When tenants notice that something in their unit needs repair, they should report it to their landlord in writing. The request for repair should be dated, and tenants should keep a copy.
In the State of Hawai`i, landlords must take steps to repair sanitary and habitable living conditions (ex. major appliances, necessary facilities, etc) within 5 business days after receiving written notice to repair, unless the repairs were required because of misuse by the tenant. For all other non-emergency repairs, the landlords must take steps to repair within 12 business days after receiving written notice.
Repair and deduct - in certain circumstances, tenants can make the repairs and deduct the costs from rent; however, tenants must follow the procedures listed in the Code. Tenants should always obtain legal advice prior to withholding rent in any situation, because they may be evicted for withholding rent. Please see Online Classroom "Tenants: What to do if your Home Needs Repairs"
Tenants should document all communications with their landlord in writing, and keep copies of all notices and/or letters received from the landlord
Tenants should report maintenance problems to the landlord in writing, including damage or breakage they caused. Before tenants makes repairs, they should talk to their landlord, because landlord may prefer to have a professional to fix the problem.