What Is A Moratorium In Real Estate Things You Need To Know For Your Honolulu Home

by Oct 15, 2021

In the beginning of the pandemic, the state of Hawaii underwent a pause in evictions, also known as an eviction moratorium, in response to the effect of COVID-19 restrictions on the economy.

While renters have a clear idea of what the moratorium can do for them, this might not be the case for landlords.

Here Are A Few Frequently Asked Questions From Landlords Regarding The Real Estate Moratorium In Hawaii:

Q: What is a real estate moratorium and how does it affect me?

A: In April 2020, Hawaii Gov. David Ige established an eviction moratorium that lasted more than a year. The real estate moratorium was established to assist renters, allowing them a permitted delay to pay their lease without threat of eviction.

In other words, Hawaii’s real estate moratorium to ensure renters had ample time to acquire the funds to pay their rent without having to worry about getting evicted from their homes.

For landlords, the moratorium was meant to encourage working with renters to find payment solutions and other alternatives to their rent. Many renters were granted rent assistance from the government, and have worked with their landlords to figure out a payment system.

The real estate moratorium was established to foster cooperation and decrease the number of evictions during the pandemic.

Q: My tenants claim that the real estate moratorium means they no longer have to pay rent. Is this true?

A: The real estate moratorium was established to grant renters more time to pay off their rental debt. It does not mean they no longer have to pay it.

Your tenants still owe you the rent due on your rental agreement despite the eviction moratorium. Even if they refuse or are unable to pay it, the amount due from their rent is still owed to you, the landlord.

Q: What does the real estate moratorium mean for my tenants on a month-to-month lease? How does that affect me?

A: Month-to-month tenancies cannot be terminated for failure to pay rent during a real estate moratorium. However, if:

  • A tenant is in breach of lease terms (other than failure to pay rent);
  • A tenant is unfit for occupancy;
  • The landlord has sold the unit to a valid buyer for value, or;
  • The landlord or any immediate family member needs to occupy the property;

The tenant can be given notice to vacate the premises. The notice must be at least 45 days, and must be written.

Note that the property must be sold in order for the tenant to vacate. A property on market or a property that has received an offer is not enough cause for the tenant to vacate the premises.

Q: What about my tenants on a fixed-term lease? Will I be able to evict them if the lease is up and they are unable to pay?

A: While the real estate moratorium also applies to fixed-term leases, a tenant may vacate the premises if their fixed-term lease is up. According to the

Hawaii Revised Statutes 127A-30, a fixed-term lease does not extend beyond its termination date.
If the rental agreement between you and your tenant was to convert the lease to a month-to-month tenancy after the fixed period, you can choose to end the lease or extend a new fixed-term lease.

At Present, However, The Hawaii Real Estate Moratorium Is Now Coming To An End.

The end of the moratorium for houses in Hawaii was set on August 6, 2021. It was extended to October 3, 2021, at the behest of the federal government.

But it is set to be replaced by Act 57 in HB 1376, which will now allow Hawaii’s courts to hear additional evictions.

Hawaii Is Now Set To Take On Eviction Cases.

Hawaii plans to take a tiered approach to hearing eviction cases in order to prevent a backlog. Landlords with tenants who are behind on their rent four or more months can file for eviction, followed by those with tenants three months behind, and so-on.

Ready To Sell Your home?

The pandemic has affected us all heavily, and being unable to rely on income from rents is only one of the ways it has been difficult for landlords.

Many are now seeking to sell their properties in order to offset the income from missed rent payments and costly evictions.

If you are a landlord seeking to sell my house fast in Honolulu, HI, RC Property Group is here to assist you. We offer quick, hassle-free transactions for landlords hoping to sell their properties for cash.

Contact us at (808) 773-1415 or send an email to romelyn@rcpropertygroup.com to get started.

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