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Sam
Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 27009
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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I live in Hawaii. On March 23rd my landlord gave me a 45-day

Customer Question

I live in Hawaii.
On March 23rd my landlord gave me a 45-day notice ( did not have to do with late rental). That would have taken us until May 5th. I was totally agreeable to the 45-day
issue. Nevertheless on 3/31 he took me to court to evict me and prevailed because I arrived late. I have not seen the eviction notice but I am sure it exists. I considered myself evicted as of March 31 and did not return to the homestead after that. I had already paid my April rent.
One issue is when does the 14-day period start (within which he must return my security deposit and hopefully April rent). He has yet to pay it. And until two weeks ago help my belongings hostage. I tried to get them sooner but he said I had not officially moved out.
I am pretty sure this is false. I did finally get my belongs c.2 weeks ago. I was not permitted in the house to pack them or inspect the premises.
Basically, I want my 2x $800 back. Also, he claims I owe him money for packing, cleaning etc.
Your assistance is welcome.
Preferably someone familiar with HI law.
Rona Lieberman,MD
What are my legal remedies.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Sam replied 7 months ago.

Hello Rona

This is Samuel. The law in Hawaii under 521-44 (c) states the following:

"...shall be returned to the tenant not later than fourteen days after the termination of the rental agreement ..."

So in your situation, it would be 14 days after the Court Order Eviction was signed. Check with the clerk of the court for that date.

Expert:  Sam replied 7 months ago.

As to your legal recourse, the law continues and states:

"If the landlord does not furnish the tenant with the written notice and other information required by this subsection, within fourteen days after the termination of the rental agreement, the landlord shall not be entitled to retain the security deposit or any part of it, and the landlord shall return the entire amount of the security deposit to the tenant. A return of the security deposit or the furnishing of the written notice and other required information in compliance with the requirements of this subsection shall be presumptively proven if mailed to the tenant, at an address supplied to the landlord by the tenant, with acceptable proof of mailing and postmarked before midnight of the fourteenth day after the date of the termination of the rental agreement or if there is an acknowledgment by the tenant of receipt within the fourteen-day limit. All actions for the recovery of a landlord's complete or partial retention of the security deposit shall be instituted not later than one year after termination of the rental agreement."

And so I suggest to get your money back, you would need to file in small claims court and that can be done without a local attorney.

Expert:  Sam replied 7 months ago.

Or, of course, you can have a local attorney write the landlord a letter, cite the law and make a demand for the money to be returned, including your April rent since the eviction was in March and see what the LL does.

Expert:  Sam replied 7 months ago.

Please let me know here if you have other questions or need clarification. Otherwise a Positive rating ensures i get credit for my time.