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State Implements Tenant Screening Fee Rules for Hawaii Residents: Kauai Now

May 13, 2024, 2:57 pm HST

On May 1, a new law regulating tenant screening fees was enacted to protect tenants and promote transparency in the rental application process.

The law, enacted as Law 200 (SLH 2023), prohibits a landlord from charging an applicant for a housing unit a tenant screening fee that is greater than the actual cost of obtaining information about the applicant.

Any fees exceeding the costs of obtaining information about the applicant must be reimbursed to the applicant. Landlords must refund the tenant any fees not used for approved expenses within 30 days of submitting the review request.

The fee can only be collected at the time of processing the rental application and may only be collected by an adult 18 years of age or older or an adult minor making an application to rent the unit.

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The law's goal is to ensure fairness in the tenant screening process and protect applicants from unreasonable fees. Landlords are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these requirements to comply with the law. A frequently asked questions document is available online here.

For more information, landlords and tenants may refer to Hawai'i Revised Statutes § 521-46; Visit or call the Office of Consumer Financial Protection at 808-586-2634.

OCP operates the Hawai'i Residential Landlord-Tenant Information Center. This free service provides information to the general public about Hawaii's Residential Landlord-Tenant Code and other laws impacting residential landlords and tenants. Callers have access to the information center between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.

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If you come across a recorded message, please leave a message. Your call will then be returned in the order in which it was received on the same or next business day.

Anna Harden

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