Tenant Law in Hawaii

The relationship between a landlord and tenant in Waipahu, Hawaii can sometimes be a touchy one. Landlords and tenants are not always clear on their respective rights and responsibilities.

Landlords and tenants have to navigate a web of legal rights and obligations. It's essential that the parties to a landlord/tenant relationship know what obligations they have to one another.

Landlord's Rights in Waipahu, HI

Landlords are, of course, entitled to collect rent from their tenants. If a tenant fails to pay the agreed-upon rent, the landlord is usually able to evict the tenant without too much trouble, though the process can sometimes get fairly complicated.

Furthermore, landlords have a right to be compensated for damage a tenant causes to a rented unit, either intentionally or negligently. Landlords have a right to deduct repair costs from tenants' security deposits, unless the damage was caused by normal wear and tear, for which tenants are not accountable.

Tenant's Rights in Waipahu, HI

Most basically, tenants have a right to get what they're paying for: a dwelling fit for human habitation. To this end, landlords have to ensure that the units they rent meet Waipahu, Hawaii's minimum standards for habitability. These requirements are normallyy not difficult to meet. They include basic amenities such as running water, electricity, a working phone line, heating, and protection from the elements.

Additionally, tenants have rights to common areas that are free of physical obstructions, as well as serious health and safety hazards. Common areas are the places in apartment buildings and other residential complexes which every tenant can access, and include hallways, stairwells, and fire escapes. In Waipahu, Hawaii, these areas must be kept in a safe condition, at the landlord's expense.

In the United States, and most likely under the rules of Hawaii, it is unlawful for renters or sellers of real estate to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national origin, color, or religion. Doing so can subject a landlord to harsh civil penalties. Furthermore, they cannot discriminate based on physical disabilities, either. Tenants with physical disabilities, who are otherwise qualified to rent an apartment (they are able to pay, have good credit, etc.) are entitled to make reasonable modifications to the apartment to make it more accessible to them, and the landlord generally can't bar a tenant from doing this, as long as the modifications are not too extensive, and are reversible. The landlord can, however, require the tenant to remove the modifications, at the tenant's expense, when they move out.

Finally, the laws of most states protect tenants from unfair eviction. In general, as long as a tenant is paying rent on time, and is not damaging the unit, they cannot be evicted before the term of the lease expires, unless there is a very good reason to do so (such as excessive noise caused by the tenant, or illegal activities in the apartment).

Can a Waipahu, Hawaii Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Landlords and tenants almost always prefer to avoid conflict. In a perfect world, tenants would pay rent on time, and landlords would always provide the services that they're being paid for. As we know, the world isn't perfect. When situations demonstrate the world's imperfection, a Waipahu, Hawaii real estate attorney can help, whether you're a landlord or a tenant.