Act 57 Eviction Process FAQ

August 27, 2021

This FAQ is for informational purposes only. Hawai`i REALTORS® does not intend to create or confirm an attorney-client relationship, nor furnish legal advice, by providing this FAQ. Hawai`i REALTORS® specifically disclaims any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, that may be incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the information provided herein. Please keep in mind that these issues are subject to change and Hawai`i REALTORS® is under no obligation to update this information and makes no warranty as to the accuracy or currentness of this information.

Can a tenant be evicted?
Only as allowed under Act 57

When does Act 57 protect a tenant from eviction?
A tenant may not be evicted if the amount of back rent does not exceed the following thresholds on the following dates:
(a) August 7, 2021: four or more months behind on rent.
(b) September 6, 2021: three or more months behind on rent.
(c) November 6, 2021: two or more months behind on rent.
(d) January 6, 2022: one or more months behind on rent.
(e) August 7, 2022: Act 57 and the back rent thresholds expire.

When may I provide notice of intent to evict?
Notice of intent to evict may only be given to tenants who are subject to eviction. A notice of intent to evict may not be given to a tenant if Act 57 protects that tenant from eviction (see table above). Notice of intent to evict may be given on the first day that the tenant is subject to eviction.

Who must I provide the notice to?
You must provide the notice to the tenant and the mediation center.

How do I notify the tenant?
The notice must be in writing. If the fifteen-calendar day notice was mailed, receipt of notice shall be deemed to be two days after the date of the postmark.

If the tenant cannot be served with notice as required, notice may be given to the tenant by posting the same in a conspicuous place on the dwelling unit, and the notice shall be deemed received on the date of posting.

What must the notice contain?
The notice must contain the following elements:

Contact information:

  • Landlord’s contact information and, if applicable, property manager’s contact information.
  • Tenant’s contact information (i.e., name and unit address).
  • Mediation Center’s contact information.

 

Rent information: 

  • Monthly rental rate.
  • Rent due.
  • Contacts with rental-assistance providers.
  • Credit for all rental assistance received.

 

Mediation Center Information:

  • That notice of intent to evict was sent to the mediation center, which will mediate the eviction dispute for free.
  • That the mediation center will confirm receipt of the notice to the landlord.
  • That the mediation center will contact the landlord and the tenant to schedule the mediation.

This exact warning in boldface type:

If mediation is not scheduled within fifteen calendar days after receipt of the notice regardless of whether the scheduled mediation session occurs within the fifteen-calendar day period, then the landlord may file an action for summary possession after the expiration of the fifteen-calendar day period. If mediation is scheduled before the expiration of the fifteen-calendar day period, regardless of whether the scheduled mediation session occurs within the fifteen calendar days, then the landlord shall only file an action for summary possession after the expiration of thirty calendar days following the tenant’s receipt of the fifteen-calendar day notice. If the fifteen-calendar day notice was mailed, receipt of notice shall be deemed to be two days after the date of the postmark. If the fifteen-calendar day notice was posted on the premises, receipt of notice shall be deemed to be the date of posting. If an agreement is reached before the filing of an action for summary possession, whether through mediation or otherwise, then the landlord shall not bring an action for summary possession against the tenant, except as provided in any agreement that may be reached. The landlord shall be required to note the status of the mediation or settlement effort and proof of sending or posting of the fifteen-calendar day notice to the mediation center in the action for summary possession.”

Must I attend the mediation?
Yes.

Is the mediation virtual or in-person?
Contact the mediation center for details.

What mediation centers are available?
Contact the mediation center that is nearest to the rental unit. The available mediation centers are:

  • O`ahu Mediation Center of the Pacific. 
  • East Hawai`i Ku`ikahi Mediation Center. 
  • West Hawai`i Mediation Center. 
  • Maui Mediation Services. 
  • Kaua`i Economic Opportunity Mediation Program. 

 

How long must I wait after giving the notice to initiate summary possession proceedings?
It depends on whether the tenant schedules the mediation.

  • If the tenant does not schedule mediation: 15 days.
  • If the tenant does schedule mediation: 30 days.

Note: The tenant need only schedule the mediation to trigger 30-day filing period; the mediation need not actually occur to trigger the 30-day filing period.

What must the summary possession complaint contain?
The summary possession complaint must contain, at a minimum, the following elements:

  • Verification document from the mediation center.
  • Statement as to whether the landlord or the landlord’s agent will participate in any scheduled mediation.

If a mediation has been scheduled, the date on which the mediation will occur.