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I moved into a place that was not ready for occupancy the

Customer Question
landlord never gave me a...
I moved into a place that was not ready for occupancy the landlord never gave me a written note or list on malfunction in the unit bath tub drain clogged with black water electricity is not up to date fuse box made crackling sound verbally we agreed I would fix the units malfunctions which led to more underlined structural defects which took the jog longer then I anticipate verbally he agreed that I would be compensated by rent free until till it was fixed Cabinets in kitchen fell off walls, now he want to kick me out and evicted me illegally harassing me demanding money he broke in the house while I was there, and scared the livings out of me..he has changed the locks without proper notice or court order I am disabled with a heart condition along with depressiom and acute anxiety..Im now homeless living in my car what do I do can I go back to my place everything I own is in there
JA: What state is this in? And how old is the car?
Customer: im living in a 20 story condo in Honolulu
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: Im living in a 20 story condo outside of Honolulu, I moved into an 11th floor unit which was a mess. a one year lease was signed by both parties with the agreement that I would repair the broken down 2 bedroom 2 bath one tub unit. first and foremost the tub was not draining and needed immediate attention. tub was stuck water was not draining and blackwater was visible. mold was also present on the shower walls from above units dripping in side the structure. there was a big problem with the electrical fuse box next to the kitchen sink, which also was not draining properly.the garbage disposal was not working adding to the sink being out of commission. electrical outlets were not working around the unit one or two were on the rest was not . lights flickered instantainiestly with the most serious the crackling and sparks coming from the fuse box. the kitchen cabinets were literally falling off the walls and were totally worn pressboard.crumbling in my hand when grabbed. actually falling on us while trying to reset. I made a agreement to repair free rent till job was done or comfortable for normal living. he asked how long I told him two to three months which turned into three months and one week, and still not complete. Man Lui property manager who is impossible to get ahold of then paid me a surprise visit one sunday evening walking into my residence while I sat watching tv walking up to my couch and demanding money. I was in total shock and shocked that he would go that far. screaming "wheres my rent", "I need money now" from there I gave him 400.00 cash and a poist dated check for 2100, just so hed leave. my anxiety level was through the roof and I started having panic attacks resembling a heart attack from which I already am disabled with conjestive heart Failure. the rest of the problematic situation came when suddenly I was facing eviction with no due process. resulting in he and three police officers showing up with no court order presented and property manager began changing the door knob locks. throwing me out on the streets.im currently homeless and my things are at my residence including my medications for my heart failure
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: i was told that i could call him to retrieve my things to no avail.
Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
9/6/2017
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 2 months ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 30,600
Experience: Lawyer
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

I'm typing up some information for you and will be back in a few minutes.

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Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 2 months ago

It is illegal for a landlord to change locks on a tenant in order to remove them from the premises without going to court. This is true regardless of whether you are paying rent or there were any other issues - he must do a lawful eviction. If you call the local police and tell them what happened, they may go with you to demand that the landlord allow you re-entry.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 521-63(c) provides that when a landlord changes the locks on a tenant without a court order, the tenant can sue for two months rent or an order allowing you to stay rent free for two months. It's up to you which you'd prefer, and it largely comes down to whether you want to live there anymore. The law also says that if you have to sue in this situation, the landlord is responsible for paying your attorney's fees.

One option here is to show him the statute and give him a chance to let you back in. But if he won't, you can hire a local attorney to sue him and he'll have to pay for it. He never has a legal basis for keeping your belongings, so you can seek both the value of the items and punitive damages. On top of that, because the property is uninhabitable, you can seek a refund of rent paid already and a court order requiring the landlord to do repairs. Alternatively, if police force him to let you back in, you can call the health department and they can force him to do the work.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

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Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 2 months ago

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