HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

245

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2013

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to domestic violence.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Chapter 521, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part VI to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"521- Termination of tenancy; victims of domestic abuse. (a) Subject to subsection (c), a landlord may not terminate a tenancy, fail to renew a tenancy, or refuse to enter into a rental agreement based on the tenant's status as a victim of domestic abuse if the tenant provides the landlord with any of the following:

(1) A certified copy of an order issued pursuant to section 586-4 or 586-5.5 for the purpose of protecting the tenant from the person named in the order;

(2) A certified copy of a valid foreign protective order enforceable under part II of chapter 586;

(3) A law enforcement agency record documenting the domestic abuse or certifying that the tenant or a child of the tenant is a victim of domestic abuse;

(4) Medical documentation of the domestic abuse provided by a health care provider; or

(5) Documentation or certification provided by a licensed clinical social worker, as the term is used in chapter 467E, that the tenant or a child of the tenant is a victim of domestic abuse.

(b) A landlord who violates this section shall be liable to the tenant in a civil action for damages sustained by the tenant or applicant. The prevailing party may also recover court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.

(c) A landlord may terminate or decline to renew a tenancy after the tenant has resorted to the protections afforded by this section if both paragraphs (1) and (2) apply:

(1) Either:

(A) The tenant allows the person against whom a protective order has been issued, or the person identified in an applicable police report as the perpetrator of a domestic abuse act, to visit the property; or

(B) The landlord reasonably believes that the presence of the person against whom the order has been issued, or the person identified in an applicable police report as the perpetrator of a domestic abuse act, poses a physical threat to other tenants, guests, invitees, or licensees, or to another tenant's right to quiet possession; and

(2) The landlord previously gave at least three days notice to the tenant to correct a violation of paragraph (1) and the tenant did not correct the violation.

(d) Notwithstanding any provision in the lease to the contrary, the landlord shall not be liable to any other tenants for any action that arises due to the landlord's compliance with this section.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit housing decisions based upon other lawful factors within the landlord's knowledge or to prohibit a landlord from terminating a lease or a rental agreement for a lawful reason.

(f) For purposes of this section:

"Domestic abuse" has the same meaning as defined by section 586-1.

"Tenant" includes a tenant, a prospective tenant, and persons jointly residing in the same dwelling unit with a tenant or prospective tenant."

SECTION 2. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Landlord-Tenant Code; Domestic Abuse

 

Description:

Prohibits landlords from terminating the tenancy of tenants who are victims of domestic abuse. Allows landlords to terminate a lease or a rental agreement for any lawful reason.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.