What's the law?
Small claims court helps with back rent
I am a resident of Hawaii, but I own real estate in Colorado.
Recently, a tenant has moved out of my unit without notice and I was stuck without any rent for the month. What course of action would I have to take to pursue my former tenant for back rent? He had also broken the lease agreement. Can I recover any monies through small claims court without having to attend a hearing?
Answer: From the Supervising Attorney of Legal Aid's Housing Unit: It is difficult to tell from your question just where the property is. In Hawaii, this subject is handled under the Landlord/Tenant Code. Under the Code, you can recover the amounts you actually lost due to the tenant leaving with no notice.
You can go to small claims court but you, or your agent, will have to file papers and appear in court.
Question: I saw in the July 8 edition of the Star-Bulletin that your organization provides brochures to individuals with problems. Is there a catalog of the available brochures? If so, how would I go about obtaining the catalog?
Answer: From Legal Aid's Director of Development & Communications: There are three ways to get Legal Aid brochures, which include information on a vast array of civil legal issues. First, you can go to our Web site at www.legalaidhawaii.org.
On the home page, there is a link for "Online Client Resources." Alternately, you can call our intake hotline at 536-4302 on Oahu, or (800) 499-4302 from the neighbor islands, and ask for a brochure to be sent to you.
Finally, you can drop in any of our nine offices throughout the state and request materials. Legal Aid has offices in Honolulu, Waianae and Kaneohe on Oahu; in Kona and Hilo on the Big Island; in Wailuku on Maui; in Lihue on Kauai; and in Lanai City on Lanai; and Kaunakakai on Molokai.
Go to our Web site for more information on where each office is located and what the hours are.
Legal Aid Society of Hawaii operates statewide. Practice areas include housing, public benefits, consumer and family law but not criminal law. For information, call 536-4302. Submit questions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
or by U.S. mail to Legal Aid Q&A, 924 Bethel St., Honolulu, HI 96813.