Access to a Unit

Posted on Feb 19, 2019 in Landlord Tenant Information, OCP

Under Hawaii law, the landlord has the right to enter the rental unit in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements. The landlord can also enter the unit to supply services as needed and exhibit the dwelling to prospective buyers and tenants.

However, before the landlord enters the dwelling unit, the landlord must provide the tenant with two days’ notice, preferably in writing. In addition, and most importantly, the landlord can only enter the dwelling unit with the tenant’s permission. However, Hawaii law prohibits the tenant from unreasonably withholding his or her consent to enter. The landlord can hold the tenant liable for any resulting damages caused by the tenant’s unreasonable withholding of consent.

The only time the landlord can enter the dwelling unit without notice and without the tenant’s consent is during an emergency, or if the tenant appears to have abandoned the dwelling unit, or by court order. In addition, during any extended absence of the tenant, the landlord may enter the dwelling unit as reasonably necessary, in order to conduct inspections, maintenance and safe-keeping.

If the landlord enters the unit without the tenant’s consent, the landlord is liable to the tenant for theft, casualty, or other damage caused by the landlord’s entry irrespective of whether it was caused by the landlord’s negligence. When the landlord enters with the tenant’s consent, liability is limited to damages caused by the landlord’s negligence.

In the event of repeated demands by the landlord for unreasonable entry, or any entry by the landlord or by another with the landlord’s permission which is unreasonable and not consented to by the tenant, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement, file suit and obtain an injunction against the landlord and ask for a fine of up to $100.00.