Landlord / Tenant Rights During Covid-19 Crisis: What You Need to Know
Governor David Ige’s recent emergency proclamations concerning the coronavirus invoked special legal requirements applicable to Landlords and Tenants in Hawaii.
The Office of Consumer Protection has created FAQs pertaining to how these provisions impact their legal relationship. The guidance provided is current as of April 26, 2020 and may be subject to change per actions taken at the state and/or federal level.
Check out the Landlord/Tenant FAQs here: https://cca.hawaii.gov/ocp/landlord-tenant-faqs/
Hawaii State Judiciary Self Help: Landlord-Tenant Claims: https://www.courts.state.hi.us/self-help/landlord/tenant_claims
Sexual harassment in housing:
The Department of Justice–through the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Civil Rights Division, enforces the federal Fair Housing Act–which prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, and disability. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by the Act.
The Justice Department brings cases each year involving unlawful landlord conduct, including allegations of defendants exposing themselves sexually to current or prospective tenants, requesting sexual favors in exchange for reduced rents or making necessary repairs, making unrelenting and unwanted sexual advances to tenants, and evicting tenants who resisted their sexual overtures.
If you have experienced sexual harassment in housing, or knows someone who has, contact: Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division: 1.844.380.6178
or email: email@example.com
Individuals in Hawaii can also contact:
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii via email: USAHI.COVID19@usdoj.gov
More information about the Department of Justice’s Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative is available here: https://www.justice.gov/crt/sexual-harassment-housing-initiative
Anyone victimized by a landlord should file a complaint. Normally, tenants would have 180 days to report the incident to the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission (HCRC), which takes jurisdiction unless it’s a federally funded entity. Since HCRC is closed due to the pandemic -- if you need help filing the complaint, you should call the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii.
The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii: phone 808–536–4302. // https://www.legalaidhawaii.org
Open Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Hawaiʻi State Commission on the Status of Women is keeping a database of bad landlords and offering guidance on the process, including emergency rent assistance. They can be reached at 808–586–5757.