Hawaii Tenant Screening
Last Updated: January 23, 2015
Hawaii is the only U.S. state not located in the Americas and the only state with an Asian plurality. It and Arizona are the only two states that do not observe daylight saving time, and Hawaii and Alaska are the only two states that are not in the contiguous United States.
How to Screen a Tenant in Hawaii
DISCLAIMER: We do our best to keep this information accurate and up-to-date, but we cannot guarantee either. The most recent law changes may not be reflected here. We do not intend this information to be legal advice, nor are we qualified to advise you regarding legal matters. We highly recommend consulting a lawyer qualified to discuss landlord-tenant law to advise you. We do not specifically endorse any of the websites linked from these pages, nor are we in any way affiliated with the agencies or individuals who have published them. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of information posted on these sites. If you find a problem on this page, please contact us so that we can get it fixed.
Step 1: Know Your Rights & Responsibilities
Landlords and property managers are subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act [PDF] (FCRA) during the tenant screening process. Additionally, Hawaii has laws that affect the tenant screening process. You can find the current Hawaii Landlord Tenant Codes here. If you are finding the formalities of the state code daunting, you might want to check out these friendlier sites:
- Overview of Landlord-Tenant Laws in Hawaii
- Hawaii Office Of Consumer Protection – Residential Landlord Tenant Handbook
Recent Law Changes
Effective November 1, 2014, Act 060 (Gov. Msg. No. 1160), voids any rental agreement provision that allows for eviction of a tenant who has a valid certificate for the medical use of marijuana unless: (1) the rental agreement allows for eviction for smoking tobacco and the medical marijuana is smoked; or (2) the documents of a condominium property regime or planned community association prohibit the medical use of marijuana. Residential Landlord-Tenant Code – Medical Marijuana
Step 2: Required Forms & Disclosures
Tip: before you rent for the first time, consider hiring a lawyer to review all of the documents you will use during the application and rental process to ensure that you are protected to the fullest extent of the law.
- Rental Application [PDF] (this must be completed in full by the applicant prior to screening)
- Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act [PDF]
- Consumer Report Disclosure [PDF]
If you are ACCEPTING an applicant:
- Move-In Checklist [PDF]
- Lease Agreement (written), containing or attaching the following information:
- Owner/Agent Identity – this should include name and address, and if the owner/agent is out-of-state it must include contact information for a resident of the COUNTY in which the rental is located that can act as an agent for the purposes of serving notices and process.
- Security Deposit – this must include the amount of the deposit and the conditions under which some or all of the deposit may be withheld. It must also include the name and banking institution holding the deposit.
- Non-refundable Fees – explicitly describe any non-refundable fees, and state clearly that they are non-refundable.
- Fire Protection & Safety Information: You must disclose the available fire protection and safety information specific to the unit you are renting, including smoking policy, evacuation plans, and who to notify in case of emergency.
- Move-In Checklist: Hawaii landlords must provide tenants with a move-in checklist. Tenants also have the right to be present at a move-out inspection. (Haw. Rev. Stat. 521-42)
- Owner Or Agent Identity: In Hawaii, landlords must disclose name of owner or agent; if owner lives in another state or on another island, landlord must disclose name of agent on the island. (Haw. Rev. Stat. 521-43)
- Tax Excise Number: Hawaii landlords must furnish their tax excise number so that tenants can file for a low-income tax credit. (Haw. Rev. Stat. 521-43(h))
If you are DECLINING an applicant:
- Adverse Action Notice [PDF]
Step 3: Order a Tenant Screening Report
What You’ll Need
- A completed rental application signed by the applicant.
- Some details about your applicant:
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Previous address
- Bank account number (optional)
- Bank routing number (optional)
What Will Be Covered
- Package Options
- Background Report Coverage for Hawaii:
- Criminal, OFAC/Patriot Act & Sex Offender Records – A nationwide search is always performed. These jurisdictions specifically are available in Hawaii: Hawaii Sex Offender Registry, Hawaii State Judiciary.
- Eviction Records – records are available from the following counties: Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui.
- Bankruptcies, Liens & Judgments – records are available from the following counties: Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui.
- Social Security Number validation, Death Index, credit checks, previous addresses, alias names, and the Rent Check Advisor® include all information available regardless of location.
Resources for Hawaii Landlords
- Hawaii State Bar – Lawyer Referral And Information Service (LRIS)
- Hawaii State Courts Directory
- Law Enforcement Agencies in Hawaii (Wikipedia)