Are you tired of being a LANDLORD?
Are you tired of dealing with Tenants?
Navigating Rental OWNERSHIP on Maui through the pandemic is a true challenge?
Rental property ownership is filled with ups and downs on Maui especially in Kihei. If you currently own residential real estate on Maui you may be faced with the most difficult period of your ownership. In addition to trying to navigate your personal financial situation in Hawaii today, you have to worry that the tenant will pay the rent. The protection of your lease may not do you much good in dealing with short term loss of revenue on Maui. Your tenants in Kihei have a lease that gives them afforded rights, specific to the state of Hawaii. Instead of pulling capital from unnecessary avenues to keep your property afloat on Maui, take a step back and arm yourself with as much education and information as possible. Here are 5 things you can do today in Maui, Hawaii if you are having problems with collecting rent.
1. UNDERSTANDING TENANT RIGHTS
With the circumstances of the pandemic, crisis policies are changing daily in Hawaii, Maui. One thing the government doesn’t want is a repeat of the 2008 housing collapse. At the outset of the crisis, the first immediate action was to freeze mortgages and rent payments. If your tenant in Kihei is having trouble making their payment you need to understand the tenant-landlord handbook in Hawaii ( https://cca.hawaii.gov/hfic/files/2013/03/landlord-tenant-handbook.pdf )
You need to understand what right your tenant in Kihei, Hawaii does and does not have. The government is leaving it for the state of Hawaii to decide. It’s definitely a challenge to be updated with the changes, but the information is there. The State of Hawaii and Maui has put a halt on evictions. There is almost a certainty to be a backlog of cases, pushing the timeframe out even further with the amount of unemployment that Hawaii is experiencing today. The bottom line is that the LANDLORD has no right to evict a tenant who has stopped paying rent. The good news is that you may have other viable alternatives, the bottom line is that you do not have the right on Maui, Hawaii to evict a tenant who has stopped paying rent.
2. TALK TO YOUR TENANTS
Communication is always Key. Talk to your tenants before assuming about the payment you need to have. Not every tenant on Maui is able to apply for the rent forgiveness that the State of Hawaii is offering right now. With all the “Aloha” in the world, most situations depend on if they have experienced a loss of income, the shift of employment, or other factors that will restrict them from being able to pay rent- communication is key here. You need to find out if this is your tenant’s situation, it is your “kuleana” (responsibility) to find out. Think big picture with the property, what is the best thing for your bottom line right now? Kihei is like a ghost town right now, on a property with surplus cash flow taking even 20% still gives you 80% coming in. How do you continue making the payment and not digging a bigger hole?
3. MORTGAGE OPTIONS
Talking to your mortgage company is your second option. Most likely your mortgage company is doing the same thing as you today on Maui with the eviction memorandum. In Hawaii today you need to understand exactly what you are getting into. In Hawaii today and in Maui as a whole, your mortgage company may put a halt on the payment in the form of a short term deferment. The mortgage company may ask for the payment after a 90 days period, instead of putting the missing payments on the back end of the mortgage. However month you defer, the lender may have the right to foreclose here in Hawaii if you do not have the full amount to pay. This is how it stands right now. A short term deferment here in Hawaii where properties are so expensive may be putting a Band-Aid on a much bigger wound.
4. LEGAL ACTIONS
Landlords here in Maui, have ways to protect themselves. One thought is to sign a lease that is immediate and binding. Yes, it doesn’t force your tenant to take action and offers long term protection. In today’s world if your tenant on Maui can’t or don’t want to pay their rent there is technically nothing you can do to make them. You are forced to go through the long and drawn eviction process and hope that the court here in Hawaii on Maui time, will expedite your request. It’s time to circle back to your lease, and with your local attorney here in Maui, Hawaii sees what if any legal action you can take. With the Hawaii state memorandum in place, there is nothing you can do until they are lifted. You want to educate yourself and act as soon as it is all over.
5. READ THE ROOM
There is no getting around the fact that these are very difficult times for everyone, especially in the State of Hawaii and Maui as a whole. Kihei is looking like a ghost town. There is nothing you can do until this is over, even if rental cash flow is a good chunk of your income. There is no use in writing the State of Hawaii local state officials, emailing your attorney, and calling your tenants every day. You can not control that!!! You are just wasting your time getting yourself worked up over something that you can’t control. Harassing your tenants to leave is not the answer, furthermore, they may do something subtle to your property. It is very frustrating and annoying but sometimes in the business, there are bigger things to worry about. If you and your family have their health in place the financial aspect and its impact will hopefully work itself out sooner rather than later.
Things usually get better with time. Like most rough patches in business, not receiving rent in Kihei where holding property on Maui is so expensive, isn’t ideal. Consider your options, you have more options than ever. The more information you have, the better opportunity you have to make decisions. If you are concerned about your rental property in Kihei, Hawaii today reach out to us.