Eviction Process in Hawaii

A reference of Hawaii Eviction Laws, and steps of the Hawaii eviction process for landlords and renters, updated 2021.

  • What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under Hawaii eviction laws?
  • What notice do Hawaii eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
    • For evictions based on non-payment of rent, the landlord must give a 5-day notice to the tenant before beginning the eviction process in Hawaii. (HI Rev Stat § 521-68).
    • For evictions based on waste, failure to maintain, or unlawful use of the rental property, the landlord must provide a 10-day notice to the tenant and give the tenant the opportunity to fix the problem. (HI Rev Stat § 521-69). However, if the breach of the lease is of such a manner that it would cause damage that cannot be remedied to any person or property, the landlord does not have to provide time to correct the breach. (HI Rev Stat § 521-69(2)
    • For evictions based on improper use or a breach of the lease, the landlord must provide a 10-day notice to the tenant and give them an opportunity to cure the breach. (HI Rev Stat § 521-72).
    • For evictions based on a holdover tenancy, the landlord must provide a 45-day notice to end the tenancy. (HI Rev Stat § 521-71).
  • Do Hawaii eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities? 
    • No. Hawaii law forbids landlords from using self-help eviction methods. Violating this law can result in the landlord having to provide two months’ rent or free occupancy for two months. (HI Rev Stat § 521-63).

Eviction Process in Hawaii: Step-by-Step

The landlord must complete the following steps to lawfully carry out the eviction process in Hawaii:

  1. Serve the Eviction Notice. The landlord must provide the appropriate eviction notice to the tenant, which must specify the landlord’s intent to evict the tenant, the date by which the eviction action will commence, the reason for the eviction, and the time limit that the tenant has to cure the breach, if any. The landlord serves the tenant with the notice. If that is not possible, the tenant posts the notice in a conspicuous place at the rental unit. (HI Rev Stat § 521-68).
  2. Landlord Files the Complaint. The landlord officially begins the eviction process in Hawaii by filing a Complaint in the district court in the county where the property is located. A copy of the lease and eviction notice that the landlord served the tenant must accompany the complaint. The landlord must also file a Summons that notifies the tenant of the eviction action and the time and date of the hearing. 
  3. Serve the Tenant. The landlord must have the tenant legally served with the summons and complaint so that the tenant is officially notified. The tenant has five days to respond to the complaint. 
  4. File for a Default Judgment or Attend the Hearing. If the tenant did not respond to the complaint, the landlord can request a default judgment against the tenant. If the tenant did respond to the complaint, both parties appear at the appointed court date and present their case. The judge rules on the case. 
  5. File a Writ of Possession. If the landlord won the case or the tenant did not respond, the landlord prepares a Writ of Possession, which gives law enforcement officers the right to physically remove the tenant and their possessions from the rental property. The landlord gives the Writ of Possession to the sheriff to serve on the tenant.

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