HONOLULU (KHON2) — A Waikiki apartment building with a broken elevator for two months has residents asking the landlord to lower the rent. But they said that the request has been ignored. So what can tenants do? KHON2 spoke with a legal expert to find out.

“My real worry is if I fall backward,” said Lily Buder as she climbs the stairs on crutches.

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With a torn ligament, she has been mostly confined to her home at the Waikiki Walina Apartments. The lone elevator in the 10-story building has been broken since April.

“I luckily have friends who are happy to help and stuff but movement has been really limited especially when it comes to groceries or anything. I can’t carry those upstairs,” said Buder.

Among those helping her is Erica Dittmer, who lives on the eighth floor. But she has her hands full with two dogs Toby and Flip. Toby is unable to walk up the stairs.

“She doesn’t take the stairs well so two to three times a day I’m having to carry her all the way back up because what else can you do?” said Dittmer.

Residents have reached out to the building manager and the management company asking the landlord to lower the rent.

“And I just got the same cookie-cutter letter that everyone else got, and it didn’t address my request,” said Dittmer.

Residents have been told that they can break the lease and move out. But with a broken elevator, it’s not much of an option.

“That’s a little bit difficult to move out with a broken elevator. So you can get out but how are you going to get all your stuff out,” said Buder.

Attorney David Squeri said the tenants have the right to have their rent reduced.

“This is not only a matter of convenience, it’s a matter of health and safety as well,” Squeri said. “It could also be an ADA issue as well if there are tenants in the building who have medical problems that prohibit the climbing or hamper the climbing of 10 flights of stairs.”

Taking the landlord to court can be expensive, so tenants can try the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. Squeri said tenants can also report the problem to the state’s Office of Consumer Protection.

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KHON2 has reached out to the building manager and the management company, but there’s been no response.