for eviction.
Unlawful Activity on Premises
Many landlords have this written into their lease agreements. However, Hawaii tenants should not engage in unlawful activity on your property. Examples of this activity frequently reported by landlords include:
- Illegal drug use or sale
- Discharging firearms on the premises
- Illegal business operations
As with lease violations, you must show proof of this illegal activity to start eviction proceedings.
Plans to Convert or Demolish Property
Since you own the property, you may have plans for its future. However, you cannot demolish or convert a building with current residents.
You must provide month-to-month tenants with 120 days of notice to leave. This notice is crucial documentation in case eviction is necessary.
If, after 120 days, your tenant has not vacated your property, you have grounds for eviction. Contact your property management company if you need more advice about property conversion and demolition proceedings.
Filing For Evictions
The first step to filing for an eviction in Honolulu, Hawaii, is to serve your tenant an eviction notice. Depending on the reason for eviction, you will serve the tenant one of the following documents:
- 24-hour notice to fix legal issue within 24 hours, leave, or face eviction
- 5-day notice to quit non-payment of rent/illegal activity, leave, or face eviction
- 10-day notice to comply with lease, leave, or face eviction
If you cannot collect rent or the tenant doesn't comply with the notice, you must file for an eviction in court. You will file with the district court that your property is in. When you file, bring proof of service to show that you notified the tenant of their eviction.
New tenants have a right to live in the unit while the case is pending unless there is an agreement between them and their landlord stating otherwise. You cannot lock your tenants out of the property. If you win the eviction trial, your tenants must leave.
What if I Use a Honolulu Property Management Company?
If you're not interested in handling evictions or have many properties, it might be worth looking into hiring a property management company. Honolulu property management experts like Home River Group can help you evict bad tenants and handle other landlord duties like collecting rent and repairing damages.
We understand Hawaii tenants' protections and take care of the legalese to protect you during the eviction process. Learn more about Honolulu property management services on our website and contact us today for a consultation.