Here are the following information on Security Deposit. For more information, read Hawaii Revised Statute HRS § 521-44 or visit the Online Classroom "Security Deposit: General Information for Private Landlord-Tenant."
- Security deposits can be any amount, up to one month rent. A security deposit that exceeds one months rent is illegal under the Code
- Security deposits are used to insure that tenants fulfill the terms of their rental agreement/lease, and leave the dwelling in good condition.
- Landlords may retain security deposits if tenants damage the dwelling "beyond normal wear and tear." For example, the dwelling unit is in worse conditions than when the tenancy began.
- Security deposits cannot be used for last month rent, unless the landlord and tenant agrees to such in writing.
- Before paying the landlord the security deposit, the tenant should ensure that the deposit is referenced in his/her rental agreement/lease prior to signing.
- By law, the tenants should get their security deposit back within 14 days after they move out, unless the landlord provides an accounting as to why the full deposit was not returned. Landlords must notify tenants in writing if they are keeping a portion of the deposit within 14 days after the tenant moves out, and provide an itemized bill specifying what the deposit will be used to pay for.
- Tenants should be sure to inform their landlord of their forwarding address.
- The landlord may ask for an additional pet deposit for the animal agreed upon by both the landlord and the tenant to reside in the premises, except for assistance animals. This pet deposit will only be used for the damages that the pet has incurred in the dwelling unit.
- Tenants should keep rental units clean (inside and out), dispose of garbage properly, and keep common areas clean!
- Tenants should do a detailed "move in inspection inventory" to protect themselves, keep a copy, and give a copy to their landlord.