Eviction Moratorium Q&A
On July 17, 2020 Governor Ige issued the Tenth Supplemental Emergency Proclamation
Relating to COVID-19. It incorporates the Fifth Supplemental Emergency Proclamation,
which created the state-wide Eviction Moratorium, and extended the Eviction
Moratorium until August 31, 2020. The Eviction Moratorium prevents the eviction of
tenants for non-payment of rent. It does not prevent evictions for other breaches of the rental agreement.
Whenever an emergency proclamation has been issued, Hawaii Revised Statutes 127A-
30 takes effect, which imposes limitation on commodities throughout the state.
Periodic rentals of residential real estate are considered a commodity under the law.
Q: How do I handle tenants on a month-to-month lease under the current Emergency Proclamation and Eviction Moratorium?
A: When an emergency proclamation is in effect, month-to-month tenancies are
considered commodities. During the emergency proclamation a month-to-month
tenancy cannot be terminated for any reason, except for a breach of a material term,
if the unit is unfit for occupancy, if the unit is sold to a bona fide purchaser for value,
or if the landlord or immediate family member will occupy the property.
This means that for practical purposes, a month-to-month tenant cannot be
removed from the property unless they have breached the rental agreement in a way
other than not paying their rent. If the property has been sold, or the landlord or
immediate family member is moving in, the tenant must be given a 45-day written
notice to vacate. Note that the law says when the property is sold, not when it is put
on the market or when it has received an offer, but when it has actually sold.
Q: What about a fixed-term lease during the Emergency Proclamation? Can I remove the tenant when the lease is up?
A: Tenants still owe rent due on the rental agreement even though there is an
Eviction Moratorium. If the tenant is unable to pay the rent, that amount is still owed
to the landlord.
Q: What will happen when the Eviction Moratorium ends? Will it be extended? How many evictions will there be when the moratorium is over?
A: We do not know what will happen when the Eviction Moratorium ends. The
Hawaii State Judiciary have created a working group to create a plan for handling
the end of the Eviction Moratorium to hopefully handle the cases as smoothly as
possible. It is also unknown if the Eviction Moratorium will be extended beyond its
current August 31, 2020 end date.
The amount of evictions that will be filed when the Eviction Moratorium ends is also
unknown as there are many factors that will play into that number. Looking at fiscal
year 2018-2019 as an example, approximately 2,400 summary possession cases
were filed in the State of Hawaii.
Source: Published by the Hawaii Association of Realtors, "Eviction Moratorium Q&A".
Questions? For more info, call Shaila at 808-741-7155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hawaii Homes & Estates LLC. License No: RB-20456.