In April, the Hawaii legislature passed legislation to amend the state’s landlord-tenant code in the wake of COVID-19. The new legislation encourages the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and modifies the landlord-tenant code in a few ways by:
- Extending the deadline in notices of termination of a rental agreement from five days to fifteen days to allow time for mediation;
- Requiring landlords to provide a copy of the termination of a rental agreement which they serve to tenants to a mediation center that provides free landlord-tenant mediation; and
- Requiring landlords to delay filing an action for repossession during the fifteen days after providing notice to the tenant to allow the tenant time to agree to or attempt to schedule a mediation.
The bill also implements several restrictions on when a landlord can exercise different remedies depending on the amount of back rent that is due and the timing in relation to the governor’s eviction moratorium. Finally, the bill notes that these amendments will be repealed one year after the governor’s final eviction moratorium expires, or on December 31, 2022, whichever is sooner. Currently, the bill is awaiting signature from the governor.