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Evictions in Maui During COVID

Posted by benjamen.harper@gmail.com on May 23, 2021
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New Bill Focuses on Tenants Causing Most Financial Harm

It is known that COVID has caused a major disruption to the lives and livelihoods of many Hawaiian residents. A moratorium on evictions has been in place since April of 2020 and has been extended until June of 2021. A new law is going to change the current moratorium. Landlords will be able to evict tenants which are causing the most financial harm, but there will be safeguards in place to try to ease the burden on tenants and to keep a flood of evictions from burdening the court system in Hawaii,

HB 1376 requires that landlords give tenants 15 days’ notice for terminating a rental agreement, up from five days, and the notice must inform tenants that they have 15 days to schedule an optional free mediation to be paid for using $4 million appropriated from federal pandemic relief funding received by the state and expended by counties.

The More in Arrears, The More Likely To Be Evicted

Another provision in the bill would further regulate when landlords can file an eviction case, depending on how much back rent is owed.

If more than four months of past-due rent exists, a landlord could file a case as soon as one day after Ige’s moratorium expires, provided the notice requirement is met. The minimum waiting period grows to about a month if three months of overdue rent exists, then expands to about three months if only two months of rent is owed and to about five months if only one month of rent is overdue.

All provisions in the bill affecting evictions would end one year after they begin or at the end of next year, whichever is sooner.

A Workable Solution

“At some point, the moratorium will have to end,” Ken Hiraki, the organization’s director of government affairs, said in written testimony. “HAR believes this measure is a workable solution that provides a balanced approach by encouraging communication between both the renter and housing provider.”

Local Eviction Assistance

If you are in Maui and seeking assistance and/or advice regarding eviction proceedings in Hawaii. Please contact our friends at Evictions R Us Maui.

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