Action Line

What are your rights? Action Line gets answers on landlord-tenant issues in Hawaii

KHON2's Action Line volunteers stay very busy throughout the year, helping folks with all kinds of problems or issues.

One of the most common is landlord-tenant relationships.

With the high cost of living in Hawaii, it's understandable that there are a lot of renters across the state. With money being exchanged, it's not unusual for disagreements to come up.

Sasi Faildo, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, did a presentation for our Action Line volunteers, who get a lot of calls about landlord-tenant conflicts.

"I would probably rank security deposit as the main concern for our callers, from 'I disagree to the deductions from my landlord' to 'I didn't do those damages,'" she said.

First off, landlords should know just how much they are legally allowed to ask for as a security deposit.

"The law allows the landlord to take up to one month of rent, so let's say my rent is $2,000. They can take up to $2,000 for security deposit," Faildo explained.

Conflicts aren't just over security deposits. What are your rights when trying to get out of a rental agreement if you have signed a contract?

"I sign a lease until December of this year. I break the lease, because maybe I found some place cheaper, or maybe I'm relocating," Faildo said. "So until that landlord re-rents it to somebody else, I have to continue to pay that rent."

If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or send an email to

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