Hawaii Landlord Retaliation Laws

Hawaii Landlord Retaliation Laws

Last Updated: April 15, 2023

Tenant Protected Actions
  • Health/Safety Complaints to Gov’t
  • Complaints to Landlord
  • Citation from Gov’t Agency
Landlord Retaliatory Actions
  • Raising Rent
  • Decreasing Services
  • Eviction
Penalties for Retaliation
  • Court Injunction
  • Sue for Damages
  • Recover Court Costs & Attorney Fees

When Is It Illegal for Landlords to Retaliate in Hawai’i?

It’s illegal for Hawai’i landlords to retaliate with raised rent, reduced services, or attempted eviction against tenants who are current on rent (even with an expired lease) and have taken one of the following protected actions:

  • Reporting health and safety violations.
  • Complaining to the landlord about maintenance.
  • Receiving a notice of violation from a government agency.

The law allows several exceptions when the landlord can prove certain non-retaliatory, good-faith reasons for the alleged retaliatory action. For example, a landlord who raises rent proportionately in response to a large increase in property tax is not retaliating, even if a tenant has recently complained about maintenance.

What Can Tenants Do in Response in Hawai’i?

Hawai’i tenants can respond to landlord retaliation by suing for an injunction to prevent the retaliatory action. If the landlord has already acted in a way that removes the tenant’s possession of the rental property, the tenant can sue to recover the resulting costs, including court and attorney fees.