Hawaii Real Estate Lawyers
In Hawaii, real estate law is a very broad area of law governing anything that has to do with the ownership of land and buildings.
Real estate law can apply to many various facets of a personal and professional life. It can apply to anything from the purchase of a vacant lot, to renting prime downtown office space.
Hawaii real estate law can be very complicated, because it's really a collection of a lot of different areas of law. These areas of law include property rights, contracts, land use, and many others.
Having a good general knowledge of Hawaii real estate law can make a lot of transactions, such as purchasing a house or renting an apartment, much easier.
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Common Real Estate Issues in Hawaii
Financing: Most people in Hawaii probably can't afford to buy a house or a piece of land up front. Thus, most individuals and business use some form of financing to purchase real estate, normally a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a piece of real estate, with the purchased real estate simultaneously securing the loan.
Disclosure: When selling a house, the seller is under a specific legal duty to tell the buyer about any physical defects which the buyer might not be able to discover on his or her own. Sometimes, it isn't entirely clear if a given defect has to be disclosed. In such cases, it's ideal to disclose it anyway. It simply isn't worth the risk to fail to disclose it, and hope that a court agrees that it was the type of defect that you didn't have to disclose.
Warranty of Habitability: When renting property to be utilized as a dwelling, the landlord, as a matter of law, implicitly promises that the dwelling will be suitable for human habitation. It doesn't matter what the lease says on this subject - it's always a requirement. Thus, a rented unit must have the basic amenities required for modern life - it must provide adequate shelter from the weather, it must have running water, it must have heating, and it must have electricity. Of course, there are many more particular requirements, and a court will also look at the condition of the unit as a whole when deciding whether or not it is habitable.
Zoning Laws: Zoning laws state what can and cannot be built on a specific piece of property, usually based on the land's location within the town or city. Areas are normally zoned with the goal of ensuring that residential areas are not too close to industrial areas, among other things. If you have some kind of construction project planned on your property, you should make absolutely sure that it is in compliance with Hawaii zoning laws BEFORE you begin.
Do I Need a Hawaii Real Estate Lawyer?
These issues, and the others that can affect real estate transactions, can be pretty complicated. Therefore, it's a good idea to contact a Hawaii real estate lawyer to advise you on the laws affecting your real estate transaction, or any other projects you may be planning.
Hawaii is nicknamed "The Aloha State" and is the newest U.S. state, being added as the 50th state only in the year 1959. The state capitol of Hawaii is Honolulu, one of Hawaii's major cities. Hawaii's state government is unique in that it has several remnants and adaptations carrying over from Hawaii's early kingdom era.
Hawaii laws are mostly the product of its bicameral state legislature, which meets at the State Capitol building, Aliiolani Hale, located in Honolulu. The historic capitol building houses a Judiciary History Center featuring multi-media presentations of several landmark Hawaii legal cases. In 2006, the American Bar Association hosted a mock-trial presentation of the Massie Trial, a famous Honolulu criminal trial dating back to the year 1932.
Unlike other U.S. states, Hawaii does not operate any municipal governments- all localities are administered through the county system. Hawaii's judicial system is composed of the Hawaii State Circuit Courts (the lowest level), followed by an Intermediate Court of Appeals. The Hawaii Supreme Court is the highest court. Hawaii also maintains a few courts focused on specific issues, such as the Hawaii Land Court and the Hawaii State Tax Appeal Court.
Lawyers in Hawaii are well-versed in the laws and legal issues of the state. Hawaii attorneys typically file most of their claims at the Circuit Courts, which have broad jurisdiction over most common legal claims. Hawaii lawyers also process more complex claims and appeals through the Court of Appeals or through the Hawaii Supreme Court.