All About Hawaii Rental Laws and Breaking A Lease

Editorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

What You Should Know About Hawaii Rental Laws Regarding Breaking Lease

Life is full of change and not always in your favor. In the case of housing, you may find the cost of living going up or that your unit is under new management. While these changes are always less than ideal, sometimes they make continuing to live in your current home impossible. If you need to , DoNotPay can help.

Landlord-Tenant Laws in Hawaii

Hawaii set expectations for landlords and tenants in the Landlord-Tenant Handbook. While it is just a summary of the Hawaii Residential Landlord-Tenant Code, it answers many basic questions around rental agreements. Highlights of the handbook include:

  • Security deposits should be returned to the tenant within 14 days of the lease ending.
  • Necessary repairs must be started within 12 business days of the landlord receiving notice. This period is shortened to five business days if the repair is a health or safety concern.
  • Rent cannot be increased without at least 45 days for a fixed term or 15 days for a month-or-month or shorter-term lease.

How You Can Break Your Lease

You can break your lease without consequence if your landlord does not fulfill their obligations or if they violate your rights as a tenant. Legal reasons to break your lease include situations like:

  • Unreasonable entry - Entering unnecessarily and without your consent.
  • Undesirable conditions - If your unit is in a state that "substantially deprives" you of its benefits, you can terminate your lease if it is not fixed within a week. If the conditions are a danger to your health or safety, you can leave immediately. If the conditions are the result of your landlord's actions, you can sue in addition to terminating your lease.
  • Nonadherence to the rental agreement - If you begin your rental term and the unit is not in the state you and your landlord agreed upon in the rental agreement, you can terminate the lease any time in the first seven days. If the landlord agrees to remedy the problem, you can move in and retain the right to break the lease if the conditions are not met.

Giving Your Landlord Notice

The amount of notice you have to give your landlord before ending your lease varies with the length of your rental agreement.

Rent PaymentNotice TimeStatute
Week-to-week10 days§521-71(d)
Month-to-month28 days§521-71(b)
Fixed termNo notice is required from either you or your landlordN/A

Consequences of Breaking Your Lease Without Acceptable Cause or Proper Notice

You may be charged with the following fees if you terminate your lease without sufficient notice or a legal reason.

Breaking Your Lease Before You Move In

If your circumstances change and you can no longer move into your new rental, there is a penalty for breaking the lease. You can be sued for the minimum of these three amounts:

  1. Your security deposit.
  2. One month's rent.
  3. Daily rent until the landlord can rent the unit, a commission, and the difference between your rental agreement and market value.

Breaking Your Lease After the Term Has Begun

If you leave your unit without giving proper notice or an acceptable cause, your landlord can sue you for breach of contract. You may be asked to pay the lesser of:

  • The rent for the remainder of any term you have agreed to.
  • Daily rent until the landlord can rent the unit, a commission, and the difference between your rental agreement and market value.

Note that not paying the fees charged could hurt your credit score.

Let DoNotPay Break Your Lease

If you would like to , DoNotPay can help you get started in 3 easy steps:

  1. Search Break My Lease on DoNotPay.

  2. Prepare a signed copy of your lease that you can use as a reference and enter the state the lease was signed in.

  3. Let us guide you through the 4 potential options.

  • If you're a uniformed servicemember breaking a lease to fulfill your service obligations, we'll send your landlord an SCRA Protection Letter.
  • If you're breaking your lease for a reason protected by your state's tenant laws, we'll write your landlord a letter detailing your protections for breaking the lease under the relevant law.
  • If your reasons for breaking your lease aren't protected by federal or state law, but you'd like to try to convince your landlord to let you break the lease through mutual agreement, we'll draft a hardship letter making your case to your landlord.
  • If there are no remaining options for breaking the lease with protection, but your state requires landlords to mitigate damages to tenants who break their leases, we'll notify your landlord of that obligation and minimize the remaining rent you have to pay.

Find Answers to Other Legal Questions With DoNotPay

Knowing your rights and what benefits are available can take a lot of research, but your time is limited and valuable. Have someone else do the work with DoNotPay. We can save you time by getting you answers about:

And more! Try DoNotPay today to take advantage of the legal protections available to you.

Want your issue solved now?