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Solutions for Hawaii Homeowners with Problem Tenants

Posted by benjamen.harper@gmail.com on July 27, 2021
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Solutions for Homeowners with Problem Tenants

The federal eviction moratorium is ending nationwide and, even so, there are still states and jurisdictions where eviction moratoriums are still in place or evictions are difficult to enforce. If you are a homeowner that would like to take advantage of the current market conditions to sell your home, but have tenants who are very behind on rent and/or won’t leave, there are a number of actions you can take. You will need Solutions for Hawaii Homeowners with Problem Tenants

Cash for Keys

What is a cash for keys agreement?

Simply put, a cash for keys agreement is where the landlord offers their tenant a lump sum of money for them to vacate the property.

Is a cash for keys agreement legal?

Cash for keys agreements are legal in all 50 states, with the stipulation that you follow the right procedure and have checked your local and state laws regarding cash for keys agreements.

Is a cash for keys agreement a good idea?

A cash for keys agreement is an excellent alternative to an eviction, which is a costly, time consuming, and stressful legal process for both the landlord and tenant. Additionally, many tenants will welcome a cash for keys agreement if they are unable to afford rent payments. 

How much should I offer for cash for keys?

The amount of money you offer varies depending on where you live, the cost of living in your location, and local/state laws. Generally, the amount is usually a half month’s rent plus the security deposit or a full month’s rent.

Mandatory Mediation

State Representative Troy N. Hashimoto introduced the current Hawaii mandatory mediation legislation

“With many people still struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic, we need to make sure families are not evicted when there may be a way to negotiate a solution that is good for all the parties involved, legislators knew this eviction moratorium would end at some point and did not want to see any families become homeless.”

Hashimoto said this measure amends the Landlord-Tenant Code in the following ways:

  • Extends the notice of termination of a rental agreement from five days to fifteen days to allow for mediation.
  • Requires landlords to provide a copy of a notice of termination of a rental agreement concurrently to a tenant and a mediation center that provides free landlord-tenant mediation; and
  • The mediation center will in turn, set-up a mediation appointment for both parties with mediation to be completed within 30 days from the receipt of the notice.

This program will begin on the first day after the eviction moratorium ends and priority will be given for the first 30 days to those four months or more behind in rent. Eligibility will then expand every two months. It is definitely one of the Solutions for Homeowners with Problem Tenants.

“The intent is to not overwhelm the mediators and the court system as they work through what is expected to be a backlog of cases,” said Hashimoto. “This will help to ensure that tenants also have the opportunity to apply for rental assistance if they qualify.”

If mediation is not successful, the parties can continue to court proceedings, but the legislation does not prohibit the courts from ordering additional mediation if it appears the mandatory mediation was not completed in good faith.

Eviction Wait Times Delay Solutions for Homeowners with Problem Tenants

With the eviction moratorium coming to and end, it is not going to be a quick and easy process. Not that is ever was a quick and easy process for homeowners or landlords to evict tenants, but with a backlog of millions of renters in serious arreras, it will take some time. Using mediation or cash for keys, discussed above, may be your best routes out of the situation.

“I think it’s going to take months,” Hawaii real estate developer Peter Savio said recently. “I think some tenants will just move rather than put with the fight and the additional cost of the battle. Others will stay and wait ‘til the bitter end.”

Tenants who can get the extra time are being told to use it wisely as eviction is clearly the last stop on the road to Solutions for Homeowners with Problem Tenants.

“If they haven’t applied for rental assistance, it’s time to apply for rental assistance. It’s time to talk to their landlord. It’s time to figure out what to do next if they can’t get rental assistance,” said O’Meara.

The city’s Office of Economic Revitalization said that it’s rental assistance program has helped 5,200 Oahu households with $42 million in rent and utility support since the first found of assistance in April. However, the program has been paused while new applications are being processed.

The office expects another $180 million in federal funding for more rent and utility assistance through the end of 2022.

Savio said most of his tenants have been sincere and have tried to pay as much as they can. He’s worked out payment plans with them, but there are still some renters that he’ll be getting rid of.

“We have one tenant that we know that just refused to pay, and their rent was 3, 4 thousand dollars a month,” he said. “They managed to buy two new cars during the process, so we don’t have a lot of sympathy for them. So they will be evicted.”

Regardless of your tenant situation, contact Hawaii Elite Real Estate today to discuss potential strategies for removing tenants from your home and way to get the most for your home in this fast moving market.

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