Hawaii eviction notices are documents used by landlords to inform a tenant that they have violated their lease agreement. These notices give the tenant a certain number of days to cure the violation or their lease will be terminated. Some infractions are more severe and the landlord is not obligated to give the tenant an opportunity to remedy the breach of contract. Once a tenant has received an eviction notice, they must comply with the demands made in the notice within the allotted time period. Failure to adhere to the notice could result in an action for eviction against them by the landlord.
Immediate Notice to Quit for Health and Safety – If a tenant commits a serious breach of contract that affects the health and safety of another individual, the landlord can immediately terminate their lease by serving this notice to quit.
5-Day Notice to Quit for Nuisance – Served after a 24-hour Notice to Cure Nuisance has been served. Informs the tenant that they failed to abate the nuisance and must vacate the property within five (5) days or the landlord will take legal action.
5-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment – Informs a tenant that they failed to pay rent on time. They have five (5) days to pay the landlord or the lease will be terminated.
10-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance – Served on a tenant who has committed a lease violation and must abate said violation or their lease will be terminated.
Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Lease – Can be used by a landlord or a tenant to terminate a lease agreement between the parties.
- Grace Period: Not mentioned in state statutes.
- Non-Payment of Rent (§ 521-68): Five (5) Days
- Lease Non-Compliance (§ 521-72): Ten (10) Days
- Periodic Tenancy Termination (§ 521-71(a)): Forty-Five (45) Days for landlords, Twenty-Eight (28) Days for tenants
- Illegal Activity (§ 666-3(b)): Twenty-Four (24) Hours
- Intentional Damage to the Property (§ 521-72 and § 521-51 (1) or (6): Immediate
A landlord can evict a tenant for a number of reasons, but they must follow specific guidelines in order to win an eviction suit. Skipping a stage of the process could contribute to a tenant’s defense against the landlord and might even compel the judge to rule in the tenant’s favor.
Step 1 – Notify Tenant of Lease Termination
Both landlords and tenants have certain obligations to uphold while bound by the terms and conditions of a lease agreement. If a tenant fails to uphold their obligations, the landlord can serve a notice on them notifying them of their breach of contract and, in certain cases, permitting them to cure the violation. A landlord can download and complete one of the following notices to quit to serve on a tenant who has violated their lease agreement:
- Immediate Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance Affecting Health and Safety
- 24-Hour Notice to Cure Nuisance (Followed by a 5-Day Notice to Quit for Nuisance if the tenant fails to remedy the breach within 24 hours.)
- 5-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment
- 10-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance
A landlord is also allowed to terminate a month-to-month tenancy without cause by serving a Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Lease. This requires that the tenant vacate the premises within forty-five (45) days. If they remain on the property, they are in default of their agreement and the landlord can commence an eviction suit.
Step 2 – Tenant’s Failure to Comply
A landlord can file an action for eviction if the tenant fails to adhere to the demands of the notice they received. This involves filing a Complaint and Summons with the circuit court in the county where the property is located. The Hawaii District Courts are comprised of four (4) circuits represented by the four major islands, with each circuit providing its own court forms.
- 1st Circuit (O’ahu) – Complaint (Form #1DC07) and Summons (Form #1DC50)
- 2nd Circuit (Maui, Moloka’i, and Lana’i) – Complaint (Form #2DC08) and Summons (Form #2DC50)
- 3rd Circuit (Hawai’i) – Complaint (Form #3DC08) and Summons (Form #3DC50)
- 5th Circuit (Kaua’i) – Complaint (Form #5DC08) and Summons (Form #5DC50)
Once the appropriate form has been filled out, the landlord must attach a copy of the lease agreement and notice to quit that was served on the tenant and file all papers with the court clerk. There will be a filing fee of $155 charged for this action.
Step 3 – Deliver Papers to Tenant
The tenant must receive copies of all the forms filed by the landlord with the court (state law does not implement a minimum time period between filing with the court and serving the tenant). The landlord can pay the sheriff, the police, a process server, or anyone over the age of eighteen (18) not involved in the case to serve the papers (fees may vary in accordance with § 607-8). Service can be accomplished by handing them to the tenant in person, leaving them with another individual who resides at the property, or posting it in a conspicuous place on the property.
Step 4 – Tenant’s Answer
Once the tenant has been served, they have five (5) days to answer the complaint. If the tenant answers, they must appear before the court on the date specified on the summons form. Failure to answer a complaint could result in a default judgment in favor of the landlord. To obtain a default judgment, the landlord can file the appropriate Motion for Default Judgment form below and, if the judge approves the motion, the tenant must vacate the property and pay any damages or past due rent owed to the landlord.
- 1st Circuit (O’ahu) – Motion for Default Judgment (Form #1DC17)
- 2nd Circuit (Maui, Moloka’i, and Lana’i) – Motion for Default Judgment (Form #2DC17)
- 3rd Circuit (Hawai’i) – Motion for Default Judgment (Form #3DC17)
- 5th Circuit (Kaua’i) – Motion for Default Judgment (Form #5DC17)
Step 5 – Hearing
If the tenant answers, both parties must present themselves before a judge on the hearing date included on the summons form. Once the judge has heard statements from both parties, they will declare their ruling. If the ruling is in favor of the landlord, the judge will order that the tenant remove themselves from the property and/or pay the landlord for any past due rent, damages, and court costs.
Step 6 – Writ of Possession
The landlord can file a Writ of Possession with the court after a judgment is made giving the tenant a final warning to hand over possession of the property. This document allows a sheriff to forcibly remove the tenant from the premises if they refuse to go on their own accord.
- 1st Circuit (O’ahu) – Writ of Possession (Form #1DC54)
- 2nd Circuit (Maui, Moloka’i, and Lana’i) – Writ of Possession (Form #2DC54)
- 3rd Circuit (Hawai’i) – Writ of Possession (Form #3DC54)
- 5th Circuit (Kaua’i) – Writ of Possession (Form #5DC54)
- Complaint Form (Signing: Plaintiff or Attorney and Court Clerk)
- Summons Form (Signing: Court Clerk)
- Motion for Default Judgment (Signing: Plaintiff or Attorney, Judge, and Court Clerk)
- Writ of Possession (Signing: Judge and Process Server)