WE’LL FIGHT FOR YOU
Kona and Waimea (Kamuela) Landlord Tenant Lawyers
Representing Clients in Complex Landlord-Tenant Disputes*
Hawaii has one of the lowest rates of homeownership of any of the 50 states. Many households live in rental properties and many property owners depend on rental income to support their own families. Maintaining a good landlord-tenant relationship is critical, and the law gives important rights to both parties. Disputes can often arise between landlords and tenants, however, and can disrupt the lives and…
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*For residential properties we represent landlords exclusively. Moreover, we offer flat fees in summary possession actions. Whether a flat fee is appropriate will be determined on a case by case basis.
Non-payment of Rent and Eviction
The most common lease violation is the non-payment of rent by a tenant. When a landlord does not receive rent, it can make it difficult for them to cover their rental mortgage and other bills. In many situations, a landlord will need to seek the eviction of a tenant who refuses to or cannot pay rent.
Landlords must give tenants notice of unpaid rent, as well as five days to pay the rent due. The notice must inform the tenant that the lease may be terminated if they still fail to pay. After five days of non-payment, a landlord can file for an eviction in court. The tenant must receive notice of the action, and they do have the right to defend against an eviction.
The following are some common outcomes of an eviction case:
- The tenant catches up on rent and both parties agree to continue the lease
- The tenant agrees to move out and the parties settle on an amount for the tenant to pay for unpaid rent
- The tenant fights the eviction and the case goes to trial in court
- Rent trust fund where the tenant is required to deposit the rent in dispute to the Court, and if not, the Landlord is entitled to possession of the property prior to trial.
Our attorneys know how to handle evictions seeking the most efficient and favorable possible. We are skilled settlement negotiators but also have the experience to protect your rights in the courtroom.
If a court finds in favor of a tenant, that tenant may continue living in the property until the lease expires. This means any lease violations – including non-payment of rent – may continue until then. Landlords should never risk this situation. If you have a dispute with a tenant or think you should file for an eviction, you should not wait to call our skilled landlord-tenant lawyers as soon as possible.
Lease Agreements and Common Violations
Despite signing a lease, both landlords and tenants may violate the agreement. A lease is a legally-binding contract and when one party violates any terms, the other party has the right to seek legal remedies. The following are some common lease violations:
- Having unauthorized pets
- Guests who stay for long periods of time
- Illegal activity in the unit, such as drug use or sales
- Nuisance issues, such as loud noise
- Causing damage to the property
While landlords cannot keep a constant watch on tenants and their behavior, however, if they do learn of any possible lease violations, landlords should take swift action. In most situations, landlords in Hawaii must provide tenants with a notice of the violation and give them ten days to remedy the situation. If a tenant fails to rectify the violation in ten days, the landlord has the right to file an eviction lawsuit. Evictions in Hawaii require legal cause, and the court must rule in favor of the eviction.
The one exception to the legal notice requirements occurs when a tenant threatens to cause or actually causes irremediable damage to the property or to another person on the property. In this case, the landlord does not have to give notice of a violation or allow a time period for the tenant to address the problem. Instead, the landlord can immediately file an eviction.
Getting the court to terminate a lease before the lease term has expired is no simple matter. You must prove your legal cause for a lease termination by a preponderance of the evidence, and in some cases, gathering concrete evidence of lease violations can be difficult. It is important for every landlord to seek proper legal representation from an experienced attorney who understands both landlord and tenant rights under Hawaii laws.
Tenant Rights in Hawaii
Hawaii law also gives significant rights to tenants to ensure that landlords cannot simply kick out a tenant whenever they please or take advantage of tenants in other ways.
Contact a Kona and Kamuela Landlord-Tenant Law Firm to Discuss Your Options Today
Whether you are a landlord or tenant, it is important to protect your many rights under your lease agreement and Hawaii state law. The law firm of Olson & Sons represents parties in landlord-tenant disputes and can advise you of your legal options based on your specific circumstances. For residential properties we represent landlords exclusively. If you believe you have a dispute or cause for eviction, call our office in Kona at 808-331-3113 or in Kamuela at 808-885-8533 to schedule a consultation today.
*Nothing herein constitutes legal advice, you should seek an attorney before you take any action, nor does anything herein create an attorney client relationship.