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Read further to learn more about residential lease agreements in Hawaii, such as what disclosures are required and what else should be included.
What is a Residential Lease Agreement?
In the state of Hawaii, a residential lease agreement is going to be a legal document that indicates that there is an arrangement between two parties. The landlord and the tenant will have everything pertaining to the arrangement written out in this document, and both parties will sign the bottom of the document indicating that the terms of the agreement are agreed upon. Not all documents of this type in Hawaii will need to be the same, but there are some aspects of the agreement that will need to be included.
Hawaii Residential Lease Agreement Elements
The sections that follow are necessary elements to a residential lease. Each section includes information that pertains specifically to lease agreements in Hawaii. All rental properties are unique, and it is important for landlords to tailor their residential lease to the unit or property being rented. This guide lists various circumstances for landlords to consider as they are drafting a residential lease agreement. Landlords need to include the components listed here to be legally compliant in the state of Hawaii.
Introduction of the Lease and the Parties Involved
The first thing that should be seen on a document of this type is going to be the information for both parties. This will include the full name of the landlord and the potential tenant. The middle name or initial may be requested in this section as well. If there is more than one tenant that applied for residence in the unit, then all of their names should be listed in this section. A phone number should also be provided for each of the involved parties that are listed on a lease agreement in the state of Hawaii. In addition, there may also be a space for the date in this section.
In the same section, the details of the property that is being rented should be written out as well. This will include the full street address where the building is located as well as any other information that is crucial for the identification of the unit. Make sure to include the apartment number, the street number, the street name, the county, the city, and the zip code.
Terms and Limits of Occupation
The most important part that this document will need to discuss after the parties involved are introduced are the terms of the agreement. All of the terms will need to be addressed between the tenant and the landlord and listed. In the state of Hawaii, this will also include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that are in the unit as well as additional information like whether there is a pool on the premises or not. Information regarding the appliances that are in the home will need to be included here as well. This means writing which appliances are included in the rental and the quality that they are in when the tenant moves in. Any appliances that need to be updated should be listed in this section of the agreement with the initials from both parties so that the replacements can be made in a timely fashion.
Some landlords will offer the tenant furniture that is already in the residence, and if they agree to keep it, it should be listed here as well as whether they want it back at the end of the agreement. In the state of Hawaii, there are some homes that are only designed to accommodate a certain amount of people living there. If this is something that the tenant will need to know, the landlord must include any limitations and rules that will apply to the property. Guests will still be permitted to visit; however, longer visits may incur fees that will be added to the monthly rent.
Rent and Utilities
The next section that will need to be discussed in this document is the rental amount that the tenant will be responsible for paying each month. Make sure to include the amount that is due and the date that it should be paid. In addition, if the management company or the location where the tenant will need to pay the rent is not on the property that they are renting, the address should be listed in the agreement as well. Also, if there are late fees that will be added to the rental payment after a certain point in the month, the amount that will be charged and the date that it will be added to what is already due should be listed here as well.
Sometimes, these types of fees will be required to be given to the landlord via a bank check or a money order. This is not always required, but it will ensure that the landlord gets the money in a timely fashion. If this is required, make sure that it is listed in this section as well.
Most tenants will be responsible for paying their own utilities; however, some landlords will opt to take care of the paying of some or all of the utilities on their own. If there are bills that the landlord will pay, they need to be listed in this section as well as anything that will be under the landlord’s name but needs to be paid by the tenant. Also, the major utility companies in the area should be included with the rental agreement so that it is easier for the new tenant to put the utilities in his or her name.
In addition to this information, the full term of the rental agreement for the unit must be written in the terms as well. This will allow the information to be all in the same location, and if the contract automatically renews when the lease expires, it should be included here as well. In addition, if there are rules that must be followed when it comes time to renew the lease, make sure that they are included in this section as well.
Security Deposits and Additional Concerns
The one thing that almost every renter in Hawaii will need to consider is the security deposit. In this next section of the agreement, the amount that is due with the initial payment will need to be outlined. In the state of Hawaii, the security deposit that a landlord can charge may only be, at most, a month’s rent, and it is to be used to make repairs to any damages that were done to the unit while the tenant is living there.
The only way that this fee can be more than a month’s rent in the state is when the tenant is being charged an additional security deposit for having a pet in the unit. When the unit is vacated, the landlord will have a period of 14 days to return the money to the tenant. The landlord should be provided with the tenant’s new address when they vacate the unit as well so that the returned deposit can be sent to them easily.
Parking is another concern for some renters, especially if they are moving into a densely populated area where there are no private parking spots or driveways that the landlord can provide. There may be a fee to park in a specific location or the landlord may have parking spaces or a garage that they charge the tenants to use. If this is the case, the details of the parking options must be listed in this section of the document.
Maintenance, Alterations, and Repairs
The landlord will provide keys for the unit, the mailbox, and anything else that the landlord may use while they are living on the premises. If additional keys are required, then it will be the responsibility of the tenant to create them. Sometimes the landlord will provide a few sets of keys, but any key that is provided or made will need to be given to the landlord when the unit is vacated.
Sometimes a tenant will want to add an additional lock to the door, and it is often permitted, but if this is done, the keys to the new lock will need to be given to the landlord so that they will be able to access the unit if it is required.
Before the tenant moves into the unit, they will need to take a walk through the unit with the landlord to see if there is any damage or repairs that need to be made right away. This could include the quality of the carpet in the unit, the floors, the cabinets, and the appliances. Anything that needs to be taken care of before the move-in date for the rental agreement should be listed in this section to make sure that both parties are aware that it needs to be taken care of and agree to the terms of the arrangement.
In addition, repairs are something that can be needed after the tenant moves in, so if there are ways to inform the landlord that these repairs need to be done, then the process that should be followed should be listed as well. Some landlords will allow the tenant to make alterations to the unit with permission and refund the cost of the alterations or repairs by subtracting it from the rental amount that is due. If there is a process that the tenant will need to follow to make these requests, it should be listed here as well. Also, make sure to include the emergency number that the tenant should call if there is something that needs to be taken care of in the middle of the night. This could include a plumbing issue or an issue with the heat going out in the middle of the winter.
Additional alterations that will need to be addressed will most likely include how often the unit will need to be painted and whether or not it will be something that the tenant can do themselves. Some landlords prefer the paint on the walls to remain the same color, so if that is an issue that needs to be addressed, it should be written here as well.
Rules for changing the appliances and the light fixtures should be listed here as well. In most cases, the landlord will make these changes when they need to be done, but if the tenant has an issue with something that is in the unit, the rules for getting them repaired or replaced will need to be written in this section as well. If there are any additional rules about the furniture that is allowed in the unit, then it should be written in this section.
Notice of Entry and Access to the Unit
A landlord may need access to the unit at any time for repairs and inspections, but to gain access, according to the § 521-53 statute, the landlord will need to provide the tenant with a notice to let the tenant know what they require. According to Hawaii law, the landlord must give the tenant at least a two-day notice before any scheduled appointment. This should give the tenant plenty of time to be available for the appointment if they would like to be there or to arrange for key entry with the landlord.
For this reason, the landlord will require the keys to any lock that was added to the door of the unit. They will also need to have access to the unit if there is an emergency so that it can be addressed quickly. If this notice is not sent to the tenant with enough time before an inspection is scheduled, the landlord may not have access to the premises.
When a new tenant moves in, they may have a furry friend that they want to join them. Some landlords will welcome pets into the space, but this is not true for all landlords. They may only allow cats on the premises or just dogs of a specific breed, but if there are any rules that the tenant will need to know about, they need to be listed in this section. If pets are not allowed at all on the property, then it also needs to be listed here so that a tenant does not purchase or adopt a pet and not have a location that they can bring it home to.
Some landlords will allow pets, but only a certain number of them can be in each unit. This means that they may only allow one or two animals in the space that they are renting. These rules are designed to keep the other residents who live on the property safe. In addition, the landlord may request that the tenant pays a small fee for having the pets in the unit. Typically, this fee will not be a substantial amount, but it will be something that the tenant will need to be aware of if they have pets.
This money will go to repairing any damage that was caused from the animal residing there, and it can be collected as a one-time fee with the initial rent payment or each month when the rent is due. If there is no pet damage when the tenant moves out, this money may be returned to the tenant, depending on the terms of the rental agreement. Information about this should be included here as well.
Legal Restrictions and Other Rules
Legal restrictions do not have to be extensive issues, but they are things that could bother other tenants who live on the premises. This can also include having things on the property that could be dangerous to the tenant or others. For example, hazardous material should never be stored on a rental property.
If the building was constructed before the year 1978, the federal laws as well as the laws of Hawaii will require all new tenants to receive a lead-based paint disclosure. This is information that a tenant will need to know because it can be hazardous to pregnant women and young children who are living in the unit. A landlord should always provide this information if it applies to the premises, and any additional information or fliers that have been provided by the state for rentals can be given to the tenant as well.
Smoking is something that not all landlords want in their units as well, so if there are any rules or regulations that the tenant must follow when it comes to smoking in the unit or the common areas, make sure that it is written in the agreement. Also, tenants are responsible for their guests, so excessive noise will also be something that needs to be addressed in this section of the agreement. Some landlords will add a quiet time rider to the lease so that there are no disruptions on the property late at night.
The final part of the rental agreement is the section that shows that the landlord and the tenant have discussed and agreed upon the terms of that arrangement. In this part of the document, both of the parties will need to print and sign their full name. The date will also need to be placed underneath the signature to indicate the time that this document became legally binding. If the tenant needs to have a guarantor sign the lease agreement, their name and signature will be required in this section as well.