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Eviction Process Modification

Eviction Process Modification

Governor David Ige signed a law modifying the eviction process for one year after the eviction moratorium ends.  The governor announced earlier that he will not extend the eviction moratorium past August 7th.

The law changes the eviction notice period (demand letter) to the tenant from five days to fifteen days.  The fifteen-day demand letter must contain the following information.

  1. The name of the landlord or the landlord’s agent and the landlord’s or landlord’s agent’s contact information, including, if possible, phone number, electronic mail address, and mailing address; 
  2. The address of the dwelling unit subject to the rental agreement; 
  3. The name and contact information of each tenant, including, if possible, phone number, electronic mail address, and mailing address; 
  4. The monthly rental rate of the dwelling unit; 
  5. The current amount of the rent due as of the date of the notice, after applying all rent paid from all sources; 
  6. Whether the landlord or landlord’s agent has applied for rental assistance or been contacted on behalf of the tenant by any agency providing rental assistance; 
  7. That any rental assistance received by the landlord or landlord’s agent has been credited to the tenant’s amount due; 
  8. That a copy of the fifteen-calendar day notice being provided to the tenant is also being provided to the mediation center to be identified by the landlord and, in accordance with subsection (c), in order for the mediation center to contact the landlord and tenant to attempt to schedule a mediation regarding the nonpayment of rent; 
  9. That the mediation center will provide proof to the landlord that the notice was received and provide confirmation of the scheduled date and time of mediation; 
  10. That the landlord or landlord’s agent may file an action for summary possession if the rent due is not paid and if mediation is not scheduled within fifteen calendar days after the tenant’s receipt of the fifteen-calendar day notice, regardless of whether the scheduled mediation session occurs within the fifteen calendar days; 
    1. If mediation is not scheduled within fifteen calendar days after receipt of the notice, regardless of whether the scheduled mediation session occurs within the fifteen-calendar day period, then the landlord may file an action for summary possession after the expiration of the fifteen-calendar day period. If mediation is scheduled before the expiration of the fifteen-calendar day period, regardless of whether the scheduled mediation session occurs within the fifteen calendar days, then the landlord shall only file an action for summary possession after the expiration of thirty calendar days following the tenant’s receipt of the fifteen-calendar day notice. If the fifteen-calendar day notice was mailed, receipt of notice shall be deemed to be two days after the date of the postmark. If the fifteen-calendar day notice was posted on the premises, receipt of notice shall be deemed to be the date of posting. If an agreement is reached before the filing of an action for summary possession, whether through mediation or otherwise, then the landlord shall not bring an action for summary possession against the tenant, except as provided in any agreement that may be reached. The landlord shall be required to note the status of the mediation or settlement effort and proof of sending or posting the fifteen-calendar day notice to the mediation center in the action for summary possession. 
    2. Notice that the eviction may be subject to additional requirements and protections under state or federal law and that the tenant is encouraged to seek the tenant’s own legal advice regarding their rights and responsibilities; and 
    3. That the landlord or landlord’s agent shall engage in mediation if mediation is scheduled.

The law also modifies the timeframe when the landlord can start the process by serving the tenant the fifteen-day demand letter based on how much past due rent the tenant owes.

 

4 months or more rent:           The landlord can start the process the day the moratorium ends.

3 months or more rent:           The landlord can start the process 31 days after the moratorium ends.

2 months or more rent:           The landlord can start the process 92 days after the moratorium ends.

1 month or more rent:             The landlord can start the process 153 days after the moratorium ends.

 

A list of mediation centers can be found at the following website:

www.courts.state.hi.us/services/alternative_dispute/mediation/community_mediation_centers

If a tenant schedules a mediation within the fifteen-day period, then the landlord must wait 30 days before filing a summary proceeding for possession of the property.  Both tenants and landlords are encouraged to seek legal counsel when eviction proceedings start.

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